NEW BRITAIN - The sixth annual Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fameâ€™s induction ceremony and gala is just two weeks away, and tickets are still available.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
This yearâ€™s inductees are of Dominican, Pakistani, Korean and Polish heritage. According to the IHHF, the Class of 2018 includes individuals and a family who have been pioneers and leaders in education, business, diplomacy and medicine.
â€śItâ€™s a very distinguished group,â€ť said former Mayor Lucian Pawlak, co-chairman of the IHHFâ€™s Planning Committee.
This yearâ€™s inductees are:
nScholar, author and Dominican Republic native Daisy Cocco De Filippis, president of Naugatuck Valley Community College and a pioneer in Dominican womenâ€™s studies.
nPakistan native Adnan Durrani, chief executive officer of American Halal/Saffron Road Foods in Stamford and recognized as one of the worldâ€™s leading entrepreneurs.
nThe Koh family of New Haven, noted for its contributions in the fields of international relations, health and human rights.
nThe late Dr. Stanislaw A. Milewski, former chief of ophthalmology at Manchester Memorial Hospital, who overcame oppression in Poland during World War II to become a leading ophthalmologist and mentor.
Pawlak spoke highly of this yearâ€™s inductees. As an immigrant himself - 100 percent Polish, born in Belgium - Pawlak said he admired the many ways this yearâ€™s honorees have helped their new home.
â€śEvery one of these folks that came here contributed to their community and this country,â€ť Pawlak said. â€śThese people are very proud to be Americans.â€ť
The event is open to the public. In addition to honoring each inductee, the evening will be highlighted by a keynote address by Professor Harold Hongju Koh, who will share his familyâ€™s story.
The evening will also include an artistic program reflecting the cultures of those being honored. Pawlak called the event â€śuniqueâ€ť and said the ceremony is very different from other celebrations of its kind.
â€śItâ€™s an event that really brings people together,â€ť Pawlak said.
Including this yearâ€™s honorees, the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame has honored 27 people since its inception in 2013. Last year, the inductees were Bessy Reyna, Mohammad Nawaz Wahla, Franciszek Herzog, Rabbi Henry Okolica, Angelo Tomasso Sr. and Angelo Tomasso Jr.
Tickets are $95 per person, with discounts available for tables of 10. For more information on the event, to buy tickets or to read detailed inductee profiles, visit www.immigrantheritage.org or call Andre Blaszczynski at 860-829-1215 or Pawlak at 860-670-4955.
â€śPeople really ought to be educated that we are still a nation of immigrants,â€ť Pawlak said. â€śThis is the fiber that weaves Americaâ€™s cloth.â€ť
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.