The 30th Anniversary of the Ellis Island Medals of Honor event was an amazing success! I’m so proud to have represented NECO as its Chairman on stage for such an important milestone in NECO’s long and distinguished history. Such an evening full of joy and patriotism. Even the weather decided to cooperate and assist us in celebrating these worthy Americans.
Our ceremony is always a memorable event. This year we presented, in my opinion, one of the most entertaining and exciting shows in recent memory. Our dear friend, the Emmy-award winning newscaster Marvin Scott, handled the evenings emcee duties and the Victory Belles from the World War II Museum in New Orleans and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus both returned to perform for our guests. The ceremony concluded with a special performance of the classic song ‘Coming to America’ by Tony Orlando, who was also an honoree this year. Tony brought everyone to their feet to sing ‘God Bless America’ as the finale. The evening was capped off by a spectacular fireworks show that could only be made possible by the world famous Grucci Fireworks.
Since the event, NECO has been very busy. We have been engaging with our community and recently donated over $15,000 to support US Troops and their families. We are also working on establishing new scholarship programs that will foster the dreams of America’s youth, and hopefully, bring them to fruition. I would also like to take this time to announce a new addition to the NECO Board of Directors. My dear friend Congressman Charles Rangel has joined our team and we look forward to benefitting from his leadership and vision. Let me also acknowledge that we have redesigned our website and invite you to explore the new, more user friendly database. But that is not all, we are also creating a microsite for our medalists to stay connected with us and each other. We are expecting to launch this exciting addition later this fall.
Even though the event ended only weeks ago, we are now taking nominations for 2017. You can submit your candidate through the website or call the NECO office and have a form sent to you. Please keep in touch and stgay up to date with us throughout the year through our social media outlets.
I am looking forward to what the future of NECO beholds.
Nasser J. Kazeminy