( PR4US.com | Press Release | 2018-09-19 07:36:04 )
#OakvilleDiwaliGala, #OakvilleTrafalgarMemorialHospital, #Toronto, #Canada
Toronto, Sep 18 (IBNS): An eclectic display of things pertaining to Indian culture and lifestyle welcomed visitors to the Lakeshore Convention Center in Mississauga 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.
Traditional dresses for Indian women, shawls, elephant displays and candles were also there.
A young man demonstrated a fire play which was followed by a funny play called Chunni Off and Chunni On.
A silent auction was part of the evening program that 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 messages by Rekha Sharma and Arti Nagpal, Chair and Co-Chair respectively of Oakville Diwali.
In her message to the community, McPherson 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 the growing population in Oakville and the surrounding communities.
This year, continued McPherson, OTMH's surgical department will be greatly benefited by the community support from Oakville Diwali, which would facilitate OTMH in launching 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, Sharma and Nagpal welcomed everyone to the "largest celebration of Diwali Gala at this largest city of Oakville hospital."
Diwali signifies good over evil, light over darkness, hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance, they explained. They also said that this festival is celebrated with a lot of fanfare with family prayer and fire works by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs,and Jains all over the world.
This year’s theme was Rang Mahal literally meaning Palace of Colours
Rekha Sharma and Arti Nagpal said that OD has boldly attempted to show to the spectators the rich vibrant culture of India.
Sharma said that after retiring as a counselor and teacher of a 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 volunteer and this year was selected as a chair.
She did not realize, admitted Sharma, it would be such a difficult task as a 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.
Nevertheless, she added, she enjoyed working for a cause and specially for Oakville community.
They said that no organization can do it all alone and thanked all the sponsors, donors and all the media partners for their support.
After the delicious and mouth-watering food, dancers hit the floor with enthusiasm.
In the background, there was a performance by a young girl on a musical instrument, in a round closed glass, accompanied by singing.
(Reporting and images by Asha Bajaj)
Images courtesy: Asha Bajaj