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IAC raises $100,000 at annual gala

September 30
21:12 2012

Keynote Speaker Dr. Sunil Kumar, Dean, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. Pic Ganesh Yadav

CHICAGO: An annual gala event of the Indo-American Community (IAC) held at Oakbrook Marriott Hotel in Oakbrook on Sunday September 16 met with big success, judging from the number of guests and invitees coming to the event and the organization succeeding in raising over $100,000 for its various community oriented activities.
In addition to allocating funds for expansion, the Center has identified areas for expanding the base of its activities. The Center, executive director Jay Luthra said, plans a lunch for the Seniors’ Program ($3.60 each) and a BEST exam to measure literacy growth for students in IAC’s Adult Literacy Program ($450 annually to test literacy students).
“Investing in the Community for a Better Return” was the theme for this year’s gala. Over the course of the past year, IAC has done just this: IAC implemented a Workforce Development Program in January 2012 that has exceeded programmatic expectations to meet the increasing needs of the community, and to assist clients in gaining employable skills and assist in their job searching process.
The Emcee for the evening was Dr. Sandy Goldberg, NBC5 Contributor, and Founder and Chairman of A Silver Lining Foundation. The evening’s festivities included live and silent auctions, a matching donation program, and addresses from Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sunil Kumar, Dean, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago; and Special Guest, Neal Katyal, Lawyer and Chaired Professor of Law at Georgetown University.
In his address to the audience, Neal Katyal, said that playing the role of a mentor is at the heart of what IAC does. For Katyal, it is the guidance and support of such mentors during “vulnerable moments” that are instrumental in achieving the dream of “making it” that immigrants share.
Dr. Sunil Kumar is the first Indian Dean at the Booth School of Business. In his address, he commended IAC because it does not “draw lines” in deciding who to help in the community. In encouraging guests to contribute, Dr. Kumar compared IAC’s work to performing acupuncture – IAC has identified and is addressing pressure points in the community to achieve the maximum impact.
In this way, each donated dollar has more leverage to make a difference. He reminded his audience: “You cannot make sure the dream to be there for people who come after us if we are not there to help.”
The Center thanked its sponsors for supporting the IAC and its mission: Diamond Level: BMO Harris Bank; Platinum: National Republic Bank of Chicago; Gold: Drs. Vijayalakshmi and Bapu Arekapudi, Blackstone Group, TEKchand, LLC; Silver: Air India; Bronze: Manatosh and Basanti Banerji, Renee Gauri, and Ram and Uma Kelkar.
IAC is a not-for-profit community service organization serving the South Asian immigrant population. It promotes the well being of South Asian immigrants through services that facilitate their adjustment, integration and friendship with the wider society, and at the same time fostering the appreciation for their heritage and culture.

Rachael Bruketta

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