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Anaheim, CA, August 17, 2009
Annie Mezzacappa/ Gary Singh, LA

Anaheim City Council Member Harry Sidhu and his wife, Gin, hosted a “Gala 62nd India Independence Day Celebration” and “Sidhu for OC Supervisor 2010 Kick-Off” at their historic Old Yorba Estate home on Sunday, August 16, 2009. The festive event was attended by more than 300 guests, and a broad representation of prominent elected officials and civic leaders were in attendance, including:

Fullerton Mayor Don Bankhead; Fullerton City Council Member F. Richard Jones; Brea Councilmember Roy Moore; Brea Councilmember Marty Simonoff; Cypress Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. Prakash Narain; Irvine Councilmember, Dr. Steven Choi; Mission Viejo Council Member Trish Kelley; Placentia Councilmember, Constance Underhill; Stanton Mayor Al Ethans; Stanton Mayor Pro Tem, Ed Royce, Sr.; Stanton Council Member David J. Shawver; Former Anaheim Council Member Frank Feldhaus; Former Anaheim Council Member Irv Pickler; Santa Monica Deputy Police Chief Philip Sanchez; Quang Pham, Candidate for U.S. Congress, 47th Dist.; Hugh Nguyen, Candidate for OC Clerk/Recorder; M. Reza Karkia, Commissioner, CA Health Policy & Data Advisory, Council Member, CA Council on Criminal Justice; Anaheim Planning Commissioner Stephen Faessel; Anaheim Community Services Board Member Susan Faessel; Anaheim Planning Commissioner Kristine Murray; Todd Ament - Anaheim Planning Commissioner, Workforce Investment Board Member, & Anaheim Chamber of Commerce President/CEO; Anaheim Investment Advisory Commissioner Ajay Khetani; and Anaheim Park & Recreation Board Member Dhiru Vadodaria. Event sponsors included: GBS Linens; Visser’s Florist; Dr. Birinder Sahai; Ajay Khetani; Paul Singh; and Hardeep Sandhu.

Among the very special guests were Councilman Sidhu’s father, Karnail Singh Gyani, and mother, Monica Kaur Gyani, visiting from Philadelphia, and his Uncle, Retired Indian Army Colonel Darshan Singh Sidhu, visiting from Canada.

The well-respected Inder Singh [Pres., Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), founding Pres. of Federation of Indian Associations of So. Calif., Past Pres. & Chairman of National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA)] provided an historical perspective on the importance of the India Independence Day celebration.

Those attending enjoyed an exciting array of diverse cultural entertainment including: a medley of American patriotic songs (“The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” “God Bless America”) and “Summertime,” sung by accomplished vocalist Vanessa Cedeno, with keyboard accompaniment by her grandmother, Eileen Wright; a range of patriotic (“Jana Gana,” “Vande Mataram”), classical, and popular Indian songs performed by internationally acclaimed Mumbai performing artists Manisha Salva and Bipin Chunawala; the talented young dancers of Vandana Dance Company performing “Niganhen Milane ko” - semi-classical “Kawwali” dance form and “Jai Ho” - the Oscar® winning song from “Slumdog Millionaire;” performances by four dancers of award-winning Arpana Dance Company and Arpana School of Dance, under the artistic direction of Ramya Harishankar, as presented by Harish Murthy of Ektaa Center; and a romantic dance number by emcee Anupama Desai - creative writer, poet, seminar leader, keynote speaker and talented dancer.

A highlight of the evening was Councilman Sidhu receiving from Chris Lowe, Dir., Gov’t Relations, Disneyland® Resort, a photo commemorating the “historic” visit of India Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the Anaheim resort on November 12, 1961. Councilman Sidhu graciously accepted the tribute and explained what an honor it was to have everyone join “in wonderful celebration of the true meaning of independence, freedom, liberty, and cultural diversity.” He also expressed how coming to Philadelphia with his parents and becoming an American citizen were such proud moments in his life, and what a privilege it was to serve as an elected official in Anaheim, the 10th largest city in California. Councilman Sidhu further stated that he is now seeking to continue to serve regionally as an Orange County Supervisor. He also gave “very special thanks” to his wonderful wife, Gin, for her amazing efforts in making the event possible, their fantastic kids, Sohina and Rohan, his visiting parents and uncle, "Mother” (-in-law), Manjit Bansal, Assistant, Annie Mezzacappa, and the many hardworking volunteers who helped with the festivities.

Since 2004, Harry Sidhu has served as an Anaheim Councilman – the first Indian American to achieve this position. More information on his Orange County Supervisor candidacy will soon be available on his website:






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