December 6, 2005
Amidst a sold out audience of 1500 guests, including special guest of honor Reem Al Hashimi from the Ministry of Economy and Planning in the United Arab Emirates, the Honorable Governor Jennifer Granholm, members of the diplomatic corps, elected officials and dignitaries, and ADC friends and committed supporters, ADC Michigan hosted a spectacular and memorable program, in tribute to its 25th Anniversary at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn on December 2, 2005.
The event, which was recognized by attendees as an outstanding ADC event, featured WXYZ Channel 7 News Anchor/Reporter Glenda Lewis as its emcee and underscored ADC‘s 25 years of service to civil and human rights. The program featured numerous highlights, which drew and held the attention of the audience.
ADC Michigan‘s Kids Club paid a special tribute to the organization‘s quarter century of advocacy by welcoming the guests with a beautiful candlelight processional that included a recital of the significance of each year of ADC‘s existence.
Additionally, during the Gala ADC Michigan announced that it had received the first $1 million contribution to serve as seed money for its Education and Resource Center by the Qatar Foundation, under the auspices of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Misnad. ADC Michigan extended a call for support of this first-of-its-kind Center, which will give ADC a permanent home in Michigan. The decision to establish the ADC Michigan Education and Resource Center was made in an effort to enable ADC to strengthen its advocacy services to the community and broaden its influence throughout Michigan, across the United States and around the world.
Governor Granholm paid further tribute to ADC through an eloquent speech on the significance of 25 years of commitment and used marriage as a metaphor to emphasize the hard work and dedication required to maintain and nurture such a relationship. She went on to present ADC with a Certificate of Tribute from the State of Michigan for its 25 years of service.
Ms. Reem Al Hashimi, the Commercial Attache for the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, followed the Governor and addressed the audience on behalf of the Minister of Economy and Planning for the UAE, H.E. Lubna Al Qasimi. H.E. Al Qasimi sent a special videotaped message to the guests, expressing her disappointment at not being able to share the occasion with them and congratulating ADC on its celebration. However, she was well represented by Ms. Al Hashimi, who delivered a heartfelt and inspiring keynote address to the audience on behalf of the Minister and urged guests to maintain their commitment to ADC as a champion of civil rights. She went on to discuss the significance of the UAE and the Arab World forging a relationship with the United States and the Arab-American community, in particular, and discussed the value of our collective work. Following the keynote address, ADC President Mary Rose Oakar presided over the awards ceremony, which paid tribute to both Congressman John Dingell and Detroit City Councilwoman Maryann Mahaffey for their many years of service to the community. ADC Michigan also honored Sari Abboud, AKA “Massari,” Canada-based R&B singer, with the “Excellence in the Arts” Award; Debbie Dingell, from the General Motors Foundation, with the “Building Bridges” Award; Daisy Elliot, Former Michigan State Rep. and co-author of Michigan‘s Civil Rights Act, with the “Guardian of Civil Rights” Award; Abed Hammoud, Lead Attorney, Wayne County Prosecutor‘s Office, with the “Hala Salaam Maksoud Leadership” Award; and Suhail Shaya, CEO, Detroit Bio-Medical Laboratories, Inc., with the “Humanitarian Service” Award.
The evening was capped off by a special video message from US Senator Debbie Stabenow and proclamations presented to ADC Michigan by Wayne County Commissioner Gary Woronchak, State Representatives Gino Polidori and Irma Clark and the Detroit Police Department.
ADC would like to thank all banquet attendees and sponsors who contributed generously to making the event an outstanding success. Although ADC Regional Director Imad Hamad was unable to be at the event because of the unexpected passing of his dear father, Saleh Hamad in Lebanon, he extended his appreciation to attendees and supporters. “We salute our committed supporters, who joined us in our Silver Celebration this year, and we owe our success to all of the volunteers, members and sponsors who have solidified ADC‘s backbone in Michigan and paved the way for us as a leading civil rights organization.”
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar added, “It was a great honor for us to share this occasion with so many of our friends and committed supporters. We were thrilled by the enthusiasm and solidarity that was displayed throughout the evening. I want to congratulate ADC Michigan on another successful event.”
December 6, 2005