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(Submitted photo)

Local community celebrates culture and education at 'Bollywood Night' and scholarship dinner


Wed, May 15th 2024 08:30 am

Press Release

Over 150 community members gathered at the Wheatfield Senior Center on the evening of May 11 to celebrate the annual “Bollywood Night” and scholarship dinner hosted by Bridge Niagara Foundation and Naz716 Business Center. The event, which commenced at 5 p.m. with guest arrivals and networking, was a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of the local community.

The evening kicked off with a heartfelt welcome and opening prayers by Anas Mangla, followed by an inspiring address from Nasreen Akhtar, vice president of Bridge Niagara Foundation. She provided insights into the initiatives of Naz716 and Bridge Niagara and paid tribute to her late mother, Farzana Begum, in whose honor the Farzana Legacy Scholarship has been established.

The attendees enjoyed a stunning display of culture through an Indian and Pakistani dance introduction by Solomon Joseph and a spirited Bhangra dance performance by Bhangra Buffalo. The performances set an energetic tone for the evening and were a highlight for many.

A delicious halal Pakistani/Indian feast was served at 6:15 p.m., allowing guests to enjoy a variety of sumptuous dishes that were as delightful as they were authentic. The dinner set the stage for a series of reflective talks, including a poignant reflection by Areeba Ali on her grandmother, Farzana, emphasizing the values of kindness and community she instilled.

Akhtar later recognized local businesses, vendors and sponsors who contributed to the community's growth. This led up to the scholarship and award ceremony where the Naz716 Business of the Year was awarded to Origins of Beauty, owned by Zahra Evans. Scholarships were presented to Arooj Kynat and Saba Ali.

The event continued with musical performances, including nostalgic Bollywood songs and soulful Ghazal music, culminating in an open mic and karaoke session that brought everyone together in song and celebration.

Closing remarks by Mangla and Akhtar highlighted the evening's success and the community's commitment to supporting one another. The event concluded with informal networking, leaving attendees inspired and connected.

For more information about the Farzana Legacy Scholarship and upcoming events, contact the Bridge Niagara Foundation at [email protected] or visit www.bridgeniagara.org.

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