UCCA hosts grand musical Christmas banquet

UCCA Celebration Lamp Lighting
UCCA Celebration Lamp Lighting

Madhu Patel

CHICAGO: A glittering evening replete with melodious carols, dance presentations, inspiring remarks and uplifting yuletide sermonette marked the Grand Christmas Banquet celebrations organized by United Christian Cultural Association [UCCA] on Friday, December 16, 2022 at the Cotillion Banquet in Palatine, a Chicago suburb that drew a large gathering of families Illustrating the spirit of Christmas with interludes of beautiful strains of Christmas carols presented by Tollywood’s music director Anup Reuben.

UCCA Lamp Lightinhg
UCCA Lamp Lightinhg

This Grand Christmas celebration had 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 community members at the grand pre-Christmas banquet.

The evening had the musical performances by Tollywood’s music director Anup Reuben and his ensemble that enthralled the guests with uplifting Christmas carols and musical hits. He presented a new genre of music, a fusion of the traditional Christmas songs transposed with upbeat melodies. Anup Reuben 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 Somnath Ghosh– who in his remarks – said

Christmas festival manifests joy, 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 help build modern India.   He expressed his appreciation to the UCCA leaders for inviting him to 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 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. He acknowledged and thanked the fellow board and directors for their unstinted cooperation in hosting this grand Christmas banquet. 

Earlier, Keerthi Kumar Ravoori welcomed the gathering and introduced the chief guest Ambassador Somnath Ghosh, and later joined by UCCA leaders honoring 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 for united celebrations of 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 summer cricket tournament in partnership with Illinois Cricket Association.

Pastor Zadda Chakravorthy delivered 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 candle light ceremony was led by Havilah Devarapalli, Margaret Charles, Saritha Pasumarthi, Ujwala Neela and Persis Dadepogu. The event was 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, NageshwariCherikonda, MalatiDomaraju, Vijay Ravoori, Rahul Viratapu.

 In closing UCCA President Raju Pasumarthi honored, Chicago community’s pastors Rev. Dr. David Vidyasagar, RajamaniGounu, Mrs. Subhadra Vipparthi, Victor Omega, Mathew Vattiprolu, ZaddaChakravorthy and Madhukar Bushi.

 The evening celebrations concluded with entire hall luminous with candlelight while singing the traditional carol “Silent Night” which was followed by the serving of the festive dinner.

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