GATA Diwali Damaka: star-spangled entertainment, fun-filled fireworks
GATA celebrated Diwali with great splendor on Nov 9th evening at Berkmar High School. Over 700 people participated. South Indian actress Vimala Raman was chief guest while Super Singer Sagar and Ranina Reddy were guests of honor. Other Tollywood artists, senior comedian Chitti Babu, character actress Madhumani, and dancer Chandini were also special guests who spangled more color and light to the star night and entertained the Atlanta Telugu families with their enormous energies and talent.
The program started with jyothi prajvalana by guests Chitti Babu, Madhumani, and leaders of the community Sri G. Narender Reddy garu, Sri Bala Indurti garu, Sri Viju Chiluveru garu, Sri Ratnakar Eluganti garu, GATA chief coordinator Venu Pisike garu, and coordinator Rani Vakiti garu. Students of Smt. Sasikala Penumarti from Academy of Kuchipudi Arts performed the “Ganesha Kowtvam” dance and helped kick off the event in a fantastic way. To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Dutta Raaga Fine Arts performed a dance drama “Swami Vivekananda” which enthralled the audience. Children and adults participated in this drama written and directed by Smt. Aparna Turaga.
The eagerly awaited “Tollywood hungama” began with a dance performance by Chandini; the mesmerized audience was left wondering about this gifted performer, whom they had never seen before. Singers Sagar and Ranina Reddy rocked the show with their incredible talent, wit, and natural sense of humor. The dance performances on Telugu hit songs by students of Shiv’s Institute of Dance was the icing on the cake, leaving the audience requesting encores. Standing ovations were given for the extraordinary singing by Sagar and Ranina and the dance performance by the kids to the song “Mee intikimundo gate” from movie Julai.
Actress Vimala Raman entertained with her charming expressions and graceful dances to hit songs. Senior actor Chitti Babu and actress Madhumani performed numerous comedy skits. Atlanta-settled movie and TV actor Sri Naveen Oleti joined the Tollywood pair.
Students of GATA Summer Telugu School received recognition certificates for attending the 9-week-long summer course. Language teachers were Smt. Usha Mocherla and Sri. Vasu Vanam. The recently concluded GATA-organized ATA Charity Cricket Tournament trophy presentation was held thereafter. ATA Trustee Sri. Karunakar Asireddy along with other Atlanta ATA leadership presented the Runners-up and Winners trophies to teams ACC Titans and Jalsa. A $5000 charity donation check on behalf of GATA was presented to Sri Ratnakar Eluganti on behalf of the tournament beneficiary, Impact Children’s Cancer Hospital, Hyderabad.
A GATA souvenir publication to showcase the year's events and the local literary talent was released by chief guest Sri Vimala Raman. Fireworks fun was arranged outside the theatre soon after the cultural events. Many families engaged themselves nearly an hour celebrating Diwali by lighting varieties of crackers.
The occasion was memorable, the songs stupendous, the food superlative and the participation tremendous. Telugu families in Atlanta proudly affirmed that the warmth and affection of our cherished festivals and culture are to be found in abundance in our adopted home here because of the sincerity of purpose of the GATA team members.
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Apart from actively coordinating the entertainment, the organizers recognized sponsors, volunteers and guests, including:
o Event Sponsors – EiS Technologies, N2N Services, and NATA.
o Sponsors – Vensai Technologies, ATA, Rapid IT, Everest Technologies, Serenity Infotech, Corpteq, Mayuri Indian Restaurant, Jai Hind Groceries, Softpath System, and Shekar’s Realty.
• For the success of the event many individuals contribution was commendable. Sri. Venkat Chennubhotla managed audio and acted as MC to the program along with Phani Dokka, while Bindya Panguluru and Rajyalaxmi Anugu helped with Diwali sweets prep. Ed Anandapu designed the stage along with his wife Smt. Amaravathi and other women volunteers who also set up the front stage and reception area. Satya Karnati, Shankar Gandra, and Srinivas Avula helped backstage, Goutham Goli and Venkatesh Polu with transportation, Sridhar Vakiti and Praveen Boppi as usual did an excellent job with photography and video coverage, and TV5 and Mana TV were the exclusive Media partners for the event. GATA Coordinators managed their roles exceptionally well: Sunil Kuturu with food and fireworks, Rani Vakiti with decoration, Madhav Kusam with guest transportation and accommodation, and Anupama Subbagari with vendor stalls.
o Sri. Venkatesh Polu, Sri. Edukondalu Anandapu, and Sri. Sridhar Vakiti were recognized for their outstanding support to all the GATA events in 2013.
o GATA Team recognized the women volunteer team who were instrumental for the success of all GATA events in 2013. Smt. Jyothi Goli, Smt. Aparna Turaga, Smt. Swathi Sudini, Smt. Sirisha Paradarami, Smt. Neeraja Goverdhana, Smt. Jyothi Kasireddy, and Smt. Aparna Potturi received mementos for their outstanding and unconditional volunteer support throughout the year.
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