Pakistani-US Philanthropy at Its Best
By Akhtar M. Faruqui and Ayesha Rizvi
Pictures by Nasir Rao
Former Governor of California Gray Davis addresses the media at the fundraiser
Los Angeles , CA: Leading private citizens of Southern California and the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) joined hands on September 6 to organize a historic fundraising dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
The two joined forces to raise funds to provide relief to survivors of the greatest natural disaster in modern history occasioned by monsoon and torrential rains in Pakistan. “Please join us in giving them (flood survivors) some hope to relive, rehabilitate and rebuild their lives,” urged an announcement for this event. The call did not go unheeded.
A record number of community members, high-ranking government officials, members of Congress, Hollywood celebrities and prominent private citizens converged at the Ritz Carlton on that memorable day to turn the fundraising venue into a glowing testimony of human concern for fellow beings transcending race, faith and creed that divide the human race into countries and nations. In a short span of two-and-a-half hours, a hefty amount, approximating $ 600,000, was raised for the hapless flood survivors.
Pictures above: Glimpses of the fundraiser organized by the prominent citizens of Southern California in association with APPNA at The Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Some of those who willingly contributed to the fundraiser and furnished ready proof of concern for the unfortunate flood survivors included Congressman Howard Berman, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Raytheon CEO Kim Kerry, Former Governor of California Gray Davis, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, State Controller John Cheng, Former California House Speaker Karen Bass and Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsome. In their speeches and observations they were unanimous that Pakistan was confronted with a mammoth catastrophe and every one had to pitch in to help the flood victims.
Their noble strivings were duly complemented by the grand sponsors of the fundraiser: Dr Meher Tabatabai and Qaisar Madad, Aiesha and Najeeb Ghauri, Dr Asif Mahmood, Mrs Amina Adaya, Drs Parveen and Khalid Ahmad, Firoza and Shoaib Kothawala.
Pictures above: Glimpses of the fundraiser organized by the prominent citizens of Southern California in association with APPNA at The Ritz Carlton Hotel
Each and every individual present in the overflowing assemblage in the Ritz Carlton hall contributed to the fundraising effort through his or her valuable contribution.
Indisputably, the organizers - Dr Meher Tabatabai and Qaisar Madad, Najeeb Ghauri, NetSol Chairman and Dr Asif Mahmood, President, APPNA SC - deserve the heartfelt gratitude of the community and the Pakistan nation at large for their zestful efforts in organizing the fundraiser.
The amount raised at the event, by far, exceeds the sum raised at any fundraiser by the Pakistani-American community in the past.
The event was covered by many of the mainstream and ethnic media including major television networks such as ABC Channel 7, FOX Channel 11 and several others.
The cost of the event was fully underwritten. All funds raised will be delivered to the designated relief agencies.