25th Annual D.C. Benefit Gala (2018)
Washington, DC • November 3, 2018
The René Moawad Foundation USA celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a benefit Gala at the Ritz Carlton on Saturday, November 3rd. A glittering roster of 400 guests gathered for this memorable black-tie event where invaluable new friends and supporters for RMF were made while ties with old ones were strengthened.
The evening highlighted RMF’s work in bringing sustainable human development to Lebanon for the past 25 years and its commitment to continue this noble mission. The country has been through many adversities in its recent history, including an 18-year civil war and an influx of refugees that almost doubled its population.
The Foundation honored its founder, former first lady of Lebanon and Minister of Social Affairs HE Nayla Moawad, by presenting her with the Visionary Leadership Award. It also honored two prominent Lebanese Americans for their lifetime achievement and distinguished community service: The Honorable Congressman Darrel Issa, who was presented by Mr. Charif Souki; and The Honorable Richard Ashooh, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, who was presented by former Senator John E. Sununu.
The evening also highlighted some of Lebanon’s rising artists. Lebanese singer and actress Manel Mallat and her accompanying band, The Firing Squad, gave a superb performance. An exquisite fashion show by Lebanese Designer Hass Idriss showcased his new collection. All these elements blended to create the ideal ambiance for an unforgettable evening featuring an outstanding program and a full complement of eloquent and engaging speeches. The presentation was overseen by a delightful and engaging Master of Ceremonies, White House correspondent and reporter Brian Karem. Two prominent residents of the Washington Metropolitan area, Mr. Habib Debs and Dr. George Bitar, co-chaired the gala.
The proceeds of the evening will be used to sustain RMF’s educational programs enabling Lebanon’s youth to receive an education and a brighter future. RMFUSA’s New Chairman of the Board Dr. Paul Boulos expressed it succinctly:
“This will give Lebanon’s youth the opportunity to draw on their skills and talents across many disciplines and make a difference by helping build an economy that grows for everyone, creating a virtuous cycle and turning despair into greater opportunity for all. This is the ideal setting for a democratic and free society in which all live together in harmony with equal opportunities. We are fulfilling RMF’s promise to create a better tomorrow for Lebanon’s youth and all future generations by nurturing better leaders, better lives and better communities.
“Saturday’s event did not belong to RMF alone. It belonged to a great country we all love, our ancestral homeland, Lebanon. It was dedicated to the future of our children, grandchildren and all generations to come. The dreams we hold for them are so much like the dreams our parents held for us. What we do here matters. Our work for RMF will turn those dreams into a long and powerful legacy.”