HDF Chicago Chapter Fundraiser Biggest Success Yet

Dr. Khalid Riaz and Dr. Mahmood Khan

Chicago: The Human Development Foundation of North America’s Chicago Chapter hosted its most successful event to date on May 6, 2006, with more than 600 attendees who helped raise over $320,000 for HDF’s humanitarian programs.
“We in the Chicago Chapter are so proud,” said Dr. Mussarrat Arshad, president of the Chicago Chapter. “We put out a call to action to the community, and they responded like never before — it’s amazing!”
The event was so keenly awaited that all 600 tickets were sold out weeks ahead of time, and people continued calling up to the day of the event, hoping for an opportunity to snatch a last-minute ticket.
“This is really a testament to the level of commitment of everyone in the Chicago community,” said Dr. M. Khalid Riaz, Co-Chair of HDF. Kudos to “certainly the Chicago Chapter for organizing such a wonderful event, and, just as importantly, to all of the people in the community who have showed their support for HDF’s programs so strongly,” he said.
The evening was planned to the minutest detail, and when all the guests were seated, the program began with a welcome from Arshia Hasnain, who acted as MC of the event. After some additional welcoming remarks from Dr. Arshad, the Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago, Mr. Aitzaz Ahmed, graciously spoke about the great work HDF does, and how glad he was to be able to work with the organization.
The spotlight then turned to a report highlighting HDF’s activities, which was presented by Dr. Riaz and Dr. Mehmood Khan, a senior vice-president at Takeda Pharmaceutical and HDF Board member. First, a short video presentation highlighting the work HDF has done in helping an earthquake-ravaged area in the Kashmir mountain region was shown.

Left to right: Dr. Mussarat Arshad, Aitzaz Ahmed and Arshia Hasnain

Then, both Dr. Riaz and Dr. Khan shared some very moving personal stories of individuals who have been helped through HDF’s programs, particularly children who overcame great obstacles in attempting to receive a solid education.
As the fundraising portion of the evening got underway, Dr. Khan produced a bat that his wife, Shaida Khan had somehow managed to get signed by both the Pakistani cricket team on one side, and the Indian team on the other! The spirited bidding on this item alone ended at over $25,000, and set the tone for a very successful and heartfelt outpouring of support from the members of the community who had gathered there.

A section of the audience

But, there was still more in store. The Pakistani rock band Strings, a true worldwide sensation, with songs on MTV Asia and in the Spiderman 2 soundtrack (Indian Release), took the stage to play for the attendees. While the music was loud and sometimes raucous, even the thirty something and older members of the crowd seemed to heartily enjoy it.
“It was a great event, and we thank everyone who supported it,” said Dr. Arshad, “but the real work is what HDF is doing in Pakistan every hour of every day, and all of us here in Chicago are humbled and honored to be able to help support that work.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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