Events: LRF Meet and Greet and TOFA 2014
By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — The week past has shown the community dynamics of sowing and honoring leadership from the ground.
The fund raiser meet and greet with the Len Ragozin Foundation was well attended by about a hundred community leaders all over the city on October 25, 2014 at the NWU conference hall in mid-Manhattan. The LRF, a 501 (C) 3 foundation, supports community leaders and cultural and educational projects in the US. Guided by its principle on advancing progressive ideas into practice, the LRF encourages debate on trends in progressive politics and explores cutting edge practices in the area of social activism.
The meet and greet was graced by the presence of Len Ragozin himself and accorded recognition to the leadership of Walter Linder, a home-grown leader in New York who fought for labor rights and against racism since he was 14 years old.
Also on that same Saturday, the Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA) 2014, on its 4th year, honored Filipino men and women of exemplary deeds for the community at the Carnegie Hall.
Founder and executive producer Elton Lugay said TOFA wanted to celebrate the Filipino American achievement in excellence and hard work. The awarding is timed in the month of October in celebration of the Filipino American heritage month.
This year’s Heritage awardees are Bobby Lopez (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony award-winning composer of Frozen and The Book of Mormon), Josie Natori (Fashion Designer and CEO and founder of the Natori Company), and Sheila Coronel (Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia University).
The 14 category awardees for 2014 are: Kinding Sindaw (Art and Culture), Dennis Josue (Business and Entrepreneurship), Roger Santos (Community Service and Advocacy), Michael Vea (Education, Research and Technology), Geena Rocero (Courage of Conviction), Jhett Tolentino (Entertainment), Elle Madrona (Fashion and Style), Joel Javier (Food and Restaurants), Nemcy Duran (Health Care), Ritz Mason Craves (Media and Publishing), Julet Payabyab (Senior Welfare Advocacy), Ludi de Asis Hughes (Public Service and Politics), and Team Takbo (Youth and Sports).
The awarding ceremony was hosted by multi-awarded Filipino journalist and founder of Rappler.com, Maria Ressa.