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MAFS fundraiser: A grand affair

November 15
01:59 2011

Lamp lighting at MAFS fundraiser

CHICAGO: Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS) hosted its19th fundraising dinner at the Indian House Banquet Hall, Schaumburg themed with the title of “Finding Solution in Challenging Times.” It was a grand affair with huge participation by MAFS supporters and well wishers alike rendering heartrending scenes of cross-border bonhomie and harmony.
The night started with the lamp lightening ceremony by distinguished guest Vimal Vyas, Swami Devapriyananda and was followed by bhajan prayer by Indira Naik, a Bollywood singer.
Opening the forum, Dr. Firdaus Jafri, president MAFS thanked dignitaries, invited guests and the audience for attending this event. She then gave a brief detail of the evening and congratulated Ms Santosh Kumar, Executive Director and MAFS staff for their dedication and determination and for taking the MAFS objectives to next level.
Keynote speaker Michael Gelder, Senior Advisor to the Governor on Health Policy commended Kumar for her various services and advocacies. He then urged South-Asian community to unite and donate generously to this community based organization.
Emphasizing on various issues such as adult-care and homecare services, Mary Killough, CCP Program Manager IDOA, commended Kumar for her vigor, energy, enthusiasm and refreshing leadership matched by deeper commitment and a devotion to serve needy.
Guest speakers from India including Ranjeet Deshmukh, Ex-congress president Maharashtra and Amrish Singh Gautam, Deputy Speaker of Delhi Vidhan Sabha. They were eloquent in their praise of the activities of MAFS and were cheered by the members of the audience.
Addressing the gathering, Deshmukh said, he was surprised to see the various day care and adult care schemes offered by MAFS to community. He congratulated Mrs. Santosh Kumar, the brain behind the organization, for providing solution to ageing. He also urged Mrs. Kumar to start similar projects in India. Another such stimulating and exhilarating remark was given by Gautam in Hindi. Commending the South Asian community for preserving their culture and values in a foreign land he lauded MAFS as an inspiring organization.
Mrs. Kumar, who seemed overcome with emotion, thanked the speakers and guests even as she urged community members to support MAFS outreach efforts. She presented a historical overview outlining the group’s programs and services. Mrs. Kumar thanked her husband, Pramod, and sons, Prashant and Sagar, for their support and assistance.
She pointed out that MAFS is marching forward with a renewed sense of unity and spirit of cohesion. She also appreciated the efforts of MAFS staff and board members for making this event successful. Message from Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago was presented by Chris Zala from the Advisory Council of Asian Affairs for the City of Chicago; he commended Kumar for reaching out to the needy South Asian community through various programs and policies.
The other prominent speakers of the event were AL Larson, Mayor of Schaumburg, Rodney Craig, Village President, Hanover Park, Willaaim McLeod, Village President Hoffman Estates, Michelle Mussman, State Rep. 56th District, John Levin, CEO of Age Option, Marta Pereyra, Executive Director CLESE and Naren Patel, founder and CEO of Medstar Laboratory.
Earlier, Kumar was presented with leadership award from Govt. of India which was handed over by Deshmukh, Gautam and Vyas. She was also presented with 97th General Assembly House of Representative award by Michelle Mussman.

The highlight of the evening was the fusion dance by Northwestern University, Acapella group which belted out zestful Bollywood numbers that elicited prolonged applause from the audience.
‘Around the World’, the fusion dance by Northwestern University and a dance by University of Illinois Bhangra Group were the other attractions of the evening.
Another presentation that clearly dominated the evening was a fashion show by Trupti Kuwaria. The evening also had a ceremony in which awards were presented to invited dignitaries and MAFS staff. Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Sheila Dikshit, CM of Delhi, Leadership Award was given to Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Ex- CM of Rajasthan, Public Service Award to Raghunaath V Deshpandey, Karnataka Congress president, Excellence Service Award to Amrish Singh Gautam, Outstanding Achievement Award to Ranjeet Deshmukh and Distinguished Service Award to Vimal Vyas.
The other awards presented were Appreciation Award given to Michael Gelder, Public Service Award given to Sam Pitroda, Media Award to Prashant Shah, publisher of India Tribune, Management award was given to Prem Jalota, Employee of the year award was given to Harivadan Patel, Supervisor of the year award was given to Saba Kazi, Public Relation Award was given to Himali Bharucha, 10 years Homecare Aides award was presented to Begum Shakeela, Homecare Aide of the year given to Najma Deriwala, Driver of the year was given to Nisar M. Ghogha, Adult Daycare Service award was given to Pankaj Patel, Food Service award was given to Gulshan Mirza, Volunteer Award was given to Gulshan Gowder and the Kitchen Helper of the year award was given to Tayyaba Bodhari.
Melodious musical selections of Indira Naik, Ghazal and Sufi singer, enthralled the audience. She mesmerized attendees with her soul-stirring ghazals and Bollywood numbers.
The event was compered by Beena Patel and vote of thanks was presented by Rakesh Asthana, Chairman of the event.
Harish Rao



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