In a show of overwhelming support to Telugu Association of North America (TANA)’s 19th Convention in Dallas (first time), more than 600 people turned up at the Lindero Ranch in Irving to kick-off the fund-raising event. Telugu Association of North Texas (TANTEX), the local Telugu Association is co-host of this convention. Manjulata Kanneganti, TANA South West Regional Representative, welcomed the gathering and spoke briefly about TANA activities.
The whole crowd was exuberant since the Dallas Telugu community is hosting TANA Biennial Convention in 35 years of history of TANA. 19th TANA Convention will be held at Dallas Convention Center from May 24th – 26th, 2013 (Memorial Day Weekend). Prasad Thotakura, TANA President in his opening remarks mentioned that in 2000 a TANA Regional conference was conducted in Dallas very successfully and that in 2006 it-self led to the idea of hosting a full-scale TANA Convention soon. He is very happy that it is materializing now owing to several leaders in TANA and Dallas Telugu community. He promised to make it as a memorable event for generations of Telugus to remember. Recognizing the phenomenal talent pool amongst NRIs in USA, he sees that this will be a great opportunity to show-case them all here.
The program included speeches by former TANA Presidents such as Dr. Navaneetha Krishna Gorrepati, Dr. Raghavendra Prasad and current TANA Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Chowdary Jampala. Dr. Jampala thanked the local Telugu community for actively participating in TANA activities for a long time and confident that this upcoming convention would be highly successful. Prasad Thotakura announced that for this 19th TANA Convention Dr. Navaneetha Krishna Gorrepati will serve as Convention Chairman and Dr. Raghavendra Prasad Convention Advisory Council Chairman. Prasad also introduced more than 30 people Convention Advisory Council members. They all expressed their strong hope that this will certainly be a great Convention that will remain in the history of TANA while offering their full support.
Responding to Murali Vennam, 19th TANA Convention Coordinator’s appeal to all attendees to support the Convention generously several donors came forward with $25,000, $20,000, $10,000 contributions. Pelaprolu Sagar, Samba Jasti and Shiva Vankayalapati announced and presented their first check of $25,000 for the success of the convention. Dr. Raghava Reddy announced $50, 000 on behalf of his close friends Dr. Premsagar Reddy and Dr. Pailla Mallareddy. Chalapathi Rao Kondrakunta announced a total of $75,000 on behalf his family and friends Leelakumar Kaza and Seshagiri Rao Battula. Manju Kanneganti announced $25,000 from his family. The attendees have risen to the occasion and have given over $618,618 – a record amount, by the end of the evening. Prasad Thotakura, Murali Vennam and Dr. Chowdary Jampala have thanked the entire Dallas Telugu community for their public spirit to put Telugu pride and Dallas pride at the top in USA. Murali Vennam introduced more than 80 people TANA convention team in the first phase.
All the attendees were treated to excellent classical dance performances – Tribhuvani , Kuchipudi Fusion by Kuchipudi Kalakshetra under the tutelage of Padma Sonti, Raasa Kreeda by Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance School under the tutelage of Srilatha Suri. Showcasing further the younger talent of Dallas, the Blue Flame Dance Group performed Tollywood Mix trained under Nirmitha Shukla and Yogitha Manduva. Tollywood Heroine Pranita attended as a special guest and appreciated TANA for their decades of community service and wished all the best with the 19th TANA Convention.
Riveting & lilting songs were performed as a part of musical entertainment by Sarada Akunuri, an accomplished singer and current President of Telugu Cultural Association, Houston as well as Chairperson, TANA Chaitanya Sravanti (2013). She was joined by several local singers including Samba Karnati, Suresh Pattani, Chandrahas Maddukuri, Karthik Kota. Dr. Alla Srinivasa Reddy’s performance of rural folk songs transported the audience to the memories of rural Andhra Pradesh. Suresh Vuluvala entertained with his amazing mimicry acts. Chandrahas Maddukuri and Udayagiri Rajeswari did an excellent job as Master and Mistress of ceremonies.
A vote of thanks by Murali Vennam included the management & staff of Lindero Ranch for their excellent facilities; media promotion by TV 9 and TV5; delicious food sponsors Vindu Indian Cuisine, Our Place Restaurant and Paradise Biryani Point; Armale Studio for digital and video coverage.
The meeting ended with Prasad Thotakura thanking everybody for their spirit of giving in raising $618,618 at the kick-off itself. He made an ardent appeal to reach everybody to contribute generously to make this 19th TANA Conference one of the greatest events in Dallas’s history.