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Indian Cultural Heritage Celebration At Performance Gazebo Deemed A Success

One of the dancers who performed at the Indian Cultural Heritage celebration in the Performance gazebo.

The arts and culture of India was on display for more than two hours June 23 at the township’s Performance gazebo on DeMott Lane.

Sponsored by teh Sodhani Foundation, the event featured performers by The PRAYOG Group, Madhu Bhandari and Vikram Mehta. Presented were dancers, singers, instrumentalists as well as a short play.

The celebration was meant to “promote cultural values from all walks of life at a unique and unifying gazebo location,” said Vimal Sodhani, a township resident and head of the Sodhani Foundation.

It was Sodhani’s foundation that kick started the fundraising for the gazebo in 2017 with a $15,000 donation.

“This structure serves to bring our community together by establishing a cultural haven for the arts which upholds a shared value and vision of friendship where universal values are preserved and protected,” Sodhani said. “Our motivation to build this gazebo and to support this project was to promote art and culture. The Franklin Township gazebo stands as a symbol to promote peace and harmony.”

“Whatever we can do for the community,” he said.

The idea for a gazebo was conceived by Bill Grippo, a former township politician and current principal at MacAfee Road School. Grippo partnered with John Felix and Michael Steinbrück from the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council to promote the project.

“I just hope we have many more, not just concerts, but these community celebrations,” Grippo said. “A peace rally if you need it, a memorial if you need it, concerts, obviously.”

“One of my dreams is to have a community band like you see in many communities,” he said. “This is the facility for it.”

“We have a lot to be thankful for, I hope we can do many more,” Grippo said.

Also on hand were Mayor Phil Kramer and Township Council members Kimberly Francois, Crystal Pruitt and Rajiv Prasad.

Two commendations were presented, one to Sodhani for “your continued support in the cultural, educational and diversity programs” within the township,” and one to teh three performing groups in “appreciation and commendation for making the Indian Cultural Heritage celebration at the Franklin Township Performance Gazebo a great success.”

Kramer also recognized Grippo for his vision in starting the gazebo project.

Here are some scenes from the event:

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