12th Annual Miami Benefit Dinner
Miami Florida, April 13, 2019
RMF USA hosted its twelfth annual benefit gala dinner at the Fisher Island Club in Miami Beach, FL on April 13.
Chaired by Mrs. Rima Otrakji, a longtime director and passionate backer of RMF USA, the Miami gala has become a key gathering for the friends and supporters of the René Moawad Foundation, dedicated to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Lebanon. It also offers an opportunity to honor special individuals and showcase their achievements, and to introduce the organization to a broader network of people. The event was packed to capacity and benefited from the major generosity and support of both individual donors and companies.
Distinguished guests included H.E. Ambassador Gabriel Issa, H.E. MP Michel Moawad, H.E. Sheikha Rima Al Sabah and the Honorable Darrell Issa. Members of RMF Board of Directors traveled to Miami from D.C., New York, and as far away as Lebanon and Qatar to support the event.
The gala provided a setting to celebrate RMF’s rich heritage of helping to create a better tomorrow for Lebanon. H.E. MP Michel Moawad and RMF Lebanon’s Director thanked the generosity of the American people, especially USAID, as well as RMF’s Lebanese American friends for their generous financial support. He noted that the foundation has touched the lives of more than 365,000 beneficiaries in 2018 and has become an important part of the landscape of Lebanon. He highlighted the importance of the three pillar strategic partnership with the Lebanese private sector, the Lebanese Diaspora, and the international organizations and donors — a partnership that is a testament to RMF’s professionalism, credibility and transparency. He also shared a number of moving stories about individuals whose lives were changed by the organization. Guests at the gala also watched a video showcasing RMF humanitarian work in Lebanon and its positive impact on the country.
In addition to honoring the organization’s legacy, the event recognized water engineering and technology business giant and philanthropist Dr. Paul F. Boulos. H.E. Ambassador Gabriel Issa and H.E. MP Michel Moawad presented Dr. Boulos with the RMF Distinguished Lifetime Achievement and Outstanding Community Service Award. Ambassador Issa introduced Dr. Boulos, saying, “Paul is a highly accomplished engineer and a remarkable business leader in the United States and around the world. His long-standing commitment to higher education and dedication to improving the lives, hopes and dreams of our youth define his character as a visionary leader. This honor of Paul’s many contributions to our country inspires great pride and joy throughout the Lebanese American community.”
Dr. Boulos paid homage to RMF in accepting his award. He noted the significance of the organization’s work, saying: “The RMF USA’s incredible passion for enhancing the common good and reaching out to improve Lebanon’s communities is making the country a better and brighter place to live. It is with the utmost respect and admiration for this organization and its Directors that I salute their compassionate hearts, their noble efforts to make a difference in the lives of so many, and their critical role as a leading example and inspiration for others.”
Boulos also asked the audience to work together to help transform Lebanon into a land of equal opportunity where, if one studies hard, works hard and has strong values, one is rewarded and able to realize one’s aspirations for a better life. He envisioned a land “where no matter what your religious beliefs are, what your gender is, where you come from, or what your last name is, you can make your dreams come true if you try.”
Nadia Abourizk-Asaad, Executive Director of RMF USA, noted, “This year’s gala was a stunning success that further strengthens RMF’s presence in Miami and heightens awareness of our important mission. Proceeds from the gala will be used in full to give hope and optimism and create a better tomorrow for Lebanon’s youth.”