A glittering evening of melodious Christmas carols, dazzling dance presentations, inspiring remarks and uplifting yuletide sermon marked the Grand Christmas Banquet celebrations organized by South Asian Christian Cultural Association [SACCA] on Friday, December 15, 2017 at the Meadows Convention Center in Rolling Meadows, IL that drew a large gathering of families and children to celebrate the festive season of Christmas.
This Grand Christmas banquet that predominantly encompassed music, dances, candlelight singing and dinner was strikingly enhanced by the presence of Hon. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India, Governor of Illinois [former] Pat Quinn and Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia – leading Democrat to be the next U.S. Congressman from the 4th Congressional District – these dignitaries were joined by Archbishop Jacob Agepog, Rev. Dr. David Vidyasagar and several community and business leaders from different faiths including Iftekhar Shareef, KK Reddy, Krishna Mushyam, FIA President Kanti N. Patel, Babu Patel, Harish Kolasani, Madan, Srinivas Boppanna and Mahesh Kakarala to name a few.
The evening celebrations set off with the lighting of the Christmas Advent Candles lit by Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia joined by host team Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Emanuel Neela, Vasanth Charles, Satish Dadepogu, Paul Pilli, Vasanth Rao, Pravin Neetipudi, Vinay Bandekalla, Karunakar Babu which was followed by a graceful invocation solo dance performance by Ms. Angel Varghese and a artfully choreographed group dance by young girls from Kalapadma Dance Academy with interludes of beautiful strains of Christmas carols sung illustrating the spirit of Christmas.
Consul General of India Neeta Bhushan offered Christmas greetings and paid tribute to the Chicago Indian American Christian community. She expressed appreciation to the SACCA host team for inviting her to Christmas celebration and complimented them for the efforts to showcase the spirit of Christmas. In demonstration of appreciation, the SACCA host committee honored Consul General Neeta Bhushan donning upon her the shawl and presenting a flower bouquet led by Margaret Sanyogita Charles and Persis Dadepogu and Ujwala Neela.
Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. David Vidyasagar presented the central theme of Christmas message which he said is the sacred birth of Lord Jesus Christ and went on to define the deeper essence of Christmas. He emphasized that the spirit of Christmas manifests hope, love, peace and joy.
Earlier, Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Director of SACCA presiding over the celebrations welcomed the gathering and introduced the chief guests Consul General Neeta Bhushan, former Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia and presented colorful shawls to showcase traditional welcome that evoked appreciative applause.
SACCA President Emanuel Neela thanked the gathering of the families at the Christmas banquet and expressed gratitude to the inter-faith guests who said has enhanced the Christmas celebrations. He thanked the singers and dancing team for outstanding presentation capturing the deeper essence of Christmas. While Vasanth Charles presented the vision and future plans to be embarked on by SACCA. The community Christmas greetings were offered by FIA Trustee Iftekhar Shareef, KK Reddy. The evening highlight was the presentation of Cricket Tournament trophy by former Governor Pat Quinn to the winning team received by Joseph Prince and his team. The carols were presented by Neethi, Priyanka Karlapudi, Vinay, Ajay Mitta, Jeena, Jacob Agepog, Vijay Munnagal, Monica, Dev Karlapudi, Mrs. Agepog, John Sundar and the music was arranged by Johnson Kodi and Selvin Jayraj. The evening celebrations concluded with entire hall luminous in shimmering candlelights held by each guest while singing “Silent Night” a traditional Christmas carol which was followed by the serving of the festive dinner.
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