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UCF hosts Mother's Day Banquet; donates to Special Kids, Inc.

The United Cedars Foundation donated $1200 to the American Foundation for Auxilia at the 2nd Annual Mother's Day Banquet.
The United Cedars Foundation donated $1200 to the American Foundation for Auxilia at the 2nd Annual Mother's Day Banquet.
Charlie Kadado

(SAINT CLAIR SHORES) — The United Cedars Foundation (UCF) hosted their 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Party on Saturday at the Barrister Gardens Banquet Center in Saint Clair Shores. 150 people attended the dinner, which was sold out one week before the event, according to the UCF board.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Special Kids, Inc., an organization that provides therapeutic rehabilitation and professional nursing services to children with special needs.

“The purpose of our activities is to help other charitable organizations with monetary donations. We plan activities and part of those proceeds are donated to those organizations,” said Walid Korkmaz, the president of the United Cedars Foundation.

The organization was founded in December 2012, and has grown exponentially with 45 registered families as members. The executive board includes President Walid Korkmaz, Vice President Walid Souaid, Secretary Charbel Nader, Treasurer Joe Saleh, and Trustee Abe Charaf.

“We feel that our community is missing a charitable organization like this. They are all about politics and we want something different for our kids,” said Joe Saleh, the treasurer of the organization.

Several young people read poems to their mothers, which was met with roaring applause and warm hugs and kisses. After the dinner, singer Karim Jaber and his band kept the crowd entertained with Arabic music. Three raffle prizes, including a $50 gift certificate to Cedar Grille, donated by Camilia and Antoine Saleh, a $50 gift certificate to Lebanese Grill, donated by Abe Charaf, and a Dell tablet, donated by UCF, were awarded to guests who purchased raffle tickets.

UCF also donated $1,200 to the American Foundation for Auxilia, a non-profit organization that helps orphans and needy children in Lebanon. Several board members representing the Auxilia Foundation accepted the check in honor of an 11-year old boy, who desperately needs the monetary support.

“It means a lot. Every time we can help a child, with education, medical expenses, or food, it’s a great accomplishment for us,” said Dolly Matta, one of the board members of the Auxilia Foundation. “The $1,200 today will help a child for a whole year, medically, education wise, and with food.”

Michigan coordinator for Auxilia, Samar Malouf, was unable to attend the banquet, but expressed her appreciation to the United Cedars Foundation on Facebook, thanking the organization for “(helping) needy children in Lebanon.”

“We really do appreciate the support of UCF. The donation is needed to help the boy with living expenses,” said Rowina Eid, a Auxilia board member, who briefly spoke during the program.

The United Cedars Foundation will be able to stay in touch with the 11-year old boy, exchange letters, and visit him during future trips to Lebanon.

“It makes me feel so good. I visit Lebanon from time-to-time and see how everything is becoming more expensive, and how hard it is becoming to survive and when you see one child who is not able to go to school, it’s very sad,” Matta added.