In the same Chicago neighborhood where scores of shootings occur every week, 300 religious, political, civic and business leaders from the Midwest gathered to celebrate the essence of “living for the sake of others” exemplified by True Father and True Mother Moon.
The 21st Annual True Family Values Awards Banquet was held on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the renowned Providence MBC Annex Banquet Hall on the city’s south side.
The high point of the afternoon was a profound message from Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, founder of the African-American Catholic Community and National Co-Chairman of the American Leadership Conference. https://vimeo.com/203242799 His message emphasized the importance of beginning the new year with anticipation of great opportunities for change. He encouraged the attentive audience to consider personal and public needs through a different spelling of “NEADS”, where the letters symbolize the premise that if life is “now” not fulfilling “expectations”, it’s time to apply “alterations” through “decisions” that lead to “solutions”. Everyone was inspired by the guidance.
The mission of the True Family Values Banquet is to empower leaders to work beyond race, religion, ethnicities and politics in executing real solutions to restore families and communities. It is co-sponsored by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, American Clergy leadership Conference, Women’s Federation for World Peace and Universal Peace Federation.
A key component of the True Family Values Banquet is presentation of the True Family Values Award to leaders who have shown exemplary public service and “living for the sake of others” within their fields of expertise. For many, this award ranks among their greatest achievements.
This year’s True Family Values Awards were presented to a diverse group of recipients. First was Rev. Helen Carry, 92-year old matriarch of Chicago’s clergy, instrumental in the founding of the city’s first mega-church ministry. A second pioneer, Ms. Michero Washington was awarded for her thirty years of leadership in developing solutions in race and cultural relations within the Chicago education and business communities.
Other recipients of the prestigious award were Mr. Fres Oquendo, a young professional boxer and founder of a nonprofit academy educating inner-city youth in pursuit of healthy lifestyles through sports, academics and social development. The fourth recipient was Dieter and Rojane Jesper who have invested earnings from their successful business into a rural retreat center that provides moral education for young people from around the world.
This year’s banquet is the 21st consecutive event held in Chicago since its founding in 1996 by Dr. Ki Hoon Kim. “The key to successful development is unity practiced by the sponsors and consistent investment. This is what we’ve learned from Father and Mother Moon and proven through our experience,” explained Dr. Kim.
Our thanks for the praise music provided Rev. Cornelius Clark, recording artist and former musical director at T. D. Jakes Potter’s House mega-church in Dallas. Also to Rev. David Rendel and Rev. Bruce Grodner, local and national leaders of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, for their welcoming remarks.
The program ended with a benediction from one of the founding members of the True Family Values initiative and a beautiful song together with all participants. “I always love attending these banquets”, proclaimed one of the guests, “and this was one of the best!”
True Family Values Banquet Team