SSIO Region 3 Retreat 2019

Sairam Dear All:

With Bhagavan’s grace and blessings we are happy to announce the SSIO Region 3 Retreat 2019. The retreat will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Jacksonville, Florida. The retreat will be held during the Memorial Day weekend, May 24th – 27th, 2019.

The theme of the retreat is “Our Life is His Message”.

As always, we’ll have elevating Morning Prayer sessions, exciting YA programs, fun filled activities for SSE children, inspirational talks by guest speakers, uplifting bhajan sessions and useful Workshops by experts. In addition we’ll also have group discussions for center officers, cultural programs, etc.

Over all, it will be a spiritual weekend with activities for the entire family and is a great opportunity for all of us to connect and collectively offer our gratitude to Lord Sai.

Hyatt Regency Riverfront, Jacksonville Downtown

Dates Friday, May 24th 2019, 8:00 PM – Monday, May 27th 2019, 11:00 AM
Venue Hyatt Regency Riverfront, Jacksonville Downtown
Address 225 E Coastline Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Facility Phone # +1-205-929-1000
Nearby Airport
  • Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) – 15 miles

We are blessed to have two eminent speakers participate with us during this retreat.
Dr. Surendra Upadhyay
Dr. Surendra Upadhyay is well known in the Sai family as a pioneer of International Medical Camps of the Sathya Sai International Organization, UK, and as a Member of the International Medical Committee. Dr. Surendra Upadhyay is an ophthalmologist that has been coordinating SSIO National and International Medical Camps and health awareness seminars all over the world since 1985.

Dr. Surendra Upadhyay is a Honorary Professor and Consultant Ophthalmologist, UCL, London. Dr. Upadhyay has organized and led free eye treatment camps in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, Bosnia, Zambia, and Kenya and in South America. He had the honor and privilege of working closely with our beloved Sathya Sai Baba and with Mother Theresa. In his volunteer medical service, Dr. Upadhyay says that he experiences that “service to man is service to God.” He has elaborated on the meaning of sacrifice as described by Sathya Sai Baba, is to love and serve those in need, without any personal reservations or expectations, to the best of one’s capacity. At the 2017 SSIO International Medical Conference, he was one of fourteen healthcare professionals and two volunteers, recognized by Dr. Narendranath Reddy, Chairman, Prasanthi Council, for their outstanding contributions and long-term dedication to Sathya Sai Global Health Mission and the practice of Sathya Sai Ideal Healthcare.


Dr. S. Kumar

S.Kumar was born in a Sai Family and his parents were devotees since the early 1960s. Kumar attended Balavikas program at Neyveli, Tamilndau, India during his school days. He feels blessed to have gotten the opportunity to learn the Carnatic classical at Neyveli under the tutelage of Sri CHEMBAI ANANDAN and performed his first classical launch (Arangetram) at Neyveli in the year 1981.

Kumar moved to Chennai for his higher studies where he got the opportunity to join the SUNDARAM Temple, Swami’s abode at Chennai, and sing in the divine presence for the first time. Later he was inspired to join Swami’s college for Masters in 1984, went onto complete his PhD in Artificial Intelligence and became a faculty member in Department of Math & Comp.Sc. Kumar’s job brought him to the US in 2000.

During his stay at the lotus feet, Kumar was blessed with the opportunity to lead Bhajans every day and sing songs in front of swami for almost a period of 10 years. Also Kumar has participated in many dramas/plays during his stay with the Institute, one of which titled was “Radha Krishna” – written and directed by Swami himself and staged during Swami’s 60th Birthday celebrations in 1985. Kumar played the female role of Mother Radha in this play. Swami had spent almost 3 months on this drama reviewing the rehearsals during which Bhagwan taught him what it meant to be really Radha and coached him on the songs written and composed by Swami Himself along with giving acting tips.

In 1993, Kumar received the divine opportunity to compose the Telugu portion of the soulful song composed by the students and staff of the Sai University – ‘Humko Tumse Pyar Kithna’.

In the US, Kumar has been actively involved in many SAI retreats giving talks, Bhajan workshops and music programs. He currently is a member of Bethesda Sai Center located at Washington, DC metro area. He currently works for Parsons Corporation on an IT contract with the Federal Government at Washington, DC.



Rooms at Hyatt Regency

On site hotel rooms are recommended for most participants. Each room comes furnished with 2 queen beds, table, chairs, bath supplies, and comes with daily service.

The rooms will be assigned by the registration team and the cost for it is included in the retreat registration cost. Please do not call up the hotel to make room reservations.

If you have special requests regarding the room, please indicate that in the registration form, or send an email to indicating your registration number, name, Sai Center / Group, and contact phone number.


  1. Jacksonville city will be hosting multiple other events on the memorial day weekend. It is recommended to register as soon as possible in order for the registration team to make the room reservations.
  2. If you prefer to make your own accommodation arrangements, please indicate that in the registration form. Please make sure to make your own arrangements to commute to and from the venue, to be on time for all the programs.

The cost per night for the rooms are as follows (inclusive of taxes):

Food Cost
  1. There’s no cost for Pre SSE (ages 0 – 5) and SSE children (ages 6 – 17) to attend the retreat.
  2. Food charges for the entire retreat are: $92 for adults and young adults (ages 18 – 40).
  3. All prices are inclusive of taxes.
  4. Friday night dinner and Monday breakfast and lunch are prepared by local center devotees at no additional cost.
Room Rent
Parking Fee
  • Please note parking is available on site for a small charge ($15 / night). If you plan to drive and will be parking your vehicle in the hotel parking lots, please make this payment directly to the hotel at the time of checking in.

Please use the cost calculator at the bottom of this page to determine the accommodation cost and food cost for your group and make the payment per details provided here.

Food Cost

Accommodation Cost

Calculate the cost to attend the Region 3 Annual Retreat 2019
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Net Cost
Food cost – Enter # of Adults and YAs ($92)
Food cost – Enter # of YA Full Time Students (18 Years and older) ($92)
Food cost – Enter # of other YAs (18 Years and older) ($92)
Room rent – Choose Room Type

Room rent – Enter # of Nights you need accommodation
Total Cost:



1. School Supplies:


Back to School supplies service project is being organized for 3 schools in and around Jacksonville. If you interested in participating, please read the below instructions.

How to Participate?

There are two ways to participate:

  1. You can contribute to the purchase of the supplies as part of the registration process. The supplies will be procured by the regional service team and provided to the Jacksonville service team. Please indicate the dollar amount you’d like to contribute towards this initiative. The amount will be added to your retreat registration fee, so no separate payment needs to be made.
  2. Alternatively, you can bring the listed supplies (brand new, unused) to the retreat venue. There are no minimum or maximum quantities, you can contribute any of the listed items. The items will be provided to the schools by the Jacksonville Sai Center members after the retreat.

List of Supplies:

  1. Backpacks (NO Rolling backpacks)
  2. 24 count Crayola crayons
  3. Crayola markers
  4. Colored pencils
  5. Highlighters
  6. Box of tissues
  7. Bottle of hand sanitizer with pump
  8. Wide ruled notebook paper
  9. Pack of Glue sticks
  10. Expo dry erase markers (Expo only)
  11. Pack of Ticonderoga pencils
  12. Pink Eraser or Pack of cap erasers
  13. Packs of copy paper
  14. Spiral notebooks
  15. Folders (red, yellow, blue or green)
  16. Packs of index cards (4 x 6)
  17. Zippered Pencil Pouch
  18. Composition Books
  19. New or Lightly used Fiction and Non Fiction Books