YEAR END MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD CHAIR OF 2021
December 26 2021
On behalf of the Advisory Committee, Executive Board, Priests and all our staff members of HSNEF, I extend my hearty and warmest greetings for the new year and the holiday season. Hope 2022 will bring Health, Wealth and warmth to you and your family members. Beginning of the year year is a good time to reminisce of the past year and the plan for a brighter new year.
Considering the COVID 19 situation and ongoing concern for its variants and the economic situation, our temple did reasonably well in terms of devotee attendance, conducting the religious functionals and fulfilling the local and social obligations during the immunizations. We are planning for the year year celebrations for which more detailed information would have been sent as a part of our weekly events email.
As for the progress of the temple expansion construction, now that we have successfully completed the phase 1 with a parking lot that can hold up to 250 cars (including a separate area for handicap parking and a dedicated place to do car puja), we used 2021 as the year to do a lot of catch up work on maintenance and other clean up activities that were past due. These include fixing the issue with our Air Conditioners, cleaning up of our kitchen, pantry, office and the multi purpose hall. While all this was going on, we were able to conduct all of the ceremonies and events. Temple Anniversary in early March, Vaccination Drives, Hindu Day Camp etc.
On the finance front, we ended up this year on a positive note, although we only had a small percentage of increase in the number of devotees in the temple. Thanks to the perseverance of our finance committee - we were able to successfully complete our internal financial audit (something that was due for a few years now) and in the process update and sync up our books.
We, as a team, took a conscious decision not to host Anand Bazaar this year due to safety regulations and timing of when we can do this event. But I am very happy to say that we had unanimous approval from our EB and AC to organize our Annual Gala earlier this month. The Gala this year was a tremendous success given the full house we had and the fun filled entertainment throughout the evening. You can check out the pictures of the Gala in our temple facebook page.
With the close of 2021, we want to continue to enhance our temple and in light of that - have opened up discussions and collecting donations for Phase 2 (Yagna Sala). We used the opportunity in our Annual Gala to request pledges from our community members. I am so happy to share that we were able to successfully collect $131,000 on the night of the Gala for our phase 2 expansion, work for which should commence in 2022.
The Executive Board of 2021 is proud and humbled to share that based on multiple request from our community members, we have been able to bring in additional Utsava Murthys to our temple. Two Utsava Murthys that are being added are:
Sri Lakshmi Utsava Murthy
Uma Maheswara Utsava Murthy
These Murthys have now arrived in Jacksonville and the details of the events will be shared early January when our community members can come forward and help sponsor the event.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the Founders, all DONORS, life members and general members. Our sincere thanks to all your contributions this year. A very warm welcome and thanks to all the new life members and new members who joined us this year. With your support, we have taken the courage to build, while also operating throughout this entire year. Your donations were very helpful to continue our commitment to serving the community.
As we look forward optimistically to the future and grow our Temple, we encourage each one to be a part of the growth, just not for Today but for the better Tomorrow. Please support the Temple by contributing time, effort or donation.
The Advisory Committee and the management thank all of the sub-committee members, our office staff, our priests, and all the volunteers for their extraordinary service who dared to come out into the public and serve the good Lord in these tough times. May Lord Ganesh, the one Almighty, bless all of you and your families.
Once again, have a Healthy, Happy prosperous New Year and stay safe!
Thank you for your support and interest.
Chair - HSNEF Executive Board - 2021