Dear CAIR-Chicago Supporters,
We wish to thank you for making our 5th Annual Banquet a record-breaking banquet on many levels, and a memorable experience at that.
Our banquet sold out twice, at the original 1,000 seats, and again after it was expanded to 1,200 seats. We had to expand it a second time and were able to accommodate a final tally of 1,426 people. We were still receiving requests the last day, almost 150 that we reluctantly could not accommodate. The enthusiasm from the community is exciting.
What’s even more impressive than the record number of guests was the diversity of the audience that came from all across Chicago whether in terms of ethnicity, age, gender, or profession. We were grateful to see every Mosque and every Chicago Muslim organization with significant representation. One organization, Al Azhar Foundation, brought 40 members, several others brought 20.
We are grateful to Sh. Kifah Mustafa of the Mosque Foundation for fundraising, and to you most of all for responding with your generosity. We were able to raise a little over half of our budget, coming close to matching our fundraising goal, but beating any of our previous years, setting another record. (Help us meet this year’s goal by donating online today). A testament to the breadth of our grassroots supporters, we were humbled to note that our youngest pledge came from an 11 year old, and our oldest, an 80 year strong supporter of justice and self-empowerment.
We wish to thank br. Kareem Irfan for his inspirational emceeing and keeping the program on time.
We wish to thank Sh. Hamza Yusuf, our keynote speaker, for his insightful remarks and his words of awakening.
We wish to thank CNN’s Roland S. Martin for his gracious and thoughtful speech.
We wish to thank all the public officials who sent us 25 letters of support this year, and those who attended our banquet.
We wish to thank the countless volunteers who worked very hard to present the community with an evening befitting of its stature.
Lastly, we wish to thank you all once again. Our work could not succeed without your support. You came in large numbers and showed why Chicago’s Muslims are a proud, strong, united community.
Thanks to you, we are now ready to begin another phase of our work. Our promise to you is that you will continue to see concrete results that further raise the bar, as well as a few surprises we are sure you will like. Please stay tuned to our website: www.cairchicago.org.
The CAIR-Chicago Team