Chicago: The Asian American Coalition of Chicago celebrated it’s 33rd annual Lunar New Year Celebration the Year of the Monkey at Hyatt Regency Chicago on Saturday February 5, 2016 with the theme “Envision. Enlighten. Empower.” The dinner banquet this year was hosted by the Chinese American community of Chicago, chaired by Dr. Karen Eng President and CEO of CSMI.
An extravagant Asian-inspired dinner menu along with an award ceremony to honor community leaders and outstanding youths and a captivating Asian cultural performances of local talent entertained the guests. The celebrations brought together more than 1,000 guests including Asian American community leaders, dignitaries, elected officials, corporate sponsors and the City’s movers and shakers. The AACC Lunar New Year Gala is the largest event of its kind in the Midwest.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Secretary of State Jesse White, State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Comptroller Leslie Munger, US Senator Dick Durbin, US Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth were amongst many Federal, State and local government officials. The Asian American candidates runnung for office in the upcoming primaries were also highlighted which included the congressional candidate Raja Krishnamurthi.
The Counsel Generals of many Asian countries also attended. Indian Counsel General in Chicago Dr. Ausaf Sayeed also attended and was recognized. More than 50 Indian American community members attended the dinner banquet.
ABC-7 Chicago TV anchor Linda Yu and Cary Chow of ESPN served as emcees for the evening. 2014 Miss Illinois Marisa Buchheit sang the National Anthem and “God Bless America.” 2016 Chicago Chinatown Miss Friendship Ambassador Kelly Yee Uchima sang “I Dreamed a Dream.”
This year, AACC’s most prestigious Pan Asian American Ping Tom Memorial Award was presented to Ms. Tuyet Le, the long-time Executive Director of the Asian American Advancing Justice of Chicago for her leadership in the advocacy work on behalf of the Asian American community. The equally important recognition, the Grand Asian American Sandra Otaka Memorial Award was given to Illinois Senior Senator Dick Durbin for his tireless legislative advocacy on behalf of all new Americans and immigrant communities. A Moment of Silence for Veterans was observed.
The Coalition presented the awardees of the 2016 Exemplary Community Service Awards and the Youth Who Excels Awards. Mr. Dave Vasidevam, Owner, Adinfix Advertising Agency and founder of DigiSlate, Inc. received Indian American Community service award and Ms. Manpreet Kaur Teji, Sophomore at John Marshall Law School in Chicago received the Indian American Community Youth Who Excels award.
The AACC, founded in 1983 is represented by more than 16 Asian American cultures including Bangladeshi, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Malaysian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Thailand, and Vietnamese communities. The 9 major Asian American communities have been taking turn to host this event.
Other performances included Youth Lions, Korean Drummers, Chinese, Indonesian, Filipino performers and Shaolin Temple Martial Artists. A pre-event VIP reception, a silent auction, and a post event party was also held at the same venue.
It was announced that the 15th Annual AACC Festival will be Co-Hosted by The Chinese American and Pakistani American communities during the week of May 16-20, 2016 at Daley Center Plaza Chicago.
The Gavel was passed on to the Pakistani American Community who will host the AACC Lunar New Year Celebration event in 2017.
Source: Asian Media USA
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