Bhangra dancers entertain the crowds at Bollywood Bang, which raised $100,000 for NONA’s Build the Clubhouse campaign. (Keylight Photography)

NONA benefits from Bollywood Bang

Popular event raises $100,000 for NONA’s clubhouse campaign

Dalvir Nahal’s beloved uncle, Gurdev Chahal, was blown away walking into the Vernon Curling Club to attend the Bollywood Bang fundraiser, organized by his niece.

There was a time in the 1970s and 80s, when Chahal resided in Vernon, that he and his family were made to feel uncomfortable wearing their traditional Indian clothes.

So when Chahal came up from Vancouver to attend Bollywood Bang, and saw the majority of the capacity crowd decked out in colourful saris and other traditional Indian wear, having a fabulous time, he admired how the times had changed.

“He said, ‘You have no idea how this is. They’re wearing our clothes,’” said Nahal, whose popular event raised $100,000 for the North Okanagan Neurological Association’s (NONA) clubhouse campaign.

“It shows how far we’ve come as a community and a society. It gave my uncle an amazing perspective; the people wearing our saris and embracing our culture. It shows people just want to dress up, have a good time and support each other. I’m proud to live in a community that promotes diversity.”

This year’s Bollywood Bang was the fourth Nahal, a City of Vernon councillor, has organized in the last five years. In total, the event has raised $206,000 to benefit local charities and organizations.

“I’m so thrilled we raised $100,000,” said Nahal. “It’s humbling. For us, we’re doing what our Sikh faith teaches us; to give back.”

Part of the $100K came courtesy of Nahal’s brother, Ranvir, and his company, Sunterra Custom Homes. The company donated $10,000 to start off a five-minute flurry among event-goers. Ranvir challeged other organizations to meet or beat the challenge. In five minutes, $31,000 was raised.

Sponsors for Bollywood Bang included TD, Emco/Kohler, Central Hardware, Davidson Pringle LLP, Brian Johnston Automotive Group, Nolan’s Pharmasave and White House Mortgages.

Bollywood Bang’s big cash infusion for the NONA clubhouse brings the fundraising effort closer to its goal, said Helen Armstrong, NONA executive director.

“NONA Child Development Centre is grateful for the support from the community and is very thankful to Dalvir and her team who planned, organized and hosted Bollywood Bang,” said Armstrong. “The money raised brings us so much closer to our goal of $1.6 million for the new clubhouse which is nearing completion this month.”

NONA has issued an invitation to the entire community to attend the grand opening on Friday, Sept. 15, at 2802-34th Street.

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