Saturday March 15th, is a day to remember for Telugu women in Chicagoland area, as TAGC and ATA organized its 2nd annual Women’s Day celebrations. Over 200 women attended this event, all dressed in festive colorful Indian attire, reminding everyone of the festival of Holi.
The stage was decorated with two beautiful statues of goddesses, which gave a feminine look in line with the day’s activities. The centerpiece at each table was colorfully decorated with marbles, pink petals and candles.
The event started with team building activities- first an icebreaker, organized by Pavithra Karumuri, Kiran Vankayalapati, Sunitha Rachapalli, and Kiran Nuthulapaty. The challenge was to build the tallest spaghetti tower using only 20 raw noodles, 2yards of string and 3 yards of tape. All ladies used their creativity and skills to build, as they partnered with other new people at their tables. The tallest tower was 46 inches tall, and the winning team was recognized by TAGC platinum sponsor Dr. Surekha Sakala, who is dentist from Aurora. While enjoying homemade snacks made by Sujatha Appalaneni and Jyothi Chinthalapani and snacks from Indian Harvest restaurant of Naperville, a scavenger hunt was organized, where ladies had to be resourceful to find items on a list. The winner was recognized by another TAGC platinum sponsor and John Greene real estate agent Dakshaini Anand.
The main program started with the host Kiran Mattey requesting the lighting of the lamps by ATA president Karunakar Madhavaram and his wife Jyothi, along with TAGC president Srinivas Pedamallu and his wife Malleswari. ATA President Karunakar and TAGC President Srinivas spoke a few words to start the Women’s Day celebration. Along with several TAGC BoDs Ram Ade, Ramesh Garapaty, Narendar Chemarla, Pradeep Kandimalla, Jagan Bukkaraju, Sujatha Appalaneni, Vandana Reddy, Malathi Damaraju and other ATA Executives, they asked the audience to relax and enjoy the celebration as they took leave. A beautiful Sanskrit prayer was sung by Kiran Mattey, Dr. Bhargavi Nettam and Padma Maddireddy.
This was followed by an inspiring speech by Nandhini Kondapalli, who quoted ‘If your Eyes are Positive, you will Love the World. But if your tongue is positive, the world will Love you,’ in her speech about loving the world.
The program continued with several speakers discussing variety of topics. The speakers were honored by Kiran Mattey and Dr. Bhargavi Nettem. Some of the highlights of the speakers:
Manju Goel- Republican nominee for Congress spoke eloquently stating the importance of women being first to be represented. She spoke of the issues she will address such as L1, and H1 visas, and minority contracts. One of her visions is to be able bring more funding for organizations like TAGC from the government.
Dr. Bharathi Marri- Psychiatrist, spoke of the mental health issues for women such as post-partum depression, coping with stress and strain. One of the points she made was for women to relax. She also emphasized that these types of awareness and education are important.
Deepali Aul, a nutritionist, was very captivating and engaged the audience with her talk. She gave tips on what is healthy to eat and what type of snacks and oils are better; she also showed how to read the labels on boxes. The crowd could not get enough of the information from her, as they kept asking questions.
Suma Rajashankar, professor at NIU spoke about the STEM program. She mentioned that the Indian community is already aware of the STEM programs and she insisted that the kids should participate in these programs from elementary school onwards. She gave information on several summer clubs and resourceful websites.
While the crowd enjoyed the scrumptious dinner from Indian Harvest restaurant co-ordinated by Raghav Jatla, the final speaker of the evening Nupur Sharma, fashion designer, spoke about the differences between Business Casual and Business Professional clothing. She gave tips on where these kinds of clothes can be bought.
Dinner continued to be enjoyed while Sai Kalpana sang melodiously and Vani Dittakavi garu engaged the crowd with Telugu proverbs. Finally Kiran Mattey thanked everyone for attending and making the event a grand success. Just when one thought the program is ending, DJ Mythri Adhanki led the crowd for some dhamka on the dance floor, bringing the program to an end at 10PM.
One of the other main highlights of the event was the Food Drive conducted by Padma Madireddy. Over 16 boxes of food were collected for Greater Chicago Food Depository to be distributed to the local food pantries.
This event was sponsored by TAGC Platinum sponsors such as Krishna Rangaraju from New York Life Insurance, Ashok Lakshmanan from PMSI Mortgage Solutions, Dentist Surekha Sakala, and real estate agent Dhakshini Anand. At the end, TAGC Secretary Hari Raini thanked all the ATA and TAGC team, Sponsors, Holiday Inn and staff, Volunteers, and youth committee volunteers for making this a very successful event. And of course without the audience, none of this would have been successful. TAGC and ATA hopes to plan more similar events in the future.
This event was photographed by DesiMediaUSA as well as by professional photographer Ashley Hamm. Any feedback is welcome, please send an email to [email protected]