by Eric Peterson, Daily Herald
Three local mayors, several state legislators, the Indian consul general in Chicago and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg were among the dignitaries who joined the Federation of Indian Associations Chicago Friday night for a combined celebration of its own 10th anniversary and India's 73rd Independence Day.
Between vibrant dance performances on an Oscar-themed stage at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, much praise was bestowed on the Elmhurst-based foundation for its championing of Indian culture in the area and the philanthropy it's demonstrated in the community at large.
"They've been with us for 10 years but they've made such an impact on the community," Krishnamoorthi said before copresenting some awards with Consul General Sudhakar Dalela. "It's not the size of your wallet, it's not the number of letters after your name, it's the size of your heart. The hearts here make everything possible."
FIA Founder President Sunil Shah of Schaumburg said the organization was born by bringing many existing Indian associations under one roof. Though the anniversary is always celebrated, the 2019 gala was the first to hand out awards -- shaped like Oscar statues -- to contributors in numerous categories.
Among the guests handing them out were Hanover Park Mayor Rod Craig, Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod, Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, and state senators Cristina Castro and Laura Murphy.
Dailly won the Friend of the Indian Community Award. Awards also were given to community service organizations, local media companies including the Daily Herald, and a variety of individuals active in the Indian community.