At the year-end fundraising event, AAWO touched on its main achievements of 2016 – as Dr. Anna Kohen, now at the helm of the new Florida Chapter passed the torch to the new president
AAWO kicked off the holiday season with a festive year-end fundraising event, at Arno’s Manhattan, attended by well over a hundred AAWO members and their friends, and honored guests: Albanian Ambassador to the UN, Besiana Kadare and Kosovo Ambassador Teuta Sahatqija.
December 3, 2016 marks a special benchmark for AAWO: the official creation of AAWO Florida Branch and the election of new AAWO President, Beti Beno, Esq. The passing of the torch was announced in a speech by Dr. Anna Kohen, who was elected President of The Florida Chapter.
The participants congratulated the new AAWO President, Beti Beno, Esq., wishing her years of continued success to AAWO in serving the community.
During the festive luncheon, AAWO shared with its members The Golden Eagle Award, given to AAWO at the First Diaspora Summit, and touched on main achievements of 2016.
Alda Mosko, AAWO Vice-President moderated the event and touched on the highlights for 2016.
AAWO grew the scholarship fund in 2016 and gave $4,150 in scholarships to the Minnesota State University, Mankato for Fortesa Sada.
Donations were made to support the following: $1,500 to Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF), $1,500 to Albanian-American Center project by Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, a donation of $3,000 was made to the Rotary Club Gift of Life Program to support the critical life-saving heart surgeries for Albanian childrem, $500 to “Missionaries of Charity”, a congregation founded by Mother Teresa, in the Bronx, New York to support Mother Teresa’s mission to serve directly the poor and the needy.
AAWO participated in the Breast Cancer Walk in Center Park in October and raised money for Breast Cancer Research; during Thanksgiving AAWO donated fresh turkeys to the needy Albanian families through the St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church in Queens, among others.
Donations were made to support medical expense and treatment: $250 Gina Nurka Kidney Transplant surgery, $500 Edison Malaj medical treatment, $250 Sulejman Gashi medical fund and $500 Evis Hasanaj tragedy fund, among others.
The funds raised during this holiday event will support the Regional Autism Centers in Tirana through the Albanian Children Foundation.
A press release sent to Illyria newspaper wished “Happy holidays” to all AAWO’ members, friends and their families! “Thank you for your generosity and support of our mission”, it said.
Who is Beti Beno, Esq., the new AAWO’s President
AAWO’s PresidentOn December 3, 2016, Ms. Beti Beno, Esq. was elected the new Albanian American Women’s Organization (AAWO) president. Ms. Beno was born in Tirana, Albania during the peak of the communist regime in Albania. In the early 1990s when communism fell in Albania, she and her family were able to escape Albania and come to the United States as refugees. In 1998, Ms. Beno received her Bachelor of Science degree, in Psychology, from City University of New York/Hunter College. In 2002, Ms. Beno received her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. In 2003, Ms. Beno was admitted to practice law in the state of New York. Ms. Beno is a founding partner of Marku, Beno & Tsamblakos, PLLC in New York, New York. Ms. Beno is a member of the New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Beno interned for the Brooklyn Legal Aid Society, assisting battered and abused women in divorce cases and various family court proceedings. This experience had influenced her decision to continue in non-profit work for Albanian American Women’s Organization “Motra Qiriazi”.
Ms. Beno has been a board member and subsequently the Vice-President of the Albanian American Women Association for approximately seven years. Ms. Beno has served in the past as a board member of St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church and is currently a board advisor of the Albanian American Success Stories.
Ms. Beno has stated “I look to continuing to serve and partner with the area’s nonprofit organizations in this new capacity. I am dedicated to this organization because it provides vital human services and cultural enrichment to our community.”
Ms. Beno is a wonderful mother to two sons and a dedicated wife to her husband, Isidoros Tsamblakos, who is also a partner at the firm.