By Stany G D’Souza Photography: Dr Austin D’Souza
Chicago: In Chicago it was as if like sky has opened and water is pouring from the sky. In spite of torrential rain and thunderstorms, the ardent well-wishers of The Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association took part in this unique charity program of Seeds of Hope without being intimidating by the severe weather. This program is one of its kinds in the Association’s decade long history. The event was organized by the Association to help the most needy leprosy patients and their children back in Talchar in the state of Odisha, India to support the organization “Kripasadan” (Efforts of Mercy) run by the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady Graces. The Sisters through their dedicated and tireless service provide the leprosy patients and their children with medical service, social, emotional, educational and economic rehabilitation.
The program was formally initiated by the current President and Compeer of the program, Steven D’Souza, inviting the past president and the chairperson of the event to give the welcome words. In his remarks Mr. D’Souza recognized all the guest and well-wishers of the Association for their help and support in serving the noble cause of helping the disadvantaged. Fr. George Agger, SVD, who provides his spiritual and humanitarian service in West Indies was invited to bless the food. Fr. Agger praised the efforts of the Association members in helping the poorest and neediest families in supporting their all-round development. The guests were served with delicious appetizers, food, dessert and soft drinks. There were quite a few activities arranged by the organizers of the program and to name a few are: Face Painting, Spinning the Wheel, Bean-bag-toss, Bucketing the Ping-Pong, Guessing game and ringing the bottles. All the participants from toddlers to adults enjoyed these fun-filled games and tried their luck in winning them! There was a Big Raffle and 50/50 raffle draw. The winners of big raffle were Susan Shaik of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Mable Cardoza of Canada and Esther Misquita of Chicago. The 50/50 raffle was won by Charmaine D’Souza. Most of them either donated all or part of their winnings to support the charity cause. The Knights of Columbus from Holy Family Church had a brief presentation at the program, who issued a check for $500 as donation.
We are profoundly grateful to Sunset Foods, Northbrook for providing us with sumptuous food of multiple varieties. We also acknowledge Gordon Food Service (GFS) and Di Nico’s Pizza and Trugurt Yogurt for providing us with other items of food. There were delicious Indian dishes prepared by the members of the Association. The Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine of Schaumburg, Illinois provided a gift certificate for auction. The Organizing committees expressed gratitude to all our donors and well-wishers for their support and help to make the event great success.