Vibha’s ‘Ray of Light’ Gala: A Night of Hope and Celebration
On December 9, 2023, Vibha Atlanta organized Ray of Light Gala that celebrated the 25th anniversary of their Dream Mile and Cricket Tournament at the Omni Hotel with a gathering of hundreds of people that included volunteers, dignitaries, and a starry line-up. “The Ray of Light Gala, once a mere idea, has blossomed into a testament of what a dedicated group of volunteers can achieve when they dare to dream big and contribute tireless efforts with an unwavering belief in their mission.”
[Left] Vibha volunteers came together to celebrate Ray of Light Gala for the 25th anniversary of their Dream Mile and Cricket Tournament.
The highlight of the evening was the presence of Sonu Sood, acclaimed Bollywood actor and philanthropist, as the guest of honor. His moving speech about his personal commitment to community service and the establishment of his foundation captivated the audience and set a powerful tone for the event. “His well-known dedication to helping the underprivileged deeply resonated with everyone present at the event,” said Pravin Chavda, one of the leads of the event.
[Right] Sravan Vellanki and Asha Vellanki of FutureTech with Sonu Sood.
The other guest of honor who spoke on the occasion was Dr. Jagdish Sheth, the Padma Bhushan awardee and Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Business at Goizueta Business School, Emory University who is also a Vibha advisor and board member. Professor Sheth inspired the guests with his words of wisdom and quintessential sense of humor as he highlighted the organization’s achievements and outlined future goals. He emphasized the importance of education and acknowledged Vibha’s undying commitment to the cause, especially in their focus on improving the quality of public education in India.
[Top] Sonu Sood left the audience moved by his speech.
The evening was further enhanced by performances from the Georgia Tech Bhangra team, a vibrant Fashion Show by Team Rang led by Lakshmi Mandavalli, and stand-up comedy by Indian American comedian Kabir Singh. The event also served as an occasion to honor various individuals and groups spanning sponsors, donors, advisors, and volunteers for their unwavering support of Vibha.
[Right] Pramod Sajja and Pratima Sajja of Paramount with Sonu Sood.
Sravan Vellanki, FutureTech CEO and a long-time sponsor of Vibha, said, “FutureTech is proud to be associated with Vibha for the past two decades for making a difference in the lives of children through education. I want to express my congratulations to all the volunteers on completing 25 years of Vibha Cricket and DreamMile.”
[Left] Madhavi Korrapati and Pravin Chavda, Vibha Gala Coordinators, with Sonu Sood.
Pramod Sajja, Paramount CEO and a long-time sponsor and supporter of Vibha, said, “Paramount is elated to be part of Vibha’s Ray of Light Gala 2023. We believe the long-term evolution of society and the amelioration of our civilization is grounded in education, and endorsing Vibha’s mission for improved learning for children in underserved communities delivers on that belief for Paramount.”
“It was a perfect way to end a landmark year for Vibha Atlanta! A magical evening made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, dedication and hard work of our volunteers, and trust and support of all who believe in our effort to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Madhavi Korrapati, co-lead of the event, echoing the sentiment of everyone present.
[Right] Rama, Srinivas, Naveena, and Vijay Vemulapalli of Vibha with Sonu Sood.
Through an outpouring of support from sponsors and donors at the Gala, Vibha was able to successfully raise $220,000. These funds will contribute to Vibha’s ongoing goal to educate ten million children in ten years. These funds will be used for the Foundation Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) solutions for children between five and ten years so that children can read, write, and do basic math. Through the FLN program, Vibha has positively impacted 511,458 children and trained 12,724 teachers across multiple states in India during 2022-23.
The event was not just a fundraising success but also a celebration of community and awareness, leaving a lasting impact on all attendees.
—Photographs by Venkat Kuttua Photography.
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