The City's Ethnic Community Committee has chosen six honorees for its 10th annual Diversity Distinction Awards, to be presented during a dinner celebration on Sept. 21, 2017 at the Century Banquet Center, located within the American Polish Century Club.
The Ethnic Committee is proud to partner with the City Council in presenting award trophies, provided through the generosity of Comcast, to deserving individuals, organizations and businesses that make a difference in our community.
The committee will honor four individuals, one organization and one business. They include:
Lawan Chandruang - Ms. Chandruang was born in Bangkok, Thailand and since coming to the Metropolitan area, has helped many Thai citizens assimilate into their communities. Lawan is a founding member of the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Temple and is very active in her community. Lawan has assisted many needy families over the years with food and monetary donations as well as being a supporter of events sponsored by the Ethnic Community Committee such as the annual Cultural Exchange.
Phyllis Harbaugh - Mrs. Harbaugh is a long time resident of Sterling Heights and is the Deaf Choir leader at Memorial Baptist Church. Phyllis not only leads the choir, but she interprets worship services, leads bible study classes on Sundays, lead the deaf on missionary trips and ministers to the needs of the group throughout the week (providing transportation, helping the deaf with their finances, doctor appointments and other miscellaneous duties). Phyllis also teaches American Sign Language to deaf Iraqi Refugees, in conjunction with the Chaldean Community Foundation and the HEAL Project, and is a supporter of events that are sponsored by the Committee such as the annual Cultural Exchange and the Naturalization Ceremony.
Nieves McRoberts-Lukasik - Ms. McRoberts-Lukasik was a long-time resident of Sterling Heights, now living in Macomb Twp. , and continues to participate in Sterling Heights' events such as the Cultural Exchange and the Memorial Day Parade. Nieves is the Executive Director of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance, an organization that educates the Filipino-American communities about the principles of good governance, encourages community members to vote and participate on projects that will benefit the common good and provide opportunities for empowerment and civic engagement. Nieves is also a leader of a Cultural Exchange Program that gives participants a wonderful opportunity to travel to Yasu City, Japan to learn about the culture, history and traditions of the Japanese people.
Riste Tevdoski - Mr. Tevdoski is a Master of Music at Oakland University, where he teaches students of all ethnicities, and is a member of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra. Riste also created an ethnically diverse band that performs songs in several languages, promoting various cultures and folklore through his music. He is a constant participant of events sponsored by the Ethnic Community Committee, such as their annual Cultural Exchange.
OneMacomb - OneMacomb is an initiative focused on making Macomb County a more welcoming and inclusive community. Directed by Pam Lavers, OneMacomb facilitates and supports collaborative and community-based activities which celebrate the arts, cultural diversity and inclusion in Macomb County. OneMacomb works to strengthen Macomb County's economy by supporting the County's multicultural entrepreneurs and by bringing internationally-based businesses into the County as well as the city of Sterling Heights.
Tiny Tooth Dental - Tiny Tooth Dental, established by Dr. Joseph Tuazon, has been located on Dequindre Road in Sterling Heights since 2007. Dr. Tuazon provides pediatric dental care to all residents in the tri-county area, representing a vast array of ethnicities and backgrounds. The diverse staff members at Tiny Tooth Dental believe in a strong commitment to their community and are grateful to serve the diverse residents of Sterling Heights. Dr. Tuazon will go out of his way to provide specialty care to each and every patient, often working on a pro-bono basis.
Sterling Heights Ethnic Community Committee Chair Mohammed Alomari said the committee takes great pride in selecting and honoring individuals, organizations and businesses for their efforts in promoting diversity throughout the city.
“All of these honorees strengthen Sterling Heights’ quality of life through their dedication to making Sterling Heights a community of inclusion and cultural understanding,” Alomari said. “Each winner of this year’s award has earned distinction and we are very pleased to join the City Council in sharing their accomplishments with the community.”
Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance and are $30 each, or a table of 10 can be purchased for $250. For more information, call Community Relations at (586) 446-2470.