26th Annual D.C. Benefit Gala (2019)
Washington DC, The Rene Moawad Foundation USA held its 26th Anniversary Benefit Dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
The evening highlighted RMF’s 26 years of work in bringing sustainable human development to Lebanon and its commitment to continue supporting its people’s aspirations for a better life. H.E Nayla Moawad saluted the people who were currently protesting in the streets of Lebanon, saying, “They are not only expressing their pain and anger, but are also striving for a better Lebanon they clearly deserve.”
The Foundation honored three prominent Lebanese-Americans: The Honorable Alex Azar, II, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, who received the Distinguished Public Service Award; Mr. Monir Barakat, Vice Chairman and President of Wafra Capital, who received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award; and Dr. James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, who received the Outstanding Community Service Award. The honors were presented by former U.S. Energy Secretary, The Honorable Spencer Abraham (Azar); Mr. Rafic Bizri, President and CEO of Hariri Interests, Inc. (Barakat); and former Congressman, David Bonior (Zogby).
In his welcoming remarks, RMFUSA’s Chairman of the Board Dr. Paul F. Boulos expressed solidarity with the protesters in Lebanon and prayed that the country’s politicians would find the fortitude to listen to the united voice of the people and do the right things right. “Our Lebanese brothers and sisters have long been suffering from dire economic conditions in addition to an environmental disaster, a crumbling infrastructure and an ineffective political system,” he said. “They are now peacefully and rightfully calling for desperately needed positive change: a truly democratic and free society in which all people live together in harmony with equal opportunities.” He added that “RMF will continue to meet its promise of being a beacon of hope to Lebanon’s underserved youth who have a burning ambition to better their lives and those of their families.”
Boulos noted that in the last decade alone, RMF has funded mission-critical projects in Lebanon in excess of $100 million.
The benefit dinner was highlighted by a powerful performance from Grammy-nominated Lebanese American singer and songwriter Mayssa Karaa, who moved the audience with a selection of patriotic Lebanese songs. The evening’s program was superbly overseen by Master of Ceremonies Michael Tammero, Senior Vice President of Fox Entertainment.
Full proceeds from the event will support RMF’s programs in Lebanon, all dedicated to expanding opportunities, giving hope and optimism, and creating a better tomorrow for the country’s underserved youth. It enables RMF to expand our grassroots projects in education, healthcare and economic development that have improved the lives of more than 360,000 Lebanese.
Support from our annual fundraisers are already reaching far beyond fulfilling young people’s dreams today. It is transforming those dreams into a powerful legacy that will impact generations to come in the country we hold dear. If you didn’t get a chance to donate the night of the dinner in support of our Bio-digester campaign, there’s still time to send a gift.