A glittering evening replete with stirring melodious carols, dance presentations, inspiring remarks, and uplifting yuletide sermonette marked the Grand Christmas Banquet celebrations organized by the United Christian Cultural Association [UCCA] on Friday, December 16, 2022, at the Cotillion Banquet in Palatine, Illinois that drew a large gathering of families Illustrating the spirit of Christmas with interludes of beautiful strains of Christmas carols presented by Tollywood’s blockbuster music director Anup Reuben that elevated the festive merriment.
This Grand Christmas celebration was strikingly enhanced by the presence of Ambassador Somnath Ghosh, Consul General of India, and was joined by a host of community/business leaders representing all major faiths complemented by a large presence of families who converged to celebrate the grand pre-Christmas banquet.
The evening encompassed mesmerizing musical performances presented by Tollywood’s blockbuster music director Anup Reuben and his ensemble who enthralled the guests with uplifting Christmas carols and musical hits. He presented a new genre of music, a fusion of traditional Christmas songs transposed with upbeat melodies. Anup Reuben energized the entire evening with his zestful music and was later collectively honored and blessed by the clergy.
The evening celebrations set off with the inter-faith lighting of the Christmas Candles led by Ambassador Somnath Ghosh, Consul General of India – who in his remarks – said
Christmas festival manifests joy, and peace and fosters fellowship with each other in the spirit of goodwill and love. Ambassador Somnath Ghosh outlined the history and applauded the role of Christians in contributing to helping build modern India. Ambassador Somnath Ghosh expressed his profound appreciation to the UCCA leaders for inviting him to the Christmas celebration program and complimented them for hosting such a grand festivity.
Dr. Heyer Devarapalli, Founder Chair of UCCA welcomed the gathering and said UCCA has been in the forefront of taking initiatives in hosting medical camps, charitable drives, and other humanitarian work to help fellow human beings – which he said represents the spirit of Christmas and Christianity. Dr. Paul Heyer Devarapalli acknowledged and thanked their fellow board and directors for their unstinted cooperation in hosting this grand Christmas banquet and showcasing the community’s strength of unity and its growing significance.
Earlier, Keerthi Kumar Ravoori welcomed the gathering and introduced the chief guest Ambassador Somnath Ghosh, Consul General of India, and later joined by UCCA leaders honored the ambassador by presenting a silk shawl and flower bouquet by UCCA’s women leaders.
Raju Enoch Pasumarthi, UCCA President thanked the gathering of the families by unitedly celebrating Christmas and added that UCCA is geared up to announce an exciting series of summer programs for the community. Emmanuel Neela, UCCA Vice President recognized some of the prominent Telugu community leaders. While Vasanth Charles proposed a vote of thanks. Satish Dadepogu unveiled UCCA’s plans for hosting a summer cricket tournament in partnership with the Illinois Cricket Association. Pastor Zadda Chakravorthy delivered a Christmas sermonette. Youth presented a Christmas Nativity play directed by Deena Pasumarthi and performed by Tina Devarapallli and Sharon Dadepogu. Ms. Angel Varghese made a special dance performance.
The Christmas candlelight ceremony was led by Havilah Devarapalli, Margaret Charles, Saritha Pasumarthi, Ujwala Neela and Persis Dadepogu. The event was eloquently emceed by Margaret Charles. Several community leaders were acknowledged at the evening including Ajeet Singh, Madan Pamulpati, Sreenivas Bopanna, Nick Verma, Subbu Iyer, Mahesh Kakarla, Sheshu Reddy, Hemachandra, Ramakrishna Nuna, Naresh, Khurram Syed, Nageshwari Cherikonda, Malati Domaraju, Vijay Ravoori, Rahul Viratapu.
In closing UCCA President Raju Pasumarthi honored, the Chicago community’s pastors Rev. Dr. David Vidyasagar, Rajamani Gounu, Mrs. Subhadra Vipparthi, Victor Omega, Mathew Vattiprolu, Zadda Chakravorthy, and Madhukar Bushi.
The evening celebrations concluded with the entire hall luminous with candlelights while singing the traditional carol “Silent Night” which was followed by the serving of the festive dinner.
Photograph: Asian Media USA