Bay Ridge

The Salaam Club of New York presents scholarships to three deserving recipients

Civic Organization Honors Students for their Community Service

June 26, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Salaam Club Scholarship Committee Chairman Tony Msallem (left) with award recipient Pascale Saad (holding envelope), her family and Salaam Club President Joe Avignone (right). Eagle photos by John Alexander
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The Salaam Club of New York held its monthly dinner at La Sajj restaurant in Bay Ridge on Thursday to honor deserving young students with a scholarship award. The three recipients were selected from a group of 11 applicants, based on their exemplary grades and community service.

The meeting was called to order by Salaam Club President Joe Avignone, who welcomed members and guests and introduced newly elected member Chad Hechme.  Rev. Khader El-Yateem, pastor of the Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, opened the meeting with a blessing prior to the presentation.

For the scholarship award, each applicant had to be currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a college or university program or about to enter such a program. They were asked to include a resume, with strong emphasis on community service, a transcript proving they maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA, two sealed letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay.

Scholarship Committee Chairman Tony Msallem announced the award recipients, who were at the meeting with their families. Each student received a $1,000 check. They are:

  • Christine Allawh, a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School who is currently enrolled at Syracuse University

  • Fares Ayoub, a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School who will be attending Manhattan College in the fall.

  • Pascale Saad, a graduate of the Verrazano School who is currently attending the College of Staten Island.

The Salaam Club was founded 71 years ago by Lebanese and Syrian immigrants in Bay Ridge. It was formed in 1945 as a fraternity of men of Middle Eastern descent. In 1994, the Salaam Club Community Fund was established to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and local organizations such as the Guild for Exceptional Children in Bay Ridge.

According to club member Ralph Succar, in 2006 the club decided to raise money through journal ads that would help raise funds for various charities. And that was the year that the club transformed from a charitable social club to a full-fledged civic organization performing community services.

In 2008, the Salaam Club Foundation was formed. The foundation conducts toy drives, donates funds to the Salvation Army and helps children and senior citizens in need. The group has also raised funds for HeartShare Human Services of New York, Calvary Hospital and St. Nicholas Home, an interdenominational residence for seniors on Ovington Avenue in Bay Ridge

The Salaam Club has raised and distributed more than $500,000 dollars to various charitable organizations since its inception.


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