Middle East

The René Moawad Foundation 15th Annual Miami Gala Dinner

The René Moawad Foundation USA held its 15th Annual Miami Benefit gala at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Coconut Grove, Miami, FL on April 13, 2024 with the continued theme of “Preserving Hope” for Lebanon and the Lebanese.

In her welcoming remarks, RMFUSA’s Vice Chair and Event Chair for the past 15 years, Rima Otrakji, thanked each and every donor for their commitment and support of RMF and its life-saving work in Lebanon and in doing so preserving hope for Lebanon and the Lebanese who continue to face unprecedented challenges and hardships.  

The benefit dinner honored two deserving Lebanese Americans. Charbel Tagher, President of Specified Technologies, one of the top two firestopping manufacturers in the US, who received the RMF Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for his entrepreneurial successes and his giving back to Lebanon through his Teach for Lebanon project.  In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Tagher thanked RMF for recognizing another Foundation whose mission aligns with RMF’s in promoting educational opportunities and hope for Lebanon and looked forward to future partnerships and joint ventures to strengthening education in Lebanon.

Adib Kassis, General Manager of ME Airlines (Airliban) in the Americas and a recipient of the Order of Merit, the highest honor from Lebanon, received the Outstanding Community Service Award for his extraordinary support of the Lebanese American community which were touted by testimonials given by US Lebanese leaders as former Secretary Ray LaHood, Former Congressman Nick Rahall, entrepreneur Nijad Fares, and RMF Chairman Dr. Joseph Jabbra. In his acceptance remarks he referred to HE Nayla Moawad as “A force of Nature” and his pride at having been at her side from the very beginning, supporting her dream and commitment to honor and perpetuate the memory of the late President René Moawad and his unique vision for social justice for all in Lebanon. 

H.E. Michel Moawad, General Director of RMF Lebanon, gave the keynote remarks and highlighted the immense role of the Lebanese diaspora in preventing famine in Lebanon through their remittances and annual visits. He thanked the diaspora in the name of all in Lebanon noting that “amidst the very dark picture, the diaspora community has been the only lifeline and glitter of hope for Lebanon”. He highlighted RMF’s new initiative “Medchronic” that will provide essential medical care and chronic medication to vulnerable population in Lebanon! This program, which costs $20/patient/month, aims at assisting 3000 additional patients per month over and above the 33,202 beneficiaries of RMF’s health care facilities that include one stationary and two mobile clinics.

The benefit dinner was masterfully emceed by Manal Saab, a successful entrepreneur in Detroit, MI, and a big philanthropist for Lebanon.

The evening’s performer Yailenys Perez wowed the audience with her song, “Beirut You are not Alone”—a joint production by the Abraham Foundation and Emilio Estefan in the wake of the Beirut Blast.


Emilio Pucci 2019
Bottega Veneta
Valentino pre fall 19