Hindu Charities for America (HC4A) held its 4th Annual HC4A Gala on October 20 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Austin. The event raised over $70,000 thanks to the contributions from table sponsors and their guests; “Dancing with the Stars” participants and their guests; Gala guests and a silent auction. All funds raised will be used for vocational scholarships and grants for deserving candidates with an economic need in Austin metropolitan area, in the spirit of HC4A’s motto, “Live Here, Give Here!” Sponsors contributed to the cost of the event.
The Gala is the signature event of HC4A. All Gala tickets were pledged by early October, with over 450 guests attending the event.
The two masters of ceremonies for the event were Sujata Ajmera and Sameer Shah. Guests of honor included Dr. Richard Rhodes, CEO/President of Austin Community College and the honorable Steve Adler, Mayor of the City of Austin.
Dr. Rhodes presented his speech and thanked Hindu Charities for the work it has been doing to bridge income disparity through education by providing vocational scholarships to economically disadvantaged students. Mayor Adler provided his felicitations and encouraged event guests to generously donate and make an impact in the lives of deserving students in the Austin area.
Guests mingled, networked and socialized as part of the pre-event gathering. Harish Kotecha, founder and President of HC4A, kicked off the event followed by a video highlighting the impact of scholarships in the Austin area.
Hindu Charities recognized the following individuals for their passion, unconditional commitment and support toward HC4A’s mission: Bhanu & Ashwin Ghatalia, Greater Round Rock Community Foundation; Srivas Venkatesh, Lakshmi & Subba Kondubhatla, Texas Homeless Education Office; and Jennifer Bloom Greenberg.
After the speeches, a fundraising segment was led by Shruti Anand, HC4A Executive Board Member and Vijay Mohan Anantula, HC4A Foundation Board Member. Scholarship recipient Stephanie Mbulu, who will soon receive her nursing diploma, chronicled the impact that the scholarship had on her own life.
Kotecha was also presented with HC4A Award in recognition for his vision and leadership for Hindu Charities For America.
The evening continued with a choreographers’ dance showcase featuring Agni Dance Company, Monsoon Dance, NrityaVarsha Academy and Sargam Dance. These dance schools choreographed event stars Vijay Mohan Anantula, Anita & Satyajeet Dodia, Ashok & Anita Kumar, Manjima Kundu, Nagavalli Medicharla, Sharmila with Bianca & Anushka Mehta, Jyoti Mistry, Smita Parikh, Malin Pathak and Nupur Sharma.
A silent auction was held throughout the event, with items including signed pictures of sports personalities and presidents, gift certificates and jewelry.
Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences of the evening was a three-course dinner that included entrees and multiple dessert options served in a scrumptious buffet-style dinner, catered by Taj Restaurant.
The entire event was professionally video graphed and photographed by a dedicated media team. TV Asia covered the event, thanks to Seema Govil.
Hindu Charities For America was conceived with the purpose of providing a platform to those living the American Dream to give back so that those living in economic hardships can rise and achieve the same American Dream. Founded in 2010 and registered as a 501(c)(3) non-denominational charity (all donations are tax deductible), HC4A has helped economically disadvantaged students by donating school supplies and vocational training scholarships in Austin metro area. The mission of HC4A is to “Bridge Income Disparity Through Education.”
For more information on Hindu Charities for America, visit hinducharitiesforamerica.org.