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Chinmaya Mission Diwali Banquet Raises $250K

Ranjani Saigal and Anil Saigal

The annual Chinmaya fundraising banquet held to cover the gap between the annual expenses and revenues for Chinmaya Maruti was a smashing success with over @250 K raised within 30 min of the pledge drive.  The banquet was held at the Wyndham hotel in Andover, MA.

The event opened with a prayer by the priest at Chinmaya Maruti. Chinmaya Balvihar then presented a fabulous Ramayana skit.  The young narrators impressed the audience by speaking  in chaste Hindi.   Smt. Sashi Dwarakanath who serves as the coordinator for the Bal Vihar program described the program. "Swami Chinmayananda felt very strongly committed to the Bal Vihar program. Give me your children for twenty five years and I will give you peace he would say," said Smt. Dwarakanath.

Naveen Aggarwal, the dynamic treasurer and marketing coordinator for Chinmaya Maruti presented the details of the budget.  "To run such a large organization one needs to contribute Than-Man-Dhan. Than-Man is donated by the wonderful volunteers under the inspirational leadership of Dr. Dwarakanath.  Unfortunately that is not sufficient. We need Dhan as well and that is why we look to you for help," said Aggarwal. Naveen Aggarwal's skilled marketing efforts drew over 350 people to the event, many of who were new to Chinmaya Maruti.

Dr. Dwarkanath who led the pledge drive encouraging people to give any amount starting from $50.  The pledge amount grew quickly and easily to $25,000 with Dr. Dwarakanath and his wife pledging more than $25,000 for the effort.   Within 30 minutes, with a set of loyal supporters including founder members Ashwani and Anil Singhal, the targeted amount of $250,000 was raised.

Desh Deshpande, gave an inspiring keynote speech.  Desh and Jaishree have been staunch supporters of Chinmaya Maruti from the very beginning.

The cultural segment for the evening continued with a musical segment by the CMB Sangeet group.  Preetesh Shrivastav's flair for comedy showed through as he served as a wonderful  MCEE for the musical segment. Guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner served by Bollywood Grill.  

Overall a wonderful event.

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