THE 6th annual Kalgidhar Society fundraiser took place on Saturday, May 23 at Surrey’s Grand Taj Banquet Hall. This yearly event has quickly become a must-attend event for hundreds of British Columbians with many of them marking their calendars well in advance in anticipation.
2015 master of ceremony Rina Kaur Chawla led an energy-filled night with many enthusiastic moments. The night kicked off with an emotionally charged rendition of Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Ehe, performed by the students of Akal Academy Surrey.
Kiran Kaur Saluja followed up with the official welcome speech to officially kick off the 2015 event.
Though Baba Iqbal Singh Ji, President of the Kalgidhar Society Baru Sahib, could not attend the event in person, he did prepare a special message for the evening which was shared with all in attendance. Baba Ji took this opportunity to thank the countless volunteers who make the Kalgidhar Society successful and elaborated on the positive effects that the service has on people.
Guest of honour Dr. Khem Singh Gill, a former vice chancellor who is Chairman of the Akal Academies, delivered a heartwarming speech as he related the service that Akal Academy renders to the fundamental foundations of Sikhism. A slide show presentation showing the transition of poverty-stricken children into smart, affluent Sikhs really seemed to invigorate the volunteers and gala attendees, providing reassurance that the society has been doing great work.
The focal point of the gala was the new university being constructed by the Kalgidhar Society at historical place Sri Damdama Sahib Talwandi Sabo Punjab. Bhai Amandeep Singh from Baru Sahib provided a much anticipated update on the construction and informed the congregation that the Akal University Guru Kashi’s first phase (650,000 sq. ft. building area) has been completed. This announcement was greeted with a thunderous ovation from the guests. Classes will start in July and the construction of the second phase will continue. Throughout the evening the Akal Academy Surrey students gave a number of high-spirited performances.
Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji spoke about the program Akal Academy Surrey has been providing to local Sikh youth for the last seven years. Other guest speakers included Bhupinder Singh, Senior Regional Manger of TD Bank, Bhai Kulwinder Singh, and Dr. Sarbjit Singh Virk of Seattle.