Arab American, Chaldean Gala Honors Local Leaders

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — The Arab American and Chaldean Council, a nonprofit human service organization serving southeast Michigan, will celebrate 35 years of service to area communities at its annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala on Saturday at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. 

Funds raised through sponsorships, contributions and ticket sales at the black-tie optional event will provide the resources, education, training and services needed to empower ACC’s clients.

A general reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program and dinner at 7:30 p.m. and will be presided over by WDIV-TV (Channel 4) anchor and reporter Sandra Ali.  The program will begin with a welcome by Gov. Rick Snyder. Next, ACC Chairman Abe Munkakh and President and CEO Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, will present awards to:

State Rep. Klint Kesto with the State Leadership Award. Kesto, the first Chaldean elected to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives, has represented the city of Wixom, Commerce Township, a portion of West Bloomfield and the Village of Wolverine Lake since 2012. Prior to running for office, he served as a prosecuting attorney with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office and worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Justice and as a manager of his family’s business, Buscemi’s Pizza and Sub Shop.

Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence with the City Leadership Award. Lawrence was elected Mayor of Southfield in 2001. The first African-American and woman to be selected for the position, she oversees a population of more than 78,000 people.  She formerly served on the Southfield City Council, serving as president beginning in 1999. An avid volunteer, Lawrence has initiated numerous community programs during her tenure.

Special Tribute Awards to ACC founding member Salman Sesi and ACC board member Andrew Ansara.
The ACC will honor these individuals’ lifetime achievements and contributions to the organization.

The program will culminate with a keynote presentation by Ron A. May, executive vice president of Major Enterprise Projects at DTE Energy.  May is responsible for major generation construction and environmental projects at the company’s power plants, new nuclear power plant development, FERMI 2 modifications, gas projects, and the development of renewable, metering and distribution assets, along with strategic facilities and service projects including business revitalization.

The ACC serves more than 70,000 clients in metropolitan Detroit.  The organization’s programs include Pantry of Plenty – the twice-monthly food distribution event at its Detroit office, behavioral health, employment and training, social services and youth and recreational programs.  Additionally, the ACC also operates 40 outreach offices throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, staffed with bilingual and trilingual staffs.

Dinner will follow the presentations and entertainment throughout the evening will be provided by Saxophonist Kamal Kareem and Mark Randisi and Quartet.  To purchase tickets, call 248-559-1990.

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