Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner takes his turn at the podium during a luncheon held March 19 by the Small Independent Motel Owners Association and the Indo-American Political Action Committee.

LAST YEAR, HOUSTON, Texas, went through the downpours and savage winds of Hurricane Harvey and came out the other side ready to rebuild with no small help from groups like the Small Independent Motel Owners Association and the Indo-American Political Action Committee. On March 19, those groups held a luncheon to celebrate their efforts and the city’s Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The luncheon was held at India House as a joint venture by SIMA and IAPAC. SIMA has donated $150,000 to the mayor’s hurricane relief fund, and the Indian American community has donated $200,000, said Hasu Patel, IAPAC and SIMA president. The Dallas/Fort Worth branch of AAHOA also donated $65,000.

“We are doing a lot of good work with the mayor’s office,” Hasu Patel said.

Turner was just as grateful to the two groups for their role in the recovery.

“After Hurricane Harvey, SIMA and IAPAC stepped up and not only coordinated relief efforts, but also contributed to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund,” he said. “The Indian-American community forms an integral part of the fabric that is Houston and I thank you for being there when we needed you the most.”

Patel also said he is looking forward to the possibility that Turner will take a trade mission to India later this year. Turner’s Director of Communications Alan Bernstein said the mayor has received several recommendations for the trip and is considering them.