#OakvilleDiwaliGala; #OakvilleTrafalgarMemorialHospital, #OakvilleHospitalFoundation, #Toronto, #Canada, #MaryMcPherson, #RekhaSharma; #ArtiNagpal
Toronto, Sep 18 (Canadian-Media): An eclectic display of things and events pertaining to Indian culture and lifestyle welcomed visitors to the Lakeshore Convention Center in Mississauga, Ontario on Friday.
They had come to attend the fifth Annual 2018 Oakville Diwali Gala, Oakville's largest South-Asian gala, which also included a fund-raising event in support of Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH).
Diwali is a Indian festival of lights usually celebrated in October/November depending on the Hindu calendar.
Traditional lamps or diya, a symbol of Diwali, was one of the key displays outside the Convention Center.
Diyas displayed outside convention centre
Other displays outside the convention centre were Sarees & Punjabi suits (Traditional dresses for Indian women), shawls, Elephant display and candles.
Displays of sarees, shawls and punjabi suits outside convention centre
The stage of dining hall was fully decorated and to start with a fire play was demonstrated by a young man followed by a fun play called Chuni Off and Chunni On.
Decorated stage with fun and fire works displayed
A silenct auction was part of the evening program and was conducted to raise funds for the OTMH.
This fun event was preceded by the messages given to the community by Mary McPherson, Chief Executive Officer of Oakville Hospital Foundation (OHF); followed by the messages by Rekha Sharma and Arti Nagpal, Chair and Co-Chair respectively of Oakville Diwali.
Arti Nagpal, Mary McPherson, Rekha Sharma (from left to right)
In her message to the community, McPherson's said she had an amazing committee. Both Rekha sharma and Arti Nagpal had worked very hard and added that OHF felt extremely honoured to partner with Oakville Diwali committee (ODC).
She added since its the opening in 2015, OTMH has been caring for growing populations in Oakville and the surrounding communities.
This year, continued McPherson, OTMH's surgical department will be greatly benefited by the community support from Oakville Diwal, which would facilitate OTMH in lauching the greatest campaign, ever since its opening, to fund 77 pieces of surgical equipment and to add a new operating room.
Rekha Sharma, in her opening speech said that People of diverse communities live together in Oakville.
On behalf of the Planning & Organizing committee of Oakville Diwali, Rekha and Arti welcomed everyone to the "largest celebration of Diwali Gala at this largest city of Oakville hospital."
They continued, Diwali which celebrates lighting of diyas, "signifies good over evil, light over darkness, hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance" and added that this festival is celebrated with a lot of fanfare with family prayer and fire works by Hindus, Budhas, Sikhs, Jains all over the world.
This year’s theme, they said was: Rang Mahal literally means Palace of Colours.
Rekha and Arti said that OD has boldly attempted to show to the spectators the rich vibrant culture of India.
Rekha said that after retiring as counsellor and teacher of high school for 20 years, she thought it was time for her to give back to community.
So last year she joined the ODC as a vounteer and this year was selected as a chair.
She did not realize, continued Rekha, it would be such a difficult task as chair.
She had to work sometimes continuously for 12 hours writing hundreds of letters, asking for donations, educating the public about the fund-raising events, and many a times she did not have time to lay food on the table.
Nevertheless, she added, she enjoyed working for a cause and specially for Oakville community.
Both Rekha and Arti thanked sponsors for sponsoring, caring and donors for investing in the hospital, physicians from this hospital and other hospitals, other friends and families who were present, and board of directors for all their valuable advice, encouragement and support.
They said that no organization can do it all alone and thanked all the sponsors, donors and all the media partners for their support.
The event that evening, they added, would be fun-filled and said, we mustbring strong communities together, let investing the future of health for the Oakville hospital.
In the end, Rekha said that "let us celebrate what we have dreams and achieved together."
After the delicious and moth-watering food, the dancers hit the floor with their dances and singing.
In the background there was a performance by a young girl on a musical instrument, in a round closed glass, accompanied by her singing.
Performance on an musical instrument in a closed circular glass
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Images courtesy: Asha Bajaj