Indu Ganjwani (seated), with members after being sworn in as president of the Long Island Indo American Lions Club.
The organization inducted into Lions Club charter.
It was a festive time for members of the local Indian American community, who got together in Long Island’s Garden City, on June 14, to celebrate the first charter night of the Indo American Lions Club with fun and fair. The icing on the cake was the election of Indu Gajwani as the first woman president of the club.
The newly elected president, as well as other members of the club, were excited because it was also their first event after the induction of the Long Island Indo American Lions Club of district 20-K2 Nassau County & Bermuda into the Lions Club charter.
The three-hour long program, held at Mint restaurant, included induction of new members, motivational messages by Lion’s Club executives and dance performances.
A well-known community leader, Ganjwani has been an Indian American community leader for a long time. She has been involved in leadership roles in the India Day Parade in Hicksville, the Nargis Dutt Memorable Foundation, and the Saaz Aur Awaz program, among other organizations and initiatives.
Gajwani, who immigrated to the US in 1988, said she first learned about the Lions Club and its charitable work while growing up in India.
Welcoming the new charter members, New York and Bermuda District Governor Theresa Whalen said the Long Island chapter joins a community of 46,000 Clubs and 1.5 million members in over 200 counties. The Lions Club International, one of the world’s largest service organization, supports global initiatives like diabetes, visions, environment and childhood cancer that made a difference.
Inducting the news members Vice District Governor Jose Pastrana Pastrana said the Club began with the gift of vision a century ago and it has been following the cause since then.
Senate Minority Leader and New York’s senior Sen. Charles E. Schumer, in his message, said the creation of the long island Indo American Lions Club deserved recognition, as part of an organization that has been committed to improving the communities with humanitarian work since 1917.
Lions Club’s International President Gudrun Yngvadottir said in his message that all Lions were united in the spirit of “we serve,” as they made a difference in communities all-around the world.
Besides Gajwani, other executive charter members of the Club included Rita Shah, who will serve as the first vice president; Dr Sunil Mehra, the second vice president; Nimesh Shah, the Secretary; Kamlesh Parekh, as the treasurer; Anju Sharma, as chair event services; Vijay Shah, as chair marketing communications; Shyam Gajwani, as coordinator-LCIF; and Gobind Bathija, Gary Sikka and Madhu Pareek, as directors of the board.
Acting Consul General of Indian Consulate in New York Shatrughna Sinha said that Lions have always been involved in philanthropic projects, such as bringing sights to the world’s blind people.
Past international President Al Brandel was a guest speaker.
The club presentations included charter, banner, bell and gavel. The closing remarks were presented by Rita Shah and benediction by Sital Shah.
The program started with Ganesh prayer dance by Khushi Oza, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Dr. Sunil Mehra, Lion’s Prayer by Anju Sharma and Lion’s Toast by Gobind Bathija.