Raxit and Ketki Shah donated $1 million to the Hindu Temple of Youngstown Friday

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Staff report

GIRARD

Real-estate investors Raxit and Ketki Shah donated $1 million to the Hindu Sri Lakshmi Narayan Temple, 6464 Sodom Hutchings Road, on Friday to improve the temple’s facilities and infrastructure.

“It is our responsibility to support those things that are most important to us. We are honored to provide an in-kind donation to the Hindu Temple, and help promote cultural understanding, peace and education throughout the Youngstown community,” Ketki Shah said in a news release.

The couple established the real-estate investment firm Liberty Group after they moved to the United States from India in 1981. They donated $800,000 to a building in Liberty and contribute to charitable projects in India, including a food kitchen that serves more than 400 meals daily and a nonprofit eye clinic.

The Shah family lived in the Youngstown area for 20 years before moving to their current location in Tampa, Fla., where Raxit Shah serves as executive chairman of the Tampa-based Liberty Group.

The donation is the largest in the temple’s history, according to Choudary Perni, president and trustee of the temple.

The Shahs also donated $930,000 to the Vallabh Youth Organization in Tampa on Friday.

Raxit Shah said his family members belonged to the temple during his time here, and they still visit when they are in the area.

“I think it’s going to help us pay the bills and maintain the temple, and definitely accommodate more people. It’s going to help us overall to keep the temple stable,” Perni said.

The temple serves as a place for people to worship Hindu gods and goddesses, and it also has religious events the community is welcome to attend. Perni said all religions are accepted by Hindus, so people of any religion are invited to be part of their community.

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