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Join ACC in its Fight Against Hunger

The Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC), in partnership with Forgotten Harvest, is proud to announce its “Pantry of Plenty” food distribution program.  Twice per month, the ACC distributes nearly 30,000 pounds of food to area residents in need.  Items include fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat and juices.

Since December 2011 more than 3,000 families have enrolled in the program.  Each family receives approximately 60 pounds of prepared and perishable foods per event.  The food distribution is open to all in need with low or moderate income.  ID is required.

The “Pantry of Plenty” program runs entirely on in-kind donations. 
The ACC relies on the support of the community and corporate volunteers.
VOLUNTEERS: Contact Kimberly Hassan at (248) 559-1990 or kimberlyh@myacc.org

2nd and 4th Tuesday each month!

ACC Youth Recreation & Leadership Center

62 W. Seven Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48203

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

ACC celebrates 33 years, honors partners in service

DETROIT — The Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC) celebrated its 33rd annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala Sep. 29. Regional leaders who have partnered with the ACC to enhance its mission of enriching the quality of life for people across southeast Michigan were honored. 

Every year the ACC provides more than 600,000 services to people from its 40 outreach offices. Those who received awards at the gala include, Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture, recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Jase Bolger, Speaker of the House serving his second term as state representative for the 63rd District, Gretchen Whitmer, Democratic Michigan state senator and John J. Walsh, Speaker Pro Tem for the Michigan House of Representatives all were honored with the State Leadership Award; Linda D. Forte, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer for  Comerica Bank received the Community Service Award; Susan Ellis Goodell, President and CEO of Forgotten Harvest received the Humanitarian Award; Edwin Harlin, Director of Southeast Michigan Development Authority received the Economic Development Award and Arab American entrepreneur Ghassan M. Saab, CEO of Sorensen Gross, Inc., was honored with the Entrepreneur Award. 

“I am truly grateful to the ACC for this tremendous honor, and to be among the other awardees,” Saab said. 

Harlin noted it has been a privilege to partner with the ACC to make housing more affordable for families. “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work with the ACC, and help people who’re homeless and houseless,” he said. 

Goodell said the ACC has stood with the charity on the frontline to stop hunger.

This past year in partnership with Forgotten Harvest the ACC established one of the largest food pantries in Detroit. ACC’s Pantry and Plenty has benefited over 2000 families in need of food.  

Forgotten Harvest was founded in 1990 in hopes of fighting hunger and waste. It has grown into the nation’s largest independent food rescue mission. Under Goodell’s leadership it has managed to increase the volume of “rescued” food from less than one million pounds annually to over 42 million pounds. She has led Forgotten Harvest since Jan. 2001. 

Forte thanked ACC President and CEO Dr. Haifa Fakhouri for her commitment and passion that has led the ACC to evolve into the crucial resource it’s today. 

Part of Forte’s job involves establishing business strategies that make Comerica Bank a leader in diversity and work life practices. Comerica has reached out to the Chaldean community extensively. 

“The ACC is a group that does so much to help immigrants,” Elslander said. 

He says two of his top sales associates who accompanied him to the gala are Chaldeans. Elslander asked both to stand up, and thanked them for their hard work.  “They are the best in their business, and always, always in the top one percent of our 800 sales associates,” he said. 

One of the women has been the company’s top sales associate for 19 consecutive years according to Elslander, and this year despite tough economic conditions managed to break her sales record.  “I’m so proud of both of you, I love you both very much, you know that,” he said. 

He said he’s been fortunate to be a businessman for more than 50 years in Michigan, and while he’s traveled a lot couldn’t think of anywhere else he would rather be. He says that the Art Van Furniture Challenge has managed to give back millions of dollars to needy people in the state. Elslander is widely known for his philanthropic efforts. 

“I believe so much in the importance of the work being done by the ACC, and I appreciate more than you’ll ever know all the work that you do in the state,” he said.

Arab American News: Community News
By Natasha Dado

Annual outing provides 20 scholarships


ACC 10th Annual
Golf Outing & Scholarship Awards Dinner
Shenandoah Country Club ~ West Bloomfield, MI

On June 5 more than 200 friends and supporters came together at Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield for the Arab American and Chaldean Council’s (ACC) Tenth Annual Golf Outing & Scholarship Awards Dinner. The annual event raises funds for the ACC Scholarship Awards Program. Each year, for the past three years ACC has been given the opportunity to increase the number of scholarships provided. The 2012 ACC Scholarship Program awarded 20 scholarships to deserving high school students.

After a day of golfing, guests participated in a silent auction reception and an awards dinner. Detroit Economic Club President and CEO Beth Chappell and Huntington Bank President for East Michigan Region Mike Fezzey served as the event chairs. Following the reception ACC conducted a live auction for an Executive Suite at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers, donated by David Dombrowski and Karie Ross.

2012 Tournament Winners
Closest to the Pin:
(Ladies) JoAnn Mackie, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
(Men) Freman Hendrix

Longest Drive:
(Ladies) Fredrica Grassi, Oakland County Clerks Office
(Men) John Cavanoz, Glacial Energy

Course Winners:
MGM Grand Detroit
Gus Karagatsoulis, Terry Traynor, Anthony Demarti, and Michael Schwartz

Thank You Sponsors!

Thank you for your kind support of the Arab American and Chaldean Council’s (ACC) 10th Annual Golf Outing & Scholarship Awards Dinner. We truly appreciate your generosity as a Sponsor for this year’s event.

Your contribution helped make our special celebration a success; with all proceeds to benefit ACC’s Scholarship and Youth Program. We believe our scholarships help contribute to a better future for our recipients. Our efforts have shown that with perseverance and a lot of hard work, in a spirit of cooperation and understanding, we truly can make a difference.

Signature Sponsor: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Dinner Sponsor: Signature Associates

Cart Sponsors: Charity Motors, Foxwoods Resort Casino, U.S. Ice

Prize Sponsors: Foxwoods Resort Casino Great Lakes Baking Company

Birdie Sponsors: AT & T, Atlas Oil, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Frito Lay, Greektown Casino-Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit, Wolverine Packing Co.

Range/Green Sponsor:Palace Sports & Entertainment/ Detroit Pistons

Foursome Sponsors: Caesars Windsor, Citizens Bank, Coca-Cola, Comerica Bank, DJK Corp, DTE Energy, Faygo Beverages, Glacial Energy LLC, John Acho, Midwest Health Plan, NWS-Michigan, Oakland County Clerk/Register, Pepsi Beverages Company, Save-A-Lot, St. John Providence Health System, Team Mental Health Services, United Wholesale Grocery, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office

Hole Sponsors: A.F. Jonna Development, Guardian Alarm, Heeren Brothers Produce, Ilitch Holdings Inc., LaFontaine Automotive, Maner Costerisan, Remy Cointreau USA, UAW – MI CAP Dept

Gifts and Contributions: Amani’s Restaurant, Aprée Salon, Beverly Hills Grill, Bob Maxey Ford Lincoln Mercury, Capital Grille, Champps, Chili’s, Coca-Cola, Cold Stone, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Ctr., Detroit Pistons, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Zoo, DodakJohnson, DTE Energy, Elite Internal Medicine, Fleming’s, Gray & Co., Green Mountain Coffee, Henry Ford Museum, Kabob Grill, LaFontaine Automotive Group, Les Stanford Chevrolet, Maggiano’s, Marc Shaye, Marhaba, McKenna Associates, Meadow Brook Theatre, MGM Grand Detroit, Neiman Marcus, Nino’s International Marketplace, Noodles & Co., Oberweis Ice-Cream, Olive Garden, Opus One, ORIGINS, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Panera Bread, Pepsi Beverages Company, PF Chang’s, Phoenicia, Pump It Up, Red Lobster, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Sahara Restaurant, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shenandoah County Club, Skyline Club, Starbucks, TCBY, Tubby’s Grilled Submarines, Parisian Department Store, The Body Shop, Townsend Hotel, Trader Joe’s, Vintage Wine Shoppe

Thank You ACC

Fighting Hunger, Feeding Families

ACC, in partnership with Forgotten Harvest, kicked off its Fresh Food Program “Pantry of Plenty” on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at its Youth Recreation and Leadership Center in Detroit (62 W Seven Mile Road, 48203).

From 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM every second and fourth Tuesday of the month ACC distributes nearly 30,000 pounds of much needed nutritional food items to those in need. Food items include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy items, meat products, juices, snacks, and much more!

Each family receives approximately 60 pounds of prepared and perishable foods per event. The economy we have faced as a community has brought a new story of despair for thousands of children, families and seniors in the tri-county area. Hunger now touches the lives of a new group of people in our neighborhoods who are in greater need of supportive resources and services. Together with Forgotten Harvest, ACC will work to relieve hunger in the Detroit metropolitan community.

The success of ACC’s food distribution program relies on the support of volunteers. Join ACC in the Fight Against Hunger by volunteering. To volunteer please contact Kim at (248) 599-1990

Thank you for Making a Difference

January 2011

“Once again it is my pleasure to recognize, on behalf of the city of Westland, the great work performed by your organization. As you well know, the ACC does indeed make a difference in the lives of residents of mainstream and Middle Eastern communities. The ability of ACC to provide such services as English as a Second Language, job training and life skills training is testament to your influence throughout Southeast Michigan….These are challenging times in our Great Lake state and your efforts provide meaningful and relevant support to those in need.”

~Mayor William R. Wild, City of Westland

8th Annual Swinging for Scholarships

The Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC) held its 8th annual golf outing and scholarship dinner on June 16 at Shenandoah County Club in West Bloomfield.  Scholarships were awarded to high school seniors who excel academically and are in need of financial support for college.

“It’s our commitment to improve the quality of life for students and those who are in need. Financial conditions should not prevent them from pursing their education,” ACC President and CEO Haifa Fakhouri said.

Scholarship awardees were Talal Aboufakhr, Sahar Adora, Najwan Augustin, Marwa Boulis, Rose Brewart, Rayan El-Zein, Yarob Fakhoury, Robin Kassis, Olivia Najor and Tamara Naoum.

“We want to be diverse and represent a cross section of the community. We are pleased to have a diverse group this year.” Fakhouri said.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and Steve Honorowski, regional sales director of Pepsi Beverages Company, served as honorary chairperson for the event.

“Here in Detroit we all know the great work ACC does. It’s a social service agency that helps so many move forward, make their way, and live the American dream. We know it served the large immigrant
population, but it also serves the large population of Detroiters and other folks from around the metro area who have no connection to the Arab and Chaldean community,” Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said.

The ACC hopes it can raise money for even more scholarships in the future.  “I (hope) we can raise more money to give to many other students. The competition was extremely tough. Many students had to be disqualified because we had a minimum amount of dollars for scholars,”  Fakhouri said.    

 Arab American News:

Natasha Dado

Helping Hands, Healing Lives

With more than 800 in attendance ranking from state, federal and local officials including the two main candidates for Michigan governor, Republican Rick Snyder and Democrat Virg Bernero, the ACC celebrated its 31st Annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala Helping Hands, Healing Lives  on Oct. 16 inside the Detroit Marriot at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

The ACC’s humanitarian mission wouldn’t be possible without the help of its partners. The gala is hosted to extend thanks to organizations that have helped provide services to the needy and honors a select group of distinguished individuals for their tireless efforts and unwavering support of giving back to the community through ACC.

“We realize that our accomplishments are because of each of you being here tonight. Thank you for your support in assisting us to grow our mission in serving our communities,” said ACC Board Chairman Abe Munfakh.

This year’s awardees are Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel; Nancy Schlichting, Henry Ford Health System President and CEO; Dr. Patricia Maryland, President and CEO, St. John Providence Health System; Azzam Elder, Deputy Wayne County Executive; Louie Boji, Boji Group chairman; and Wally Jadan, president and CEO of Middle Eastern American TV and radio.

“They are actually involved with the services of ACC. They are enhancing our operation and helping the refugees and those in need of services,” said ACC President and CEO Dr. Haifa Fakhouri. 

“I encourage anyone who has time, talent or money to give. Every one of us can take, but giving is the blessing of thought. Please if you have time, if you have talent, anything, give. That’s the most rewarding. It’s an honor and a privilege for me to receive this award. It will stay in my office and my heart for the rest of my life,” Boji said.

Guest speaker, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, commended Elder. ” Many times he is the unsung hero. A person who has stepped up and done things that don’t get recognized and I get the credit for.” 

The 2010 gubernatorial candidates were the night’s honored guest speakers. Their speeches were broadcast live by Detroit’s local TV news Channel 7 WXYZ.   

Snyder said Detroit’s economic condition is critical to Michigan’s economy. “The other thing we need to do that we haven’t done as well in is to restore our central cities, that is fundamental.  For Michigan to be a great state, Detroit has to be on the path to being a great city again,” Snyder said.

He also told guests he plans on eliminating the Michigan Business Tax. “Now the first thing I’ll tell you is the role of government is to create an environment where jobs can flourish. To do that we need tax reform.” 

Bernero said he’s balanced tough budgets, taken pay cuts and credited himself for helping Lansing’s economy flourish. “When some people say that our past is manufacturing I disagree, I also think it’s a vibrant part of our future and we’re proving it in Lansing every day,” Bernero said. 

Vivian Pickard, President of the General Motors Foundation and Director of Corporate Relations and Grassroots Initiatives for GM served as the emcee. Additional speakers included Radwan Khoury, Ph.D., ACC Executive Director and COO; Pamela Alexander, Ford Motor Company Fund director of Community Development and Fund Operations; and Byna Elliot, Fifth Third Bank Senior Vice President and director of community affairs. 

 “Many times, I say, they ask government to do everything, and at these challenging times we really can’t. When we need safety net community organizations such as ACC to step up, they make that difference, so Haifa we appreciate all that you do and all the programs you have been able to contribute to,” Ficano said.

Arab American News:

By Natasha Dado

ACC to partner with Fifth Third e-bus Small Business Expo Initiative

On Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 ACC (Arab American Chaldean Council) will add another brick to its 30-year mission of building bridges that lead to roads that pave the way for a myriad of human services and needed resources for various communities within the tri-county area.

“As a bridge of understanding, we continue on a mission of maximizing the skills, resources and expertise of the communities we serve, which is why (for the second year) we are excited about our partnership with Fifth Third Bank and its eBus initiative,” said Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, ACC president and CEO.
This year’s event has a duel purpose, reaching out to both the consumer and the small business community.
“For the first time, a Small Business Expo will be included when the eBus stops at ACC’s Seven Mile Campus,” said Loretta Humphrey-Cruz, Fifth Third Bank Community Development marketing specialist. “The purpose of the Expo is to not only educate businesses on various financial resources that are available to them, but to also have open dialogue relative to their issues and concerns that will be addressed by a panel of financial experts.”

On the business end, a panel of individuals from SBA, CEED, City of Detroit Office of Targeted Business Development, Michigan Small Business and Technical Development Center, along with Optimum Capital Management President Ryan Mack (headquartered in New York) and Edward Deeb, Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA) president and chief executive officer, will address local small business owners. The morning will kick off with “A Taste of ACC” continental breakfast followed by the Expo that will conclude with questions from the business owners and answers from the panel moderated by Acqunette Jamison, anchor on Fox 2 Morning News.

“It’s a great day at ACC whenever we can open our doors not only to the community but also to businesses that fuel our economy, and we look forward to this first-time opportunity to host the Expo and to welcome the eBus back to our Seven Mile Campus,” said William Salaita, ACC Employment and Training director. On Tuesday, Aug. 17, the panel of business experts will join Salaita on his weekly radio show which is broadcast on WNZK AM 690 at 3 p.m.
Come rain or shine, ACC clients will board the eBus where they will be provided with community resources information (from DTE, to Michigan Department of Human Services, to a list of low-income housing, to how to prevent identity theft), along with receiving pertinent information from Fifth Third regarding banking and have the opportunity to obtain their credit report. After visiting the eBus, residents can visit the Detroit Community Health Connection which will be weproviding free health screenings. ACC clients will also have the option of participating in two workshops designed to attract those who have little to no banking knowledge or experience (“Banking Basics 101”) and those who have entrepreneurship interest (“Taking a Business From Your Basement to the Consumer”) but lack the wherewithal to complete the transition.

ACC continues to serve the community by “Building Hope, Building Lives” and is committed to staying with the mission of expanding its work with community-conscious organizations throughout Southeastern Michigan. As Dr. Haifa Fakhouri put it, “Through the strength of partnership we can help more individuals better their lives.”

Career fair provides outstanding opportunities

ACC, in partnership with MEA (Middle Eastern American) TV & Radio, hosted a career fair for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), AECOM, US Army, National Guard, and Global Linguist Solutions (GLS) on Thursday, February 10th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Regency Manor & Banquet Center, located at 25228 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48034.

Recruiters were especially seeking those with Arabic, Dari, Farsi and Pashtu language skills and cultural knowledge in addition to other languages. Positions range from professional staff careers to language specialists. Representatives from many different areas were present at this informational session ready to answer job-related questions. Candidate requirements included 18 years or older and require an undergraduate college degree or better.

Career fairs are for recent college graduate or those simply interested in a career change. This event offered an opportunity to look into an organizations that provides interesting work, dynamic colleagues, job security and the means to have a real-world effect on global affairs.