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September 20, 2011 > "The Spirit of Seva"

"The Spirit of Seva"

By Chinmai Raman

India Community Center (ICC), the largest Indian-American community center in the country, offers many programs for the community, including language courses, cultural enrichment programs, ping-pong camps, and even public speaking classes. On September 24, ICC in Milpitas will be hosting its 8th Annual Banquet. Titled "The Spirit of Seva" ("seva" meaning "service" in Sanskrit) the event will feature many dance performances and a sumptuous dinner in order to raise funds for ICC's services for the community.

Last year's theme was "mela" or fair, and in keeping with the custom of having a theme for each of the banquet's last seven years, this year will be a celebration of South Indian traditions. Performances of music, dance, and theater from the Southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh will be featured, in addition to choreographed folk dances in which ICC Board Members and Trustees will dance. For younger attenders, there will Bollywood and Tollywood (two of India's largest film industries) dancing along with a DJ. All of this will be in addition to the special dinner prepared by Amber India Restaurant.

This year's banquet is especially unique because of the debut of the ICC Seva Award. Starting this year, the ICC hopes to recognize distinguished leaders that have made a positive impact in one of four areas: Youth, Innovation, Local Community, and Scale. ICC will reward each winning organization a $5,000 grant, in the hopes that other charitable organizations will follow in making an impact. Winners this year include The Khan Academy, which is famous for providing free lessons to students everywhere; MySahana, which encourages well-being in the South Asian community; Maitri, which helps South Asian women in cases of abuse, displacement, or unresolved conflict; and Pratham, which aims to improve the quality of education in India.

The India Community Center's Annual Banquet is the center's biggest fundraiser of the year, raising funds for its free medical and legal clinics, as well as its senior and teen programs, but it is also a source of great community celebration. The event is open to anyone, and tickets are available online. Attending the event would be to promote not only the spirit of service in our community, but the spirit of community itself.

ICC Annual Banquet SOLD OUT
Saturday, September 24
6 p.m.
India Community Center
525 Los Coches St., Milpitas
(408) 934-1130
Tickets: $500

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