CERRITOS, CA - Susan Daniel Memorial (SDM) Cancer Relief Fund raised over $100,000 at its 30th annual fundraising banquet held on Oct 17 at the Sheraton here. With close to 500 guests in attendance, the evening was filled with entertainment, laughter, food, fun, and fundraising. Mathew Daniel, who lost his wife,
Abraham Mathew, current SDM president, gave a brief presentation on SDM, adding that events like these were not possible without help from volunteers and other dedicated individuals who choose to help others.
Awards were handed to Ravi Vellatheri who was honored for his untiring service to SDM as well as C.A. Philipose who has been with SDM since its inception.
In between speeches and fundraising, the guests were kept entertained by comedian Rajiv Satyal, a dance troupe and musicians.
Entertaining and making the audience laugh comes easily to Satyal. Comparing life to toilet paper he went on to say “Indians are like almonds; actually more like coconuts because Indians are hairy,” to which the crowd roared with laughter.
Starting the night off was Valley Group, a Kerala style percussion band performing Chenda Melam .
Joya Kazi and her fellow dancers set the stage on fire with the Bollywood dance numbers dancing to the popular “Dil Cheez Kya Hai” “Kehna Hi Kya” “Salaam e Ishq Meri Jaan” and “Asalaam e Ishqum,” among others.
Pottukulam did the raffle drawings throughout the evening for prizes which included a Dell desktop computer, HP laptop among others and the final most anticipated prize an Apple watch which was won by a 13-year- old boy who according to Pottukulam was “now going to be very popular!” SDM secretary Jai Johnson, thanked everyone for attending and contributing to making the event and the organization successful. Daniel came on stage to interrupt Johnson and honor him for being an amazing secretary since 1995. As guests enjoyed dinner they were kept entertained with songs by “Music of India” featuring Maya and Biju.