Chicago Andhra Association (CAA) celebrated its First Anniversary on March 18th, 2017 enthralling a 1000+ captivated audience with music, dance, drama, and dinner. The evening program was held at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont, Illinois, Honorable Consular General of India in Chicago, Ms. Neeta Bhushan graced the occasion as Chief Guest. She commended the organization for it’s thrive in preserving the culture and service to Andhra Pradesh. She was presented with a “Bobbili Veena” as a memento.
Amidst a plethora of several organizations by the Telugu Diaspora in USA, CAA strives to stand unique with philanthropy on its mind, with its central foundation, APDFNA, working primarily on service-oriented projects in AP. CAA President, Sundar Dittakavi’s vision was clearly stated through his message – that 25 cents of every dollar earned through the nominal annual membership to CAA would be spent on charitable causes. He emphasized the diversity in CAA by highlighting the fact that the board consisting of equal number of men and women. Dr. Prakasam Tata was honored with Lifetime Achievement award for his dedicated services to tribal communities and waste water management. Frank Avila, Chairman, MWRD,Chicago also graced the occasion.
Sahiti Kotha, Kiran Adimulam, Sairavi Suribhotla and Mrudulatha Mathukumalli held the audience’s attention with their able emceeing and lively banter throughout the evening’s program. Telugu pride and culture was showcased in a variety of stage performances – both classical and contemporary – starting from ages five to senior citizens. Ancient music kritis and compositions were evoked through vocal, violin and tabla jugal bandi renditions. Patriotic songs performed by tots with attractive costumes. Semiclassical dances krishna leelalu,Shiva and Vishnu were performed by younger kids with perfection and dedication. Telugu folk songs on festivals were performed by teen girls. Folk songs from north, east, west, south parts of India performed by nearly 28 participants attracted the attention of audience. “Beauty of Andhra” describing the greatness of the Andhra Pradesh State and senior citizens fashion show with “Unity in Diversity” theme on language integration lead by Ramanamurthy Yedavalli, Vani Dittakavi and Prasuna Vootkur evoked the emotions of the audience, giving a standing ovation followed by a series memorable performances that captured the hearts and minds of the viewers.Participation by boys in semi classical items like “Shiva Sthutis”, “Satakarni”.broke the tradition of girls only items. A variety of items including Tollywood were enacted through classical, semi-classical and fusion dance items. The entire program ran with a theme and excellent flow attributed by a well-organized stage. CAA appreciated each choreographer with a fancy “Jute Bag” as a token gift specially imported from India which was hand made by mentally challenged craftsmen. Highly energetic youth presented outstanding performance on “Krishnashtami “. Skits on modern-day challenges such as academic rigor for students and weight-loss struggle for adults was tackled humorously in “Lavu okka Inchi ayina taggaledu” skit directed by Smt. Lakshmi Naag received great applause.
Cultural team lead by Sahithi Kotha, Sirisha Kola, Neelima Boddu, Sujatha Appalaneni and Vani Dittakavi successfully lead the entire program managing 290 participants making it an amazing show. The classic stage decoration was led by Bhargavi Nettem, Sunitha Rachapalli, Kiran Vankayalapati and Malleswari Pedamallu. CAA successfully integrated inclusiveness and national unity into the program with the children’s rendition of a one-India depicting the costumes, dance and music traditions of regional India. Treasurer Raghav Jatla, APDFNA Director Padma Rao Appalaneni, Sailesh Maddi, Srikrishna Matukumalli, Srihari Jasti welcomed Members with Traditional gift made in “Eti Koppaka” from Andhra Pradesh. Youth volunteers were coordinated by Sandhya Appalaneni and Tanvi Jatla and their team gave great hospitality to the members. Event team lead by Sunitha Rachapalli executed the overall event with meticulous planning. All the media coverage was led by Bhanu Swargam, Murthy Pisipati and Prasad Nettem and gave wonderful albums to the Audience.Sumptuous Andhra dinner with Andhra delicacies like Purnamboori, Mysorepak wered served by Anu Gampala and Suresh Sanakkayala’s team. CAA Vice President Uma Katiki and Founders committee Chairman Srinivas Pedamallu, Secretary Dinkar Karumuri thanked all sponsors, volunteers and attendees and concluded the event with both US and India National Anthems.