Originally published on India News Times on May 16, 2022.

In its 30th year of existence, the Metropolitan Asian Family Services or MAFS for short, celebrated the anniversary May 14, 2022. The event also celebration May as Asian American Heritage month. The event was held at the new MAFS office on Devon Avenue.

Organizers said in a press release that it was a “grand success.”

Starting with the Ganesh Vandana, a prayer performed by Srividya and Varsha from Malhar Dance Academy, the event included American and Indian anthems sung by Gauri Yadav and Dr. Sonal Patel respectively.

The lamp-lighting ceremony was led by Executive Director Dr. Santosh Kumar with all the dignitaries.

Prominent attendees included Illinois State Senator of District 28, Laura Murphy who commended MAFS for the work it does in the Asian American community. Illinois State Senator of 8th District Ram Villivalam said MAFS is a very positive influence in his district and he is ecstatic about the opening of the new location to help more seniors with services.

U.S. Representative of Illinois 8th Congressional District Raja Krishnamoorthi made a fleeting stop despite his hectic schedule and said he is an ardent supporter of Kumar and MAFS. He highlighted the contribution of MAFS to the South Asian community commending the fact that it serves over 60,000 meals to seniors and conducts 150,000 home visits annually. He added that Indian-Americans are the fastest growing ethnic community and are instrumental in helping make the U.S. the greatest country in the world.

The 18th district Representative Denyse Stoneback, applauded MAFS and said she would continue supporting it. Glenda Corbette, the newly appointed Director of Community Engagement and Equity at the Illinois Department of Aging said that her appointment sets the tone for more help to the diverse population.

Mayor of Hanover Park Rodney Craig said that his association with MAFS and Dr. Santosh Kumar is longstanding and MAFS is providing services in all his suburbs.

Also in attendance were the current Indian Consul General’s wife Surabhi Kumar and former Consul General and Ambassador Arun Kumar who emphasized the contributions of Indian Americans to the U.S.

Phillip Lanier of Age Options explained that as an area agency that funnels federal funding, his organization can only partially fund the programs and the remaining cost should be covered with additional funding by patrons and donors.

Kumar gave all the guests a special souvenir- India Calling– a compilation of 111 foreign visits made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to forge world unity. She also gave a speech outlining the 30-year-old journey of MAFS, and all the difficulties and hardships that she overcame to build an organization. She spoke highly of the Board members who provide solid backing to the organization and the hardworking staff who are truly the pillars.

The Seniors of Naperville, Schaumburg, Chicago, Vernon Hills, and Orland Park centers performed Indian Bollywood and cultural dances — a combination of old classics and latest releases.

The program ended with songs by young and talented artists Rajat Sahani and Shivani Shah who had come all the way from India to regale the audience. They were accompanied by Joy Christian, a talented singer from Chicago.

Category: In The News

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