The Salaam Club of New York held its 76th Annual Holiday Gala at Russo’s on the Bay Dec. 3.
The club, composed of businessmen of Middle Eastern descent, donates money to organizations locally, nationally and overseas.
Honorary Consul of Lebanon John Abi-Habib received the club’s Lifetime Achievement Award;
Naseem Haffar received the Community Service Award; and Arthur Louis Aidala, Esq. was given Man of the Year honors.
The club also gave a $30,000 check to Todd Fleidner, director of the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults. The center will open its new building at 15 Bay Ridge Ave. early next year.
Abi-Habib, who chairs the center’s fundraising committee, is also an advisory board member of Citizens Bank and an ambassador to the Guild for Exceptional Children.
“You work so hard and then you get involved,” Abi-Habib said. “To bring the Salaam Club to the level that it is today is great. I carried the name with me everywhere I went for the last 20 years. I got to be known as Mr. Salaam Club. It feels good to be recognized by my own friends, family and members of the club for all the good things I’ve done with the club.”
“John is instrumental in the organization and supportive to the community,” said Foundation and Journal Committee Chairman Ralph Succar, a former president of the club. “It was great to recognize him for his lifetime achievement. He’s a great friend of mine, a humanitarian and it was a pleasure having him be honored.”
“We had excellent honorees this year,” Succar added. “It is our only fundraiser. We do this gala to get the donations that we need so we can give out scholarships and help organizations.”
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers congratulated the honorees and described the gala as “a beautiful night with great food, music and people.”