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NRI Chicago Engineer receive prestigious "PAN ASIAN AMERICAN PING TOM MEMORIAL" award


Managing Director of
Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago

The Coalition announced that Linda Yu will host the presentation of the prestigious PAN ASIAN AMERICAN PING TOM MEMORIAL AWARD at ceremonies that evening, to community leader Mohinderjit Singh Saini, the 2007 recipient. He is also Co-Founder, Past President and Managing Director of the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago, among numerous other community leadership positions that he holds. Saini has served on the Program Committee of the Asian American Coalition of Chicago from 1987-present, serving as Program Committee Chair in 1995 and 2003.

Linda YuCo-Anchor and Reporter, ABC 7 News Linda Yu, one of Chicago's most respected and well-known broadcasters, co-anchors ABC 7's top rated 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. newscasts. She joined ABC 7 Chicago in 1984.

Asian American Coalition of Chicago 24th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2007, 5:30 pm in Grand Ball Room of the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 9300 West Bryn Mawr Avenue in Rosemont.

This year's Lunar New Year Gala is themed "Roar with the boar 2007/4705." The event usually attracts 1,100 people. Chinese American Community is the host, Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS), Sikh American Heritage Organization (SAHO), and many other Asian American community organizations are co-sponsoring this event.

"Our goal is to further coalesce the Asian Pacific American community towards becoming a more vocal group, as we continue to grow in political empowerment," said Leonard M. Louie, 2007 Chair of the Asian American Coalition of Chicago.

“A persistently united voice is much more powerful and very hard to ignore for too long,” said Rajinder Singh Mago of Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago. (

According to the latest Census, the Asian Pacific American population in Illinois numbers approximately 428,213, or 3.4% of the statewide population. This celebration is traditionally the single largest organized annual event in Chicago's Asian American community.

Numerous dignitaries traditionally attend the festivities, including the Asian consular corps, elected and appointed governmental officials, political candidates, top business and corporate leaders, and decision-makers at Chicago's major media press outlets.

The Key Note Speaker is Ms. Laureen Ong, president of the National Geographic Channel.Asian American artists will perform a special “Our Silk Road” theme unity dance number choreographed by Marc Rita.

“Balle Bhangra Team” of University of Chicago which also participated in PCS Bhangra
and Gidha Competition 2006 will be part of the unity dance show.

The Coalition will also honor the recipients of its 2007 Pan Asian Ping Tom Memorial, Grand Asian, Community Service, and Youth Who Excels Awards.

The Chicago celebrity TV personalities scheduled to appear as co-presenters are;

Ravi Baichwal, ABC 7 News; Judy Hsu, ABC 7 News; Linda Yu, ABC 7 News; Nancy Loo, FOX Chicago TV News; Joanie Lum, CBS 2 Chicago News; Mai Martinez, CBS 2 Chicago News; Julian Nieh, WBBM-FM & B96 Radio; Rick O'Dell, WNUA 95.5 FM Radio; Anupy Singla, CLTV News; and Judy Wang, CLTV News.

Cocktail reception begins and exhibits open in the lobby at 5:30 p.m.; with an open microphone forum 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Doors to the Grand Ballroom open at 6 p.m. Grand opening ceremonies with a lion team and Chinese dragon dance start at 6:30 p.m. with dinner, entertainment, keynote address, awards ceremony, and “Our Silk Road” dance performance following until approximately 9:45 p.m.

Attire is dressy eveningwear or native costume. Dinner choices are fish and beef combo; or vegetarian, and should be submitted at time of ticket order, or a default non-veg choice will be made for guests.

The Coalition has announced that government official The Hon. George Van Dusen, Mayor of the Village of Skokie (since 1999), has been named the 2007 recipient of 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. Skokie is a municipality with one of the highest percentages of Asians (21.2%, according to U.S. Census 2000 figures). Mayor Van Dusen has appointed 24 Asian Americans to various Village Boards and Commissions, thus encouraging the community to be active in Village governance.

The following nine people have been named the 2007 Community Service Award Recipients:

  • Onkar Singh Sangha, Supervisor, Customer Service, United States Post Office, Oak Park, Illinois; Member, Board of Governors, Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago, Indian American Community Awardee;
  • Nadia M. Akhtar, Chief Operating Officer, RNA Corporation, Blue Island, Illinois; Active in the community with Bolingbrook Islamic Center, Association Pakistani Americans Bolingbrook and Pak-American Medical Center in Chicago, Pakistani American Community Awardee;
  • Duc Huang, Chinese American Community Awardee;
  • Francis L. Mon, Filipino American Community Awardee;
  • Astrid S. Haryati, Indonesian American Community Awardee;
  • Tsune Nakagawa, Japanese American Community Awardee;
  • Dr. Young K. Kang, Korean American Community Awardee;
  • Manoch Bhudvanbhen, Thai American Community Awardee;
  • No Van Vo, Vietnamese American Community Awardee.

The following students have been named the 2007 Youth Who Excels honorees:

  • Kevindeep Singh Atwal, College Freshman, Northwestern University, Evanston, Indian American Community Youth Awardee;
  • Saba Rashid, College Freshman, Benedictine University, Lisle, Pakistani American Community Youth Awardee;
  • Jennifer Chui, Chinese American Community Youth Awardee;
  • Kristina A. Mascarenas, Filipino American Community Youth Awardee;
  • Putria Aulia Kusumo, Indonesian American Community Youth Awardee;
  • Patrick G. Lee, Korean American Community Youth Awardee;
  • Bing Moraras, Thai American Community Youth Awardee; and
  • Anhdao Vu, Vietnamese American Community Youth Awardee.

Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago and S.A.H.O. have reserved several prime location tables. Advance purchase is required. Tickets are $70 per person or $700.00 per table of ten (includes dinner, entertainment, program, and parking).

For ticket reservations, please contact: Rajinder Singh Mago 630-440-7730, Mohinderjit Singh Saini 847-359-5727, Onkar Singh Sangha 630-674-2052, Sunny Kular 312-226-4425

Online ticketing is also available through PCS website, and also directly from the Asian American Coalition They are first funded, first seated.

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.
Other P.C.S. programs include: “Rangla Punjab 2007,” scheduled for April 7, at Gateway Theater in Chicago and “Punjabi Sports Festival 2007,” planned for the summer of 2007. Scholarships for Punjabi youth will be awarded at the “Graduation Night 2007” on June 10, 2007.




MOHinderjit Singh Saini

Mohinderjit Singh Saini is a Pan-Asian American activist in Chicago area. He is a part of AACC since 1987. He has played a leading role in AACC Lunar New Year Celebrations and Asian American Festival planning and organization since last two decades. His participation in the local mainstream community to promote the Asian American identity is outstanding.

Mr. Saini is a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, village of Palatine. He is Chicago Children’s Museum’s Ambassador of Passport to the World Program. He is the Chairman of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity Committee “Vision in Progrss,” a villages of Palatine and Inverness community project to improve quality of life and celebrate diversity. He is a life member of Palatine-Inverness Arts Council.
He has organized Voter Registration and Citizenship Workshops in the Indian community, in collaboration with Indo-American Center, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka’s office, and Illinois Coalition For Immigrants and Refugee Rights.

Mr. Saini was honored with the Community Service Award by the Asian American Coalition of Chicago in 1992, He received the Asian American Model Family award by Asian Chronicle USA TV in 2004. He was also honored by "Chitrahar TV" in 2001.
Moh was the Program Committee Chair for AACC LNY Celebration Host Committee in 1995 and 2003. He has either co-chaired or been a member of AACC entertainment committee since 1987. He has also been a member of the Asian American Festival planning committee since 2000.
Moh is a member of the Asian American Advisory Council to Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, and past member of Asian American Advisory Council to Cook County States Attorney Jack O’Malley.

Moh has been a Program Coordinator for Punjabi cultural presentations at White Sox game park, Millennium Park Grand Opening, State Street Thanksgiving Day Parade, 4th of July Parade in Palatine, Chicago Children Museum, Museum of Science & Industries, Chinatown Dragon Boat Race, India’s Independence day parades, and various other ethnic events.

Moh is the Co-founder, Past President and Managing Director of Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago ( an extremely active community service organization. He has participated in Punjabi folk dances, Indian plays, and organized many community cultural programs for main stream audience. He also teaches Bhangra dance to children.
He was the chair of the committee and the chief editor to publish a Punjabi Community Resource Directory, "Punjabi Pages" in 1999 and 2001, and is planning for one in 2007.

Moh is the past Executive Secretary, Finance Secretary, & Social Secretary between 1988-94, of the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago. Where he organized several Children’s summer camps. He is a director of the Sikh American Heritage Organization since 1994.

Mr. Saini has a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), June 1987, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Punjab University, India, June 1983.

Mr. Saini is a Lead Office Engineer at the Chicago O’Hare Airport Modernization Program since April 2006.
Mr. Saini is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mohinderjit is married to Harvinder with 3 children.

243 N. Wilke Rd., Palatine, IL. 60074
Phone: (847) 705-0434– H; (312) 656-3525 – W;
(847) 530-1374 – Cell, Fax: (847) 359-1107, E-mail: