HONORS PARDEEP SINGH DEOL, SAMITA SHAH AND NIRANJAN SHAH
AT THEIR 26th. LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT HYATT
CHICAGO, IL, Feb. 05, 2009
The Asian American Coalition of Chicago honored Indian Americans
Pardeep Singh Deol, Samita Shah, and Mr. Niranjan Shah at their
26th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, the Year of the Ox 4707,
on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare
Hotel in Rosemont Illinois. This year's gala event themed "Cultural
Threads Woven into the Fabric of a United Future" was hosted
by the Korean American community of Chicago, with Ms. Kay Kihwa
Rho serving as event chairperson.
“We really represented the possibilities of raising the bar
for not only the Korean community but to the larger Asian American
community as well. We also proved that no matter the age, no matter
the language barrier we can work together and create a wonderful
unifying event,” said Ms. Kay Rho.
The Hon. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, received the Coalition's
GRAND ASIAN AWARD. This award is periodically presented to someone
of non-Asian descent, who has made significant contributions to
the Asian Pacific American community.
The Hon. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was
honored with the Special Distinguished Pioneer Award.
Niranjan Shah, CEO Globetrotters Engineering Corporation received
the Distinguished Pioneer - Asian Award.
Kamran Khan, a Pakistani American, Founder and President, Nexgen
Cosmetics LLC; 1992 and 2000 Co-Chair Asian American Coalition of
Chicago, was awarded the Pan Asian American Ping Tom Memorial Award.
Lori T. Healy, president of Chicago 2016 made remarks about Chicago
being the 2016 Olympics candidate city.
University of Chicago “Balle Bhangra Group” presented
by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago performed Punjabi folk
dance Bhangra during the entertainment segment. Other dance performances
included the modern Korean Dance, Khmer Traditional Dance, Thai
Classical Dance, and Traditional Korean Dance. Filmmaker Wang Ki
Kim directed the show.
More than 1000 people attended this extravaganza. The attendees
included many government officers, media outlets, local dignitaries,
business and community leaders, and the counsel generals of many
Asian countries. Mayor of Palatine Rita Mullins was a PCS Chicago
“The purpose of this celebration is to showcase the culture,
the contributions, and the harmony among Asian Americans of Chicago,”
said Rajinder Singh Mago of Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago.
An event held on this grand of a scale only once a year, Lunar
New Year is traditionally the single largest organized annual event
in Chicago’s Asian American community which takes turns to
host the event.
“The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago and Sikh American
Heritage Organization officials have consistently and proactively
been involved in Asian American Coalition of Chicago for the last
two decades, and are part of the planning committee no matter who
is hosting it,” said Ronny S. Kular president PCS.
The Asian American Coalition of Chicago Executive Committee was
also introduced, which included two Indian Americans Mr. Prem Lalvani
and Rajinder Singh Mago.
The Asian American Coalition of Chicago, which sponsors both the
annual Lunar New Year Celebration and the weeklong Asian American
Festival at Chicago’s Daley Plaza includes representatives
of the Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, Burmese,
Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Laotian,
Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese communities.
According to the latest (year 2000) Census, the Asian Pacific
American population in Illinois numbers approximately 3.4% of the
The opening ceremonies in the Grand Ball Room was preceded by
a reception, exhibition booths for businesses and community organizations
in the foyer area, and an open microphone for the candidates running
for political office. Being an off election year, the candidates
who spoke were mostly from the 5th. US Congressional District bidding
to occupy the seat vacated by Mr. Rahm Emmanuel’s.
The opening ceremonies included a procession and grand entrance
of the Chicago TV personalities who were co-presenters at the program,
followed by dinner, entertainment and award ceremonies.
The Chicago celebrity TV personalities co-presenters were: Rehan
Aslam, FOX Chicago TV News, Ravi Baichwal, ABC 7 News, Jonathan
Choe, CLTV News, Cheryl Hamada Host WTTW-TV, Ellee Pai Hong, NBC
5 Chicago News, Judy Hsu, ABC 7 News, Jan Jeffcoat, FOX Chicago
TV News, Nancy Loo, FOX Chicago TV News, Joanie Lum, CBS 2 Chicago
News, Mai Martinez, CBS 2 Chicago News, Marc Rita, Actor/Director/Producer,
Judy Wang, CLTV News, and Linda Yu, ABC 7 News
The following ten honorees received the 2009 Community Service
Smita N. Shah, President, Spaan Tech, Inc., Indian American Community
Awardee; Faisal Rashid, Trustee and Tax Collector, DuPage Township,
Rebecca Yemin Shi, Community Organizer, Coalition for a Better
Chinese American Community, Chinese American Community Awardee;
Anita Belisario Rosa, Teacher-Librarian, Cameron Elementary School,
(Chicago, Illinois), Filipino American Community Awardee; Nyoman
I. Mahartayasa, Software Engineer, Chicago Board of Options Exchange,
Indonesian American Community Awardee; Yoshiro Harada, Senior Research
Specialist, Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute,
Japanese American Community Awardee; John Kim, Chairman, Inswan
Home Healthcare Agency, Inc., Korean American Community Awardee;
Yin Kean, Executive Vice President, SuncasTV, Malaysian American
Community Awardee; Pairoj Vongsvangsiri, President, MVT Telecommunications,
Inc., Thai American Community Awardee; Joseph Hong-Phuc Tran, Founder,
Rose International, Ltd., Vietnamese American Community Awardee.
The Coalition also awarded the following students as the 2009 Youth
Who Excels Award honorees:
Pardeep Singh Deol, High School Senior, Buffalo Grove High School
(Buffalo Grove, Illinois), Indian American Community Youth Awardee;
Pardeep is president of Multi-Cultural Club, member Students against
Destructive Decisions, and an active volunteer in his school and
community where he participated in neighborhood clean-up and tree
Nudrat Zoha, College Freshman, University of Illinois at Chicago
(Chicago, Illinois); Pakistani American Community Awardee;
The Chinatown Youth – 2008 New American Democracy Project
(NADP) Volunteers, Chicago, Illinois, Chinese American Community
Youth Awardee; Francis Joseph DeAsis, High School Senior, John Hersey
High School (Arlington Heights, Illinois), Filipino American Community
Sheena Anissasari La-Reine Quick, High School Freshman, Hinsdale
Central, (Hinsdale, Illinois), Indonesian American Community Youth
Awardee; Anita Eumie Kim, High School Senior, Adlai E. Stevenson
High School, (Lincolnshire, Illinois), Korean American Community
Youth Awardee; Cecile J. Thai, College Junior, Northwestern University
Malaysian American Community Awardee; Jason Gerdnoi, High School
Senior, Niles West High School (Niles, Illinois); Thai American
Community Awardee; Danieh Tu Dinh, High School Sophomore, St. Benedict
High School (Chicago, Illinois); Vietnamese American Community Awardee.
The gavel was passed on to the next year’s host Filipino
American community, accepted by Aurora Abella–Austriaco the
2010 Chair of this event.
Other P.C.S. programs include: “Rangla Punjab 2009,”
scheduled for April 11, at Lane Tech High School Auditorium in Chicago
and “Punjabi Sports Festival 2009,” planned for the
summer of 2009. Scholarships for Punjabi youth will be awarded at
the “Graduation Night 2009” in June, 2009., and 8th
Annual PCS Chicago International Bhangra and Gidha Competition in
late fall 2009. The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a not-for-profit
community organization devoted to promoting education, good citizenship,
Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, healthy life style,
and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area.