People were awe struck, when they saw illusionary tricks of world famous magician, Dennis Watkins at the Metropolitan Asian Family Services annual fund raiser dinner to cover the gaps in State, Federal and local funding . MAFS is a not-for profit organization that provides an array of services to promote the well-being of South Asian immigrants celebrated 21 years of community service on September 21st, at India House Schaumburg.
The program was started by the lightening of auspicious “Deep” by Kusumben Patel, Founder of Global Gayatri, followed by Ganesh-vandana prayer dance by Catherine Jafri and her group and welcome address of Dr. Firdaus Jafri, president MAFS. In his keynote remark, Bill Foster, US Congressman commended the vision and mission of MAFS’s and reaffirmed the commitment of his Democratic Party to welfare programs and reformation of immigration law to give immigrant sensible policy.
Guest speaker Husain Dalwai, Member of Parliament Upper House (Rajya Sabha), lauded MAFS for doing a noble job in human welfare and for lessening the pangs of old age. Dalwai spoke on various programs that Government of India has initiated to remove this problem and said that we have to look MAFS as a role model in serving and enriching the community without any discrimination to origin, cast, creed and religion. Hon’le Consul General Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed praised Mrs. Santosh Kumar &, MAFS for persistently serving community with its various programs, since 1992. Mary Killough, Deputy Director, IDOA, remarks, that it is her 4th year to attend the function and every time she amazed with number of people, and programs MAFS serve and growing to meet the increased needs of its community, despite shrinking of state and federal funding for social services.
Other prominent dignitaries present is Mr. Michael Gelder-Health Policy Advisor to the Governor Pat Quinn, Marta Pereyra, Executive Director CLESE, William D McLead –Mayor Hoffman Estates, Michelle Mussman – State Rep. 56th district, Jonathan Levin – CEO, AgeOptions, Billie Roth, Mayor of Streamwood, Sajid Desai, businessman, Balvinder Singh – Community leader and social activist, Ms. Gurubachan Kaur, president Hindi Lover Club, Ram Saini, President of Rajasthan Association, Nand Kapoor, past president Association of Indian in America, Sher Rajput, Board member Indo-American Center, A. Anees, Board member of Aligargh Muslim University, Sadruddin Noorani, Jamat Khana. This year the “Making a Difference in the world award,” was given to Dr. Joseph Marek, MD, for his cardiac screening program designed to identify high school and college students at risk for sudden cardiac death.
Public Service Award was conferred on Husain Dalwai, Indian Member of Parliament (MP), for being an engine of social, political, industrial progress, and his work with tribal, Dalit, and minority communities. The Best Employee of the Year Award given to Afaan Muhammad, IT Manager and Jahnavi Bavisi, Manager Niles branch. Best Supervisor award was given to Smitesh Shah, supervisor and Public Benefit Award was given to Shree Gurusamy, SOS specialist.