Peace Islands Institute organized the 6th annual Friendship and Award Dinner at Westin Waltham Hotel on April 9th.
The turnout for the event was spectacular thanks to our distinguished guests who were legislators, peace activists, policy advisers, community leaders, and academicians from a variety of fields.
The event was enhanced by MC Dana Rosengard’s energy and Keynote speaker Jim Harrington’s enthusiasm. Thanks to Maia Majumder and Jonathan Eldridge for a beautiful vocal performance and to Aydin Cayir for an awe-inspiring calligraphy show.
Joseph Finn, the newly appointed Boston Fire Commissioner received this year’s Community Service Award.
In addition, Dr. Pawan Sinha, received the Humanitarian Award for leading Project Prakash which helps cure childhood blindness in developing countries.
Project Prakash seeks to address this need. The Project has launched outreach initiatives that screen children in villages and identify those whose blindness can be treated. To date, over 40,000 children have been screened. Over 400 of them have been provided surgical treatment and nearly 1400 have received non-surgical care. The transportation, treatment, hospital stay and follow-up examinations are entirely free of charge for the children.
While the magnitude of the problem of childhood blindness in India is daunting, Project Prakash has begun to serve as a nucleus for bringing together the resources, expertise and commitment needed to mount an appropriate response.
As one of the most distinguished guests of the evening, Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives received this year’s Leadership Award for his outstanding service to realm of public policy. This award is established to a Massachusetts resident that has made a significant impact on our community.
Speaker DeLeo have provided a remarkable service in leading the Legislature to pass a consensus-driven gun safety law that closes existing loopholes. Under his leadership, the Legislature also passed updated domestic violence legislation which creates new criminal offenses and elevated penalties. For these reasons you have been nominated anonymously by the Peace islands Institute Award Committee, the Leadership Award.