The Salaam Club of New York hosts its 71st annual holiday jubilee
Guests Included Elected Officials, Civic Leaders and Members of the Clergy
The Salaam Club of New York held its 71st Annual Holiday Gala at the El Caribe Country Club on Dec. 10, a lavish event that brought together elected officials, community leaders, clergy, club members and their guests.
Among the elected officials attending the dinner were state Sen. Marty Golden and Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Ted Ghorra. Members of the clergy included the Very Rev. Thomas Zain of St. Nicholas Antiochian Cathedral, pastor of the Salaam Lutheran Church Rev. Khader El-Yateem, Vicar of Development for the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn Rev. Jamie Gigantiello and Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Catholic Church, who gave the invocation.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was Dr. Salim Sfeir, chairman and CEO of Bank of Beirut. Community leader and club member John Abi-Habib presented the award to Sfeir in absentia. Abi-Habib spoke about Sfeir’s distinguished four-decade-long banking career and explained that Sfeir was unable to attend because his flight from Australia had been delayed. The Salaam Club presented Sfeir with a certificate of special congressional recognition for his outstanding and invaluable service to the community, which was signed by U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan.
The evening also served as a transition of power from outgoing club President Pierre Dabbagh to newly elected President Joe Avignone. Dabbagh thanked the Salaam Club board of directors and all the members for their support and expressed his hope that the club’s mission to distribute donations to charitable organizations here and abroad will carry on. Avignone echoed Debbagh’s sentiments, voicing his commitment to the club and its mission to work on increasing the club’s involvement in the community.
Avignone served as master of ceremonies and welcomed everyone to the event. Following his opening remarks, club member Adel Baghdady performed a stunning rendition of the national anthem.
The Salaam Club also received congratulatory letters from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Golden, state Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and Councilmember Vincent Gentile.
Since its founding in 1945, The Salaam Club has donated proceeds from its holiday gala to selected organizations over the years including St. Jude’s Research Center, the Guild for Exceptional Children, the St. Nicholas Home, Calvary Hospital, the Salvation Army and Maimonides Medical Center. The club’s motto and goal is “that better understanding among men may prevail.”
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