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AACCI- The Asian American Coalition of Chicago, 26th. LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION


CHICAGO, IL, Feb. 05, 2009
R.S. Mago

The Asian American Coalition of Chicago honored Indian Americans Pardeep Singh Deol, Samita Shah, and Mr. Niranjan Shah at their 26th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, the Year of the Ox 4707, on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont Illinois. This year's gala event themed "Cultural Threads Woven into the Fabric of a United Future" was hosted by the Korean American community of Chicago, with Ms. Kay Kihwa Rho serving as event chairperson.

“We really represented the possibilities of raising the bar for not only the Korean community but to the larger Asian American community as well. We also proved that no matter the age, no matter the language barrier we can work together and create a wonderful unifying event,” said Ms. Kay Rho.

The Hon. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, received the Coalition's GRAND ASIAN AWARD. This award is periodically presented to someone of non-Asian descent, who has made significant contributions to the Asian Pacific American community.

The Hon. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was honored with the Special Distinguished Pioneer Award.
Niranjan Shah, CEO Globetrotters Engineering Corporation received the Distinguished Pioneer - Asian Award.
Kamran Khan, a Pakistani American, Founder and President, Nexgen Cosmetics LLC; 1992 and 2000 Co-Chair Asian American Coalition of Chicago, was awarded the Pan Asian American Ping Tom Memorial Award.
Lori T. Healy, president of Chicago 2016 made remarks about Chicago being the 2016 Olympics candidate city.
University of Chicago “Balle Bhangra Group” presented by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago performed Punjabi folk dance Bhangra during the entertainment segment. Other dance performances included the modern Korean Dance, Khmer Traditional Dance, Thai Classical Dance, and Traditional Korean Dance. Filmmaker Wang Ki Kim directed the show.

More than 1000 people attended this extravaganza. The attendees included many government officers, media outlets, local dignitaries, business and community leaders, and the counsel generals of many Asian countries. Mayor of Palatine Rita Mullins was a PCS Chicago special guest.

“The purpose of this celebration is to showcase the culture, the contributions, and the harmony among Asian Americans of Chicago,” said Rajinder Singh Mago of Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago.

An event held on this grand of a scale only once a year, Lunar New Year is traditionally the single largest organized annual event in Chicago’s Asian American community which takes turns to host the event.

“The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago and Sikh American Heritage Organization officials have consistently and proactively been involved in Asian American Coalition of Chicago for the last two decades, and are part of the planning committee no matter who is hosting it,” said Ronny S. Kular president PCS.

The Asian American Coalition of Chicago Executive Committee was also introduced, which included two Indian Americans Mr. Prem Lalvani and Rajinder Singh Mago.

The Asian American Coalition of Chicago, which sponsors both the annual Lunar New Year Celebration and the weeklong Asian American Festival at Chicago’s Daley Plaza includes representatives of the Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese communities.

According to the latest (year 2000) Census, the Asian Pacific American population in Illinois numbers approximately 3.4% of the statewide population.

The opening ceremonies in the Grand Ball Room was preceded by a reception, exhibition booths for businesses and community organizations in the foyer area, and an open microphone for the candidates running for political office. Being an off election year, the candidates who spoke were mostly from the 5th. US Congressional District bidding to occupy the seat vacated by Mr. Rahm Emmanuel’s.

The opening ceremonies included a procession and grand entrance of the Chicago TV personalities who were co-presenters at the program, followed by dinner, entertainment and award ceremonies.

The Chicago celebrity TV personalities co-presenters were: Rehan Aslam, FOX Chicago TV News, Ravi Baichwal, ABC 7 News, Jonathan Choe, CLTV News, Cheryl Hamada Host WTTW-TV, Ellee Pai Hong, NBC 5 Chicago News, Judy Hsu, ABC 7 News, Jan Jeffcoat, FOX Chicago TV News, Nancy Loo, FOX Chicago TV News, Joanie Lum, CBS 2 Chicago News, Mai Martinez, CBS 2 Chicago News, Marc Rita, Actor/Director/Producer, Judy Wang, CLTV News, and Linda Yu, ABC 7 News

The following ten honorees received the 2009 Community Service Award:
Smita N. Shah, President, Spaan Tech, Inc., Indian American Community Awardee; Faisal Rashid, Trustee and Tax Collector, DuPage Township, Pakistani American;

Rebecca Yemin Shi, Community Organizer, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Chinese American Community Awardee; Anita Belisario Rosa, Teacher-Librarian, Cameron Elementary School, (Chicago, Illinois), Filipino American Community Awardee; Nyoman I. Mahartayasa, Software Engineer, Chicago Board of Options Exchange, Indonesian American Community Awardee; Yoshiro Harada, Senior Research Specialist, Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute, Japanese American Community Awardee; John Kim, Chairman, Inswan Home Healthcare Agency, Inc., Korean American Community Awardee; Yin Kean, Executive Vice President, SuncasTV, Malaysian American Community Awardee; Pairoj Vongsvangsiri, President, MVT Telecommunications, Inc., Thai American Community Awardee; Joseph Hong-Phuc Tran, Founder, Rose International, Ltd., Vietnamese American Community Awardee.

The Coalition also awarded the following students as the 2009 Youth Who Excels Award honorees:
Pardeep Singh Deol, High School Senior, Buffalo Grove High School
(Buffalo Grove, Illinois), Indian American Community Youth Awardee;
Pardeep is president of Multi-Cultural Club, member Students against Destructive Decisions, and an active volunteer in his school and community where he participated in neighborhood clean-up and tree planting projects.

Nudrat Zoha, College Freshman, University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, Illinois); Pakistani American Community Awardee;

The Chinatown Youth – 2008 New American Democracy Project (NADP) Volunteers, Chicago, Illinois, Chinese American Community Youth Awardee; Francis Joseph DeAsis, High School Senior, John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, Illinois), Filipino American Community Youth Awardee;
Sheena Anissasari La-Reine Quick, High School Freshman, Hinsdale Central, (Hinsdale, Illinois), Indonesian American Community Youth Awardee; Anita Eumie Kim, High School Senior, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, (Lincolnshire, Illinois), Korean American Community Youth Awardee; Cecile J. Thai, College Junior, Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois);
Malaysian American Community Awardee; Jason Gerdnoi, High School Senior, Niles West High School (Niles, Illinois); Thai American Community Awardee; Danieh Tu Dinh, High School Sophomore, St. Benedict High School (Chicago, Illinois); Vietnamese American Community Awardee.

The gavel was passed on to the next year’s host Filipino American community, accepted by Aurora Abella–Austriaco the 2010 Chair of this event.

Other P.C.S. programs include: “Rangla Punjab 2009,” scheduled for April 11, at Lane Tech High School Auditorium in Chicago and “Punjabi Sports Festival 2009,” planned for the summer of 2009. Scholarships for Punjabi youth will be awarded at the “Graduation Night 2009” in June, 2009., and 8th Annual PCS Chicago International Bhangra and Gidha Competition in late fall 2009. The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization devoted to promoting education, good citizenship, Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, healthy life style, and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area.



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