The American Association of Retired Asians, AARA, held its annual dinner and gala at Ashyana Banquets, in Downers Grove, IL May 5. United States Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, spoke at the event as did a number of other attendees.
The event aimed at raising awareness and support programs for older adults primarily of South Asian origin in the Greater Chicago Area.
Dr. Talat Khan the new executive director of AARA, said mental health would be the focus of the organization in 2017. The programs will train and increase awareness among older South Asian American adults about mental health issues.
This year AARA initiated a monthly Women Empowerment social support group where women get together, socialize, get connected and discuss various topics important to them, Khan said, according to a report from Asian Media USA. In addition, they are also reviving Tea & Talk group.
Tasneem Matthis gave her acceptance speech as the new Board president.
Rep. Krishnamoorthi urged the community to stand together and to do its part to serve older adults.
He urged seniors to contact their elected members regarding the Trump administration’s Affordable Health Care Act, which is making its way through Congress.
The State of Illinois Senate Recognition Award signed by Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton was presented to AARA by state Senator Cristina Castro. Halil Demir of Zakat Foundation of America highlighted challenges facing a growing South Asian community.
The evening’s program includes, dinner, and special music performances by Rama Raghuraman, Sohail A. Khan, and a sensational Kathak dance performance by Madhura Sane, director of Nritya Natya Kala.