Chicago, IL: Giving back to community was honored and celebrated at the Indo-American Center’s (IAC) 25th anniversary fundraising gala on Sunday, November 8, 2015. More than 300 people attended the occasion at the Marriott Hotel in Oak Brook, Illinois, where WLS-ABC Chicago Anchor Ravi Baichwal emceed the event.
IAC Board President Ashref Hashim gave the welcoming remarks, noting the great work of the organization throughout the past 25 years. “Tonight we come together, not just to celebrate a milestone for the IAC, but to celebrate you, our dedicated donors and contributors,” Hashim said. “You have propelled the Center’s growth across the past 25 years.”
The new IAC Executive Director, Selma D’Souza, spoke about the impact of the State’s budget cuts to the IAC operating budget and the importance of the Center’s current programs. “We serve approximately 3,000 people a month, so there is a need in the community for our services. During this tough time because of the budget cuts, we need help from our donors more than ever,” D’Souza said.
This year’s keynote speaker Mr. Rattan Khosa, founder and CEO of AMSYSCO, one of the leading post tensioning suppliers in the construction industry, shared his personal story of entrepreneurship and immigration. “With good education, values and hard work, one can climb mountains, and with giving one becomes whole. The Indo-American Center assists those who need a helping hand to reach their goals,” Khosa remarked.
During the evening’s event, a silent auction was held with an array of items, including tickets to a Chicago Blackhawks game, as well as the theatre. A live auction was also held, auctioning off a Balani men’s suit, tickets to a Chicago Bulls game and domestic, airline tickets, all generating tax-deductible contributions for the Center. The dinner was catered by Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine.
The mission of the Indo-American Center is to promote the well-being of South Asian immigrants through services that facilitate their adjustment, integration and friendship with the wider society, nurture their sense of community and foster appreciation for their heritage and culture.
The IAC provides various services to South Asians and clients from over 25 countries residing in West Ridge and neighboring areas. Over 40,000 clients receive assistance annually with various services, such as, immigration issues, participate in the senior programs, adult literacy (English Second Language) and learn citizenship.