Mother Teresa statue Fundraiser
For the Cleveland Albanian Cultural Garden Federation of India Community Associations (FICA)
May 30, 2012
Event Poster by Asim Datta
An intercultural group of people came together on May 30th to raise funds for the Mother Teresa statue in the Albanian Cultural Garden as well as to meet new friends and have some fun. The event was created by immigration attorney and author Richard Herman, City Councilwoman Dona Brady and Federation Of India Community Associations of NE Ohio (FICA) president Asim Datta.
Richard Herman, Dona Brady and Asim Datta
Soon over 75 Latino, African American, Asian, Jewish, Arab, and European leaders (see names below) joined the ad hoc intercutlural committee for this special cause.
The group came together to celebrate the spirit of Mother Teresa and raise the last few dollars needed to install the Mother Teresa statute in the new Albanian Garden at Rockefeller Park (Cleveland Cultural Gardens). Over $70,000 has already been raised. The group joined forces to raise some additional funds to finalize the bronzing of the statute of Mother Teresa -- the most famous Albanian to touch the hearts of so many around the world.
The diverse crowd enjoyed a social hour of terrific Indian and Albanian food and drink before the short formal program.
Sujata Burgess serving some of the delicious food
FICA president Asim Datta welcomed the crowd and introduced a video clip of an interview with Mother Teresa.
Asim is originally from Calcutta and lived only a few miles from where Mother Teresa worked.
The moving video included Mother Teresa's answer to a question about how many people she had to turn away. Remarkably, she said that they were always able to find one more mat, one more blanket and one more bowl of rice for the needy.
Sister Valarie Sweeney, SND
After the video, Asim introduced Sister Valarie Sweeney SND who gave an opening prayer in the spirit of Mother Teresa.
Councilwoman Dona Brady told of her involvement in the Cleveland Albanian community and shared some facts about Mother Teresa's life.
Councilwoman Brady also introduced members of the Albanian Cultural Garden Committee
Members of the Albanian Cultural Garden Committee
Richard Herman thanked the crowd and praised the multicultural spirit of one community that made the event possible.
The Mother Teresa statue is scheduled to be unveiled on August 25, 2012. Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive updates.
The Intercultural Ad-Hoc Committee consisted of:
Jeanette Grasselli Brown
Peggy Zone Fisher
Pastor Jesus LaBoy
Lee C Shapiro
Bernardine Van Kessel
Enjoy these photos from the event.
Harjit Alag and Paramjit Singh
Valentina Sulaj with Mira and Hasan Bakia
Raj Pillai, Prashant Carvalho and Mona Alag
Michael Obi, Alton Tinker, Donna Dabbs and Derek Ng
Richard Herman, Michael Sreshta, Dan Hanson and Sr. Valarie Sweeney SND
Gia Hoa Ryan and Dona Brady
Dr. Gita Gidwani, Nisha Jain, Neelam Nagpal, Meera Kansal and (visiting from India) Shobhna Jain
Marty Gelfand and daughter Eden
Mari Galindo, Richard Kameo and Maria Pujana
Pierre and Mary Bejjani with Malak Jadallah
George Burke, Ye-Fan Wang and Len Calabrese
Michael Sreshta, Dona Brady, Gia Hoa Ryan, Joe Meissner, Pradip Kamat and Mona Alag
Richard Romero, Ajisa Fukudenji and Roberto Torres
Victoria Timperio and Ditmer Meta
Karen Wishner, Radhilka Reddy and Richard Eastburn
Tarita Mosely and Lou Acosta
Raj Pillai and Bharat Kumar
Anila Nicklos and Dona Brady
Barbara Hawkins and Mik Miller
Max Gjermeni, Richard Herman, Radhika Reddy, Sister Eileen Manning SND, Sister Valarie Sweeny SND, Chittaranjan Jain, Dona Brady, Asim Datta and Anila Nicklos
Richard Herman and Alban Bakia
Dr. Gita Gidwani, Mona Alag and Andrew Rajec
Kathy Ghose, Sister Sweeney and Anjan Ghose
Priya and Ranajit Datta
Harjit Alag and Kul Bhushan
Raj Pillai and Sanjay Gupta
Kathy Ghose, Mona Alag and Meera Kansal
Radhika Reddy and Gia Hoa Ryan
Mona Alag and Sujata Burgess
Asim Datta and Dona Brady
If you would like to contribute to the fund, send your check to
The Albanian American Assoc. C/O Dona Brady 1272 West Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44102