Chicago IL: In the presence of 5,000 devotees, dozens of distinguished community leaders, generous sponsors, committee members, super donors, and committed Boards of Trustees and volunteers, Shree Umiya Dham Chicago Midwest (SUDCM) presented a signature event honoring and celebrating Shree Umiya Mataji Garba and Jyoti Rath Swagat (reception) Ceremony on Saturday and Sunday – August 29th and 30th, 2015, at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park Illinois..
Shree Umiya Mataji committee members planned and paid for this 2-day event at their own expense. The event included video highlights of Jyoti Rath Vidai Ceremony in Unjha, Umiya mataji garba, Uchamani (Auction) related to Jyoti Rath and mataji Palakhi, new membership and lifetime trustees, financial commitments, Umiya mataji Rath Sbobha Yatra, Mahapuja and Aarti, delicious food, and meeting the invited dignitaries.
The event started with a dinner, light refreshments, and the display of Jyoti Rath in the South Hall. The program began with Introduction of Master of ceremony Dr Heena Patel & Narendra Patel by each other. Shree Ganesh Struti was performed by Kirit Patel and Dr. Heena Patel. Dr. Heena Patel called all invited guests and dignitaries for Deep Pragatum.
The session started with Dr. Heena Patel introducing Narendra Patel to welcome everyone. Narendra welcomed the guests and thanked them for attending the event. Narendra Patel and Dr. Heena Patel were the masters of ceremony for the two day event.
Narendra Patel then introduced Chhotalal Patel, Chairman of SUDCM, as a person who believes strongly in the importance of the social, religious, and moral values it instills in the youth, giving back to the community and spreading good karma. He is a pillar of strength for our Patidar society in the Midwest region as he is always eager to help any cause, big or small.
Chhotalal welcomed all invited guests and thanked everyone who has helped in organizing this memorable event as this project is very close to his heart. Chhotalal also briefed the audience about the mission of the Shree Umiya Dham. He believes that religious harmony in the name of Umiya Mataji will bring the community together, provide a forum for religious worship and celebration, social as well as cultural development, and most importantly bringing all generations together in the region. He also stressed that the upcoming Shree Umiya Dham project will start with Umiya Mataji Mandir, a large community hall that expands down the road to build a sports complex, and retirement home- all of which should serve the needs of communities for decades to come.
Chhotalal Patel and Narendra Patel introduced chief guest Shree Anilbhai Patel, MP and former minister of State of Gujarat, India, gave wonderful speech about Patel’s history and accomplishment as community. “Our event topped all the celebratory events that have happened in the Chicagoland area this year.” Patel was instrumental in bringing the maximum number of advertisements and sponsorships for the event. In his welcoming speech, SUDCM Chairman, Chhotalal Patel was ebullient on the turnout of the huge crowd. “I am simply speechless to witness the community’s response,” he added.
The large crowd would not have been possible without the extensive support from the Indian news media, mainstream newspapers, and social media. “We created a connecting-all-the-dos plan to develop a publicity package and it was successful,” said Davendra Patel, Board of Trustee, SUDCM.
Jatin and Andy Patel provided details of the Uchamani for Jyoti Rath and Mataji Palakhi. Most Uchamani items settled over $50,000 pledges while the audience cheered and chanted with “Shree Umiya Mataji ki Jai.” Shastriji played a pivotal role for the Uchamani and encouraged members to contribute towards the cause by registering for the different Uchamani categories. Members showed their devotedness towards Shree Umiya Mataji by opening their pockets and making financial pledges.
Displaying similar enthusiasm, Rasikbhai Patel and Macon team enthralled the cheering crowd with their melodious Mataji Garba for several hours. The first day program ended with the Maha Aarti and prasadum around midnight.
On Sunday, August 30, 2015, the event started with fresh breakfast, including tea and freshly brewed Dunkin Donuts coffee till 10:30 AM. Followed by One of the main attractions of the colorful event was a Sbobha Yatra (parade) of Umiya Mataji Rath and Mataji Palakhi with all the available dignitaries, sponsors, Families of SUDCM trustees, Super donors and members led by DJ Arun and Devotee team from Umiya Mataji Temple, Macon, GA. With slogan “Bol Shree Umiya, Jai Jai Umiya” by crowed in their sonorous voice Jyoti Rath and Palakhi were brought back to the expo center and displayed for the public.
Again after brief break starting with Shree Ganesh Struti, sponsors, SUDCM trustees and super donors started Ushamni (Auction) led by Shastriji and generated significant numbers and amount of donations and registered vast number of super donors and trustees. It was time to honor volunteer. Narendra invited Satish Patel to introduce 170+ young mans and women’s in orang T-shirts in groups. Their work was so appreciated that they got standing obsessions from everyone until they left the stage. Also SUDCM team was introduced with their spouses on this great occasion.
Then Mahapuja of the Jyoti Rath performed by Chhotalal Patel, Chairman of SUDCM, and super donors – JP Patel, Mithabhai and Jayantibhai Patel, and Lalbhai Patel along with many others. Followed by Mahapuja Chhotalal Patel Chairman of SUDCM appreciated everyone in words speech from his heart. He could not stop saying Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!! He got standing salute from Macon Georgia team with in single voice “We are proud of you”.
To keep the audience’s eyes glued to the main stage, Narendra Patel, Jatin Patel, and Dr. Heena Patel masterfully engaged the audience with their eloquence and oratory. Arun Mody, also known as DJ Arun, showed his professional talent by playing music for the broadcast. The program went one notch up when members started upgrading their membership categories from lifetime trustees to super donors. About a dozen members were recognized on stage for their contribution to the organization.
While everybody was watching the glittering programs, SUDCM committee members, Sam Patel, Andy Patel, Jitu Patel, Dipak Desai, Satish Patel, Vijay Patel, Dilip Patel, Pankaj Patel, Brijesh Patel, Dipal Patel, Sonal Patel, were devoting their energies on coordinating with ticket sales, taking care of all the financial pledges, vendor placements, deliverance of food and beverages, organizing rides for children, placing numerous banners, lining up artists, directing volunteers, welcoming dignitaries, managing parking lot issues and guiding technicians to present a successful display of Shree Umiya Mataji Rath.
SUDCM decided to honor a few guests on this occasion with a special recognition award. Awardees were Shree Umiya Mataji Temple, Macon, GA; Edison, NJ and Boston, MA, before serving dinner, the SUDCM team thanked all members for attending the event. At the end, Suresh Bodiwala gathered everyone for group photos.
The audience was thrilled and fascinated by the event and service from the volunteers, and most importantly the first-hand view of Shree Umiya Mataji Jyoti Rath. This event was attended by community leaders such as Mithabhai, Jayantibhai Patel, Dr.Hinaben Patel, Haribhai Patel, Dahyabhai Prajapati, Babubhai Patel, Khodabhai Patel, Mansukhbhai Patel, Dr. AJ Patel, Ambalal Patel, Narshinh Patel, Shankar Patel, Gordhan Patel, Hasmukh (HK) Patel, Vinod Patel, Kanti Patel, Sitaram Patel, Harshad Desai, Sonal Patel, and all successful businessmen and prominent professionals. SUDCM Working Team: Chhotalal Patel (Chairman), AP Patel, Ashvin (Andy) Patel, Brijesh Patel, Dashrath (DV) Patel, Devendra Patel, Dharmisth Patel, Dilip Patel, Dipak Desai, Dipal Patel, Dr. Hemant Patel, Jayantibhai (JP) Patel, Jatin Patel, Jitu Patel, Lalbhai Patel, Manoj Patel, Narendra Patel, Pankaj Patel, Revabhai Patel, Shailesh (Sam) Patel, and Vijay Patel.