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'Festival of Colors' today to benefit eye care needs in India

Fairgrounds celebration a 'playful way to bring the community together,' volunteer organizer says

A colorful springtime celebration common in India will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

The celebration is aimed at bringing together people of all cultures in Pleasanton while also raising funds to support free eye care for those in need in India.

Holi, known as the "Festival of Colors" or the "Festival of Sharing Love," is typically observed in March across India during which participants throw wet and dry colors on each other to promote friendship, love, the triumph of good over evil and spring's arrival signaling the end of winter, according to Rajani Suryanarayan, an organizer of the Pleasanton event.

"Holi is a playful way to bring the community together and bond with your family and friends by throwing colors on each other. It is also a way to get to meet new people from our society," said Smruthi Danda, a volunteer organizer and a junior at San Ramon's Dougherty Valley High School.

Funds raised will benefit the Sankara Eye Foundation, a Milpitas-based nonprofit that works to provide eye care in India with the goal of eradicating curable blindness in the country by 2020.

"This event is not just for the Indian community," added lead volunteer Sumanth Addagarla. "It is a family-friendly event for anyone who wants to experience diversity and to get to know other cultures while having fun."

For ticket prices and other festival information, visit www.giftofvision.org or email info@giftofvision.org.

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