AAWO’s Florida Chapter organized an event in person at the private room in Leo’s restaurant in Palm Harbor, Florida.

AAWO Florida chapter Board.

Due to the COVID pandemic, it was very different from past events. The night before the event, everyone had to answer a questionnaire about their physical condition that day. If they didn’t have a fever or shortness of breath and coughing , they were permitted to attend.

In addition, everyone had to wear a mask and had their temperature checked before they could go inside.

Since it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all of the women were dressed in pink and all the tables were beautifully decorated with pink roses. There was pink everywhere!

The room looked like a whole valley of flowers. It was a spectacular setting.

And because we followed the CDC rules for Florida strictly, everyone felt at ease and completely comfortable.

The program started with a welcome speech from AAWO FL Chapter President Dr. Anna Kohen. She was followed by Mrs Eri Pasko, an AAWO FL Chapter Board Member and the President of AHFT, who introduced the speakers.

We were extremely lucky to have very prominent Doctors of Albanian origin speaking:

First was Dr Kujtim Latifi, a PhD doctor from Kosova, who specializes in radiation therapy for breast cancer. He gave a wonderful presentation about breast cancer prevention and treatment.

And then we heard from Dr Genti Tahiraj, the Director of the ER at the Northeast Hospital in St Petersburg, FL. He is an ER board certified MD, and gave us some fascinating information about Covid 19.

From left to right, Dr Kujtim Latifi and his wife, Mrs Tahiraj, Dr Anna Kohen, and Dr Genti Tahiraj.

At the end we had a Q&A, and every single attendee was very pleased with the knowledge they got that day.

After our education, we were served a delicious lunch and listened to live Albanian music, provided by Armand Zacelici on keyboards and the beautiful voice of Tomi Filipi.

Their outstanding performance made all the women get out of their seats and dance! Which was very exciting, because since the virus, many people haven’t had the chance to get out of the house much, and it felt wonderful to be together.

A jewish joke was told during lunch that had the crowd laughing after the presentations.

We had another big goal for the event:

We wanted to help a 28 year old Albanian student from Tirana, who now lives in Michigan. She reached out to us when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

We had a GREAT response – we collected $800 and AAWO FL Chapter will match the dollar Amount. Now she will be able to Pay for part of her breast cancer treatment.

This truly was the highlight of the event.

This event was sponsored by the Kosloski family foundation, Arian Kushta PA, Unicco construction group, and Casa Italia Italian Restaurant.

Thank you Fotini Allteni, Diana Kushta, and Klodiana Starova, for your continued support.

And thank you to all the ladies who attended – it was great to see everyone back with their old friends, making new friends, donating to a great cause, and having fun on a beautiful Florida day.

If anyone wants to help this young Albanian student with her treatments, please contact us via Facebook.

Dr Anna Kohen