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Chicago IL: Gujarat Cultural Association (GCA) hosted Diwali celebrations, accompanied by an electrifying Music Concert Zindagi Ek Safar … the essence of Shanker Jaikishan that attracted a large number of family’s friends, and community figures of the city, on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at The Meadows Club, 2950 W. Golf Rd Rolling Meadows, Rolling Meadows, IL. It was a Sold out event, the program was highly successful with the active support of the Sponsors, Executive Board, GCA members and volunteers.

“Where ever in the world there is a residing member (“Gujarati”), from the state of Gujrat, there you will always find that person represents entire state of Gujarat.” This famous quote of the poet Khabarder, State of Illinois is well represented by Gujrati Diasporas. To preserve cultural, religious, and many other traditions, Gujarat Cultural Association was established by brain child and founding member Mr. Kanti Patel in 1973. GCA launched a platform for the old and young family members to get-together to promote share and express the common feelings of love, compassion, and sacrifice involved in an every Gujarati’s heart.

Every year GCA organized picnics, sports competition, and musical events. It also collaborates with other national organizations like Federation of India Association (FIA), the Indo-American Democratic organization (IDOA) etc. to promote the goal of our Indian-Americans to achieve the success political arena in this foreign land. The members of the association have also done a great deal to promote religious and other outreach program of International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISCON) through Hare Krishna Temple. It also promotes and co-sponsors weeklong sermon on Bhagwat Geeta called “Bhagvat Saptaah” by invited renowned orators from India. To promote health and wellbeing of our needy citizens, it co-sponsors free Annual Health Fair conducted by volunteer physicians and allied health care workers.

The program start with Hetal Patel welcoming everyone, American and Indian national Anthem. Event commenced with the traditional lighting of lamp ceremony was performed by Guest of Honor, and other dignitaries. These included Tony Prickwinkle (County board president), Dipak Vyas (Entrepreneur originally hailed from Gujrat), Jitendra Patel (Financial Businessman) and Mr. Kanti S. Patel (GCA Chairman).

MC was ‘Evergreen’ Mrs. Hetal Patel. She invited Chief Guest on stage Tony Prickwinkle. Tony thanked Gujrat Culture Association for tireless work by its member, especially Kanti Patel. She congratulated leadership and entrepreneurship of the community of diaspora from Gujrat and especially paid special tribute to Mahatma Gandhi who also hailed from Gujrat in India.

Award ceremony followed and were given to outstanding community leaders as follows,
Outstanding Businessman: Jitendra Patel
Distinguished Business man: Pratik and Nick Trivedi
Bhailal Patel for outstanding service to the community.

Other prominent leaders, Community Members and Distinguished Businessman fellows were recognized on the stage and each received a bouquet of Flower. Included were Mr. Mafatbhai Patel of Patel brothers // Air Tours , Nakul Chand Singh of Air India, Anil Shah of World Money Exchange, Minhaj Akhtar President of FIA, Schaumberg Township Trustee Nimish Jani and Kalpesh Joshi, Director of AAHOA.

We should not only celebrate Diwali as a festival but also understand its true message, implement it in our daily lives, and commit to the path of virtue, rather than that of evil, in order to emerge victorious. Wishing every one very happy, healthy and prosperous upcoming New Year, Kanti S. Patel, Chairman of GCA concluded his speech by requesting everyone for their continued support co-operation and participation in future events.

“I commend the Gujarat Cultural Association for the exemplary leadership it brings to advancing the cause of culture and diversity awareness in Cook County. Additionally, r laud all of its accomplishments during the past year” said by Toni Preckwinkle Cook County President.
“Unity of mind and heart bring us to gather to calibrate Diwali festivity. I offer warm greetings to the members and friends of the Gujarat Cultural Association for organizing and celebrating the annual Diwali Dinner and Musical Program. Again, my sincere congratulations to the Gujarat Cultural Association on its annual Diwali dinner, and wish the Gujarat Cultural Association, and all who comprise it, every continued success” Said by Mr. Dipak Vyas Chairman and CEO of Redberri Corporation.

Among the invited dignitaries Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and Jesse white were not present in event however they send message to Gujarat Cultural Association
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, in his written message, congratulated (GCA) for organizing this GAGA and wished everyone happy Diwali, which symbolizes joy, hope, and positive energy, focuses on the triumph of light over darkness and compassion over hatred. He added that the message of Diwali is universal in nature.

Jesse white, Illinois Secretary of State, in his message, said that the GCA is a lifeline for its members in need of networking opportunities, professional guidance, and community support. He appreciated the cultural connections that the Association is building between its diaspora residing in Illinois and India.

Eagerly awaited event ‘A Fitting Musical Extravaganza in Memory of Shankar-Jaikishan’ followed after Vote of thanks by Shaurin Mehta.

After the magical Betaab Dil, the legend of Madan Mohan, Dhrishti and Niche Entertainment bring another musical masterpiece, Zindagi Ek Safar, the essence of Shanker Jaikishan. A musical journey of the most successful musical duo of the Indian Film industry. Relive the magical moments of the Golden Era of Indian film music, the era of Barsaat, Chori Chori, Yahudi and Patita, Junglee, Professor, Suraj, Aarzoo, Mera Naam Joker and Andaaz and so much more, Directed by Milind Oak with the stately narration of Salim Arif, the magical voices of Vibhavari Joshi, Rafi Habib, Neha Verma and Dhawal Chandwadkar and the finest orchestra.

Curtain fell at wee hours in morning and every one thoroughly enjoyed memorable evening.

Sponsors: Dr Bharat and Panna Barai, Patel Brothers, Mafat Patel from Air Tours, Chicago Imports, Raj Jewelers, Dr. Nita Patel [Dentist], Fairfield Inn, Marriot, Super 8, Quality Inn, Comfort inn, Motel 6, Suga Builders, Pan-Oceanic Engineering (Gulzar Singh), AAHOA, Sankalp Indian Cousin, Sahil, Shreeji Builder and Level Corporation, Accutax, New York Life (Bhargav and Kishan Patel)

Executive Board: Mr. Kanti S. Patel (Chairman), Mr. Girish Patel (President); Dr. Manish Brahmbhatt (Vic President); Mr. Dinesh Patel (Treasurer), Mr. Shaurin Mehta (Secretary), Mr. Hemang Patel (Joint Secretary), Mr. Kanu Parekh (Culture Secretary), Mrs. Geeta Bhatt (Joint Culture Secretary) and Mr. Bhailal Patel (Trustee)

Board of Directors: Mr. Jyotindra Patel, Mr. Yogi Patel, Mr. Vijay Patel, Mr. Dilip Patel, Mr. Nilesh Patel, Mr. Subhash Majmudar and Mr. Gopal Trivedi

Volunteers: Mrs. Jyoti Pate, Mrs. Ansuya Patel, Mrs. Daxa Mehta, Mrs. Geeta Patel and Ms. Ami Mehta
Banquet Chairman: Jyotindra Patel & Gita J. Patel