COMA Newsletter November 2015

From the editor’s desk

editor smithaDear readers,

As I was preparing this Thanksgiving edition of the COMA newsletter, I took a few moments to look back at this year, and I am truly filled with joy and gratitude. I have had the privilege of being the editor for the COMA newsletter this year, and as always the pleasure of being part of the small and tight knit group that is our Columbus Malayalee community.

The COMA Christmas party is hardly a week away. Tickets have been sold out. Thanks for the astonishing response to the event. Read the detailed write up below for more information on the event.

I hope all of you enjoyed some time together with family and friends this Thanksgiving weekend. Some of you may still be recovering from the turkey, ham, and shopping over-dose. Thank you all for your continued interest in the COMA newsletter. See you all at the COMA Christmas event!

Thank you,
Smitha Nishant

COMA Financial Planning Seminar

Fin Sem 02

COMA’S Financial Planning Seminar was held earlier this month, and was attended by around 30 people. Jason Sowards and Erik Brown from New York Life presented information on the importance of life insurance, planning for retirement, preparing for your children’s college funds, etc. Mavath Unni, long time COMA patron, and current trustee had this to say about the event.

(Mavath Unni) : “My wife and I attended the Financial Planning Seminar at Dublin. It was very informative, especially the first part of the seminar, where Jason discussed the various savings options available for a couple for their retirement and children’s college education. We wish we knew about them when our children were small. The estate planning part of the seminar was not that useful to us as we had already made the arrangements several years ago.”

Sheetal Kongattil, a regular COMA patron told us:

(Sheetal) : “I am really glad I attended the seminar. It was very informative and I left the session with many thoughts to ponder upon like the importance of having life insurance, retirement benefits, etc. Thanks to COMA and the subject matter experts Jason and Erik!”

Fin Sem 01

The attendees were unanimous in agreeing that the seminar was most valuable and opened their eyes to the complex notions of savings, life insurance, and retirement planning.

Young adults also participated and expressed their appreciation to the committee. Megha Rajesh, one of our active youth patrons said the following about the event.

(Megha Rajesh) : New York Life Insurance’s seminar was quite informative. Adulthood is tough, but when you’re not ready or aware it’s harder. This seminar helped me understand that planning is a huge part of adulthood. Many adults struggle with taxing and home insurance, but if you plan right you can win a bigger pot of gold.  Along with that, I understood the hardship of my parents. The seminar taught me my parents’ constant fear of what will happen to my family. It’s good for children to know what their family are going through once in a while. Lastly as a student, I understood the various planning needs for college. This was very useful as I could understand the different ways former students paid off student loans. All in all, the seminar was very useful as I learned many valuable lessons.

Aishwarya Arun, first daughter and prominent COMA youth wing volunteer, also attended the seminar.

(Aishwarya Arun) : The COMA financial seminar hosted by Jason and Erik from New York Life earlier this month was a very informational and eye opening presentation. They provided us with many statistics and the importance of having life insurance, retirement planning, and college funds. Also, they showed us how to calculate our cash flow, and how to determine our net worth.  This presentation helped me realize that financial planning is a significant part of life and is very useful for a better future.  As a high school student, I learned how important it is to save money for college and I got a better understanding of how to plan my financial future out. I also learned that we have to start saving money for retirement earlier, which will help a lot in the future.

COMA Christmas

The COMA Christmas party is coming up on December 5th Saturday, and the Executive Committee has acknowledged that ticket sales have been at an all-time high in the association’s history. Conversely to previous years which relied on a stage performance, this year’s event will have a social dinner and dance format. The event is a formal party, and the dress code recommended is dinner formals.

There are two choirs participating that will sing Christmas carols. A choir from St Peter Roman Catholic Church, Smoky Row Rd will be singing traditional Christmas carols headed by the Music Minister, Debbie Brennan. And a choir from the Ohio Malayalee Christian Congregation will be singing Christmas carols in Malayalam. There is going to be a Christmas themed ballet performance by Inspiration to Movement, as well as professional piano recitals, Christmas music, and Santa Claus will be present to talk to the kids and take photos with them. Audio, lighting, and the dance music will be handled by DJ Mavi Productions from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Gift cards for charity

You will have the opportunity to pick ornaments of your choice from the Christmas tree (gift card tokens from $10 – $20 for local department stores) as a giving back activity during the Christmas holiday season. COMA will donate these to two families in need via the YWCA center.

Winter coat drive

We are collecting new and gently used winter coats that will be donated to Bhutanese refugees in Columbus. If you have any coats you don’t need any more, please bring them to the event.

Used Indian clothing drive

We are also collecting used Indian clothing (sarees, churidars, gagra-cholis, shirts, kurtas, etc.) which will be donated to deserving people in India via a charity organization.

Event sponsors

Premier Allergy and New York Life are Platinum sponsors for the event. The Gold sponsors are Millennium Travels, Dr. Jerry Cheung (Bright Smile Dental), Gokul Café, Lori Lynn (Lynn Realty Group), Manoj Gupta – CPA, and Inspiration to Movement.

2015 – An year in pictures

The EC team and their families loading food for the YWCA Host a Meal event in January 2015.

00 ywca loading

Dhanush and Vidya rocking it at the COMA Family Night.

01 fam night dance

Gentlemen showing off their 70s costumes at the COMA Family Night.

02 fam night

2015 Vice President Julie Manoj offering a flower bouquet to Padmashree Shobana.

03 shobana1

A scene from Shobana’s Krishna.

04 shobana2

The team of the century (as an ex-President said once) at the Shobana show.

05 ec team

Volleyball at the 2015 COMA Picnic

06 picnic volleyball

Tug-of-war at the 2015 COMA Picnic.

07 picnic tug of war

Maveli making a spectacular entrance at the COMA Onam.

08 maveli

Shome, Rohan, and Nish talking about Meals on Wheels at the COMA Onam.

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Arun’s Presidential Address at the COMA Onam.

10 onam arun

One of our most active patron families enjoying Sadya at the COMA Onam.

11 onam sadya

Interested in Yoga?

Former COMA Vice President Valsan’s spouse Vijaya Keezhpat, who is a certified Yoga teacher and practitioner, is conducting regular Yoga sessions at her residence in Lewis Center.

Classes are conducted on:

  • Fridays – 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
  • Saturdays – 4 PM to 5 PM
  • Sundays – 3 PM to 4 PM

You can join regular yoga sessions at 6363 Beaumont Sq., Lewis Center, OH 43035. Interested folks can contact her at vijaya.keezhpat@gmail.com (740-417-0975).