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Mother Teresa statue Fundraiser

Mother Teresa statue Fundraiser
For the Cleveland Albanian Cultural Garden
Federation of India Community Associations (FICA)
May 30, 2012

Mother Teresa poster by Asim Datta

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

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.

Crowd at the Indian-Albanian Mother Teresa event


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

Sujata Burgess serving some of the delicious food


Crowd at the Indian-Albanian Mother Teresa event

FICA president Asim Datta welcomed the crowd and introduced a video clip of an interview with Mother Teresa.

Asim Datta

Asim Datta

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

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.

Cleveland City Council's Dona Brady

Dona Brady



Councilwoman Brady also introduced members of the Albanian Cultural Garden Committee


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.

Richard Herman speaking

Richard Herman




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:

  • Lou Acosta
  • Raj Aggarwal
  • Philip Alexander
  • Connie Atkins
  • Alban Bakia
  • Hasan Bakia
  • Carolyn Balogh
  • Pierre Bejjani
  • Sandeep Bhatia
  • Vivian Borromeo
  • Dona Brady
  • Jeanette Grasselli Brown
  • Ingrida Bublys
  • Sujata Burgess
  • Michael Byun
  • Leonard Calabrese
  • Marc Canter
  • Subodh Chandra
  • Kimberly Chen
  • Asim Datta
  • Donna Dabbs
  • Byron Dillard
  • Richard Eastburn
  • Ifeoma Ezepue
  • Jose Feliciano
  • Peggy Zone Fisher
  • David Fleshler
  • Lucian Fogoros
  • Mansfield Frazier
  • Mari Galindo-DaSilva
  • Pulkit Gupta
  • Robert Goldberg
  • Dan Hanson
  • Debbie Hanson
  • Richard Herman
  • William Holdipp
  • Johnathan Holifield
  • Vi Huynh
  • Malak Jadallah
  • Fredi Kadriu
  • Pradip Kamat
  • Sanjiv Kapur
  • Becca Kopp
  • Kenneth Kovach
  • Maryann Kovach
  • Bharat Kumar
  • Pastor Jesus LaBoy
  • Susan Lohwater
  • Ben Malecki
  • Randy McShepard
  • Joseph Meissner
  • Adem Meta
  • Martin Mezini
  • Stanley Miller
  • Mamie Mitchell
  • Marsha Mockabee
  • Derek Ng
  • Anila Nicklos
  • Ron Nicklos
  • Maria Pujana
  • Lisa Purdy
  • Patty Quinonez
  • Eduardo Romero
  • Richard Romero
  • Gia-Hoa Ryan
  • Dick Russ
  • Fatina Salaheddine
  • Alan Schonberg
  • Lee C Shapiro
  • Ilir Shyte
  • Paramjit Singh
  • Rita Singh
  • Prakash Sinha
  • Ratanjit Sondhe
  • Kleida Spirollari
  • Joe Thomas
  • Alton Tinker
  • Roberto Torres
  • Hugo Urizar
  • Harry Weller
  • Karin Wishner
  • Gary Wnek
  • Margaret Wong
  • Bernardine Van Kessel
  • Iliaz Vrioni
  • Anthony Yen

Enjoy these photos from the event.

Harjit Alag and Paramjit Singh

Harjit Alag and Paramjit Singh


Valentina Sulaj with Mira and Hasan Bakia

Valentina Sulaj with Mira and Hasan Bakia


Raj Pillai, Prashant Carvalho and Mona Alag

Raj Pillai, Prashant Carvalho and Mona Alag


Michael Obi, Alton Tinker, Donna Dabbs and Derek Ng

Michael Obi, Alton Tinker, Donna Dabbs and Derek Ng


Richard Herman, Michael Sreshta, Dan Hanson and Sr. Valarie Sweeney SND

Richard Herman, Michael Sreshta,
Dan Hanson and Sr. Valarie Sweeney SND


Gia Hoa Ryan and Dona Brady

Gia Hoa Ryan and Dona Brady


Dr. Gita Gidwani, Nisha Jain, Neelam Nagpal, Meera Kansal, visiting from India Shobhna Jain

Dr. Gita Gidwani, Nisha Jain, Neelam Nagpal,
Meera Kansal and (visiting from India) Shobhna Jain


Marty Gelfand and daughter Eden

Marty Gelfand and daughter Eden


Mari Galindo, Richard Kameo and Maria Pujana

Mari Galindo, Richard Kameo and Maria Pujana


Pierre and Mary Bejjani with Malak Jadallah

Pierre and Mary Bejjani with Malak Jadallah


George Burke, Ye-Fan Wang and Len Calabrese

George Burke, Ye-Fan Wang and Len Calabrese


Michael Sreshta, Dona Brady, Gia Hoa Ryan, Joe Meissner, Pradip Kamat and Mona Alag

Michael Sreshta, Dona Brady, Gia Hoa Ryan, Joe Meissner,
Pradip Kamat and Mona Alag


Richard Romero, Ajisa Fukudenji and Roberto Torres

Richard Romero, Ajisa Fukudenji and Roberto Torres


Victoria Timperio and Ditmer Meta

Victoria Timperio and Ditmer Meta


Karen Wishner, Radhilka Reddy and Richard Eastburn

Karen Wishner, Radhilka Reddy and Richard Eastburn


Tarita Mosely and Lou Acosta

Tarita Mosely and Lou Acosta


Raj Pillai and Bharat Kumar

Raj Pillai and Bharat Kumar


Anila Nicklos and Dona Brady

Anila Nicklos and Dona Brady


Barbara Hawkins and Mik Miller

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

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

Richard Herman and Alban Bakia


Dr. Gita Gidwani, Mona Alag and Andrew Rajec

Dr. Gita Gidwani, Mona Alag and Andrew Rajec


Kathy Ghose, Sister Sweeney and Anjan Ghose

Kathy Ghose, Sister Sweeney and Anjan Ghose


Priya and Ranajit Datta

Priya and Ranajit Datta


Harjit Alag and Kul Bhushan

Harjit Alag and Kul Bhushan


Raj Pillai and Sanjay Gupta

Raj Pillai and Sanjay Gupta


Table of friends


Kathy Ghose, Mona Alag and Meera Kansal

Kathy Ghose, Mona Alag and Meera Kansal


Radhika Reddy and Gia Hoa Ryan

Radhika Reddy and Gia Hoa Ryan


Mona Alag and Sujata Burgess

Mona Alag and Sujata Burgess


Asim Datta and Dona Brady

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

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