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MAFS celebrates Anniversary in grand style

MAFS celebrates Anniversary in grand style
November 28
10:09 2017

MAFS anniversary Lamp Lighting ceremony

CHICAGO: Commemorating its Silver Jubilee, Metropolitan Asian Family Services held its 25th annual fundraising dinner on November 18 at Ashyana Banquets, Downers Grove in grand style with huge attendance from well wishers and supporters.
The celebration started with the traditional “Deep-Lighting” performed by Swami Mukundananda of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Aurora in the presence of prominent dignitaries. In attendance were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Nimish Jani, Philanthropist Deepak Kant Vyas, Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, Executive Director CLESE Marta Pereyra, Krishna Bansal, Sunil Shah, Chandmal Kumawat, Anis Ahmed, MAFS Board members Dr. Firdaus Jafri, Dr. Rakesh Ashthana, Harish Kolasani, Nikunj Baxi, Sumitra Patel, James D’mello, Sagar Kumar and other community leaders.

Raja Krishnamoorthi commended the MAFS team for its exemplary service to the community for 25 long years and said he wishes MAFS will continue to do so for many more years in the future. Consul General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan praised the array of services MAFS provides to the community successfully. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appreciated the MAFS’s commitment and dedication in serving the community and offered good wishes for it to continue for many more years.

MAFS supporters and activists

Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Executive Director MAFS, spoke about the long journey and the trials and tribulations they faced to come this far. She also remembered all the people past and present leaders of the community who helped to accomplish MAFS’s mission to educate, counsel, assist and empower immigrants to become productive members of American Society.

She and her late husband Mr Pramod Kumar worked very hard to make MAFS, a pioneer organization that changed the landscape of social services in Chicagoland area that far.

She requested the community that MAFS was created for them and now they should take care of MAFS. She also assured the community about MAFS’s future and presented both her sons, as future leaders, who will support its mission voluntarily. “I believe that MAFS will grow more in the coming years, to lead the way, we already have our future leaders- energetic, technically savvy and competent in management skills.”
She thanked sponsors, Dr. Jafri, Board president, board members, MAFS/UMAS staff, Media, Surinder Jain of Ashyana., Kushal Bose, Madhura Sane, Bhupender Singh, Pooranbhai and other artists, seniors, friends and families for their support and taking time to attend and making it an unforgettable gala celebration.

Sagar Kumar, MAFS treasurer, presented the financial report of MAFS and encouraged community to read pages 16-18 of Souvenir book and understand its funding structure and spoke about the difference in fund receivables and expenses. He explained why MAFS has to raise funds to fill the gaps in funding and to match the grants to accomplish its mission to help the community.

An award ceremony was performed by MAFS board and dignitaries. The Pramod Kumar Philanthropy Award was introduced first time and was presented to Deepak Kant Vyas Chairman & CEO Redberry Corp, for his extraordinary philanthropic work throughout the World. The Partnership Award was presented to Sean Dunn, VP of WINTRUST Community Bank for his understanding the financial needs of MAFS. Pillar of MAFS Award was given to Ms. Promila Mehta Manager Social work Chicago center for her unconditional love and care to its mission. Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Prem Jalota Manager Roselle center for his life time commitment to MAFS mission and its family. Employee of the Year Award was given to Ms. Connie Dogaru SOS Coordinator for her dedication to serve seniors. Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Ms. Bhanumati Maheta, a Yoga Teacher for providing 15 years of teaching Yoga to seniors.

A special GSA Outstanding Citizen of the year 2017 award was given by Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India on July 1, 2017. It was presented by CG Neeta Bhushan and Dr Vijay Prabhaker, Chairperson of Minority Ethnic Task Force, to Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Founder of Metropolitan Asian Family Services, IL USA.

Senate Recognition was given by Senator Cristina Castro and presented by Ms. Nazneen to Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Founder of MAFS which reads: The Illinois Senate of 100th General Assembly of the State of Illinois acknowledges- Metropolitan Asian Family Services, In recognition of celebrating 25 years as a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic organization committed to educate, assist and empower the immigrant community to adjust to life in United States, and extends its congratulations and best wishes on this momentous occasion. Chandmal Kumawat, Chairman Maneesh Media, Jaipur India, presented a special Kishangarh, Rajasthan “Bani-Thani” painting to Mrs. Santosh Kumar to commemorate MAFS’ Silver Jubilee celebration.

The entertainment began with Ganesh Vandana by Soorya Dance School of Northbrook, ably followed by a traditional Bosnian Dance by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Club of Chicago but Reena’s Rockers from Naperville really rocked the hall with their fusion dance mix of Ballet and Bharatnatyam.

A special dance-drama was showcased to celebrate 25 years of MAFS –
“Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi” conceived, written, produced and directed by Mr. Kushal Bose. It was a multimedia play that incorporated live dance, narration, video projection and music that essentially translates to “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.

The evening was brought to a close by “Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai” a musical tribute to the Founder/ CFO of MAFS, Late Mr. Pramod Kumar performed by well-known artistes from Chicago again researched, conceived and directed by Kushal Bose.
He brilliantly traced the life of Mr. Kumar from 1937-2016 era. His life journey was showcased through video and matched by music drama of that era. Again performed by Madhura Sane, it was not only electrifying, unforgettable but also a spiritual experience.
Emcees Jahnavi Bavisi Niles Manager and Neelam Desai Naperville Manager successfully managed the entire program seamlessly and Jasbir Mann and Hema Shastry were able to generate a good amount of donation through their entertaining and lively appeals.
The Vote of Thanks was given by MAFS Board Secretary Dr. Rakesh Asthana.

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service

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