On behalf of the CMFAA officers board members , I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to our outgoing president, Mr. Thomas Jourdan, for everything that he has done for the association the past two years.
I have seen CMFAA grow through different phases as I have seen my own children grow. In1993, CMFAA was the only organized group that served the Filipino-American families in Central Massachusetts area.
As the population of our ethnic group grew, so did the number of other Filipino-American associations inthe area.
I remember meeting a few Filipinos during my daughter's1st birthday party 22 years ago. Those new acquaintances at the time remain some of my very close friends to this day. Our kids grew up calling my friends "Tito" and "Tita", and my friends treated them as true nieces and nephews. For about 10 years or so, our kids went to every single May Fiesta and children's Christmas party. As our kids got older, they have stopped coming. Yet, they visit each other across the country, attend each other's weddings, and still consider each other family - only connected by Filipino culture and heritage. Most of us older folks stuck around, and kept the association going, because we knew how powerful this community is.
"Why?", one may ask.
Well, I can only answer for me. Nonetheless, I think I can echo the same sentiments that my friends feel about their beloved organization.
A couple of the many reasons why I have stayed actively involved with this organization is because I am very proud of my Filipino heritage, and I consider the members of CMFAA as my family. We are a unique group of people and we are very loved for our uniqueness. We are very hard working and reliable; smart and with lots of common sense; kind, peace loving and God fearing people. We know how to have fun and take things lightly in the face of adversities. We are very resilient, and in general, we just want to always get along. We value our family and friends, respect our elders and call those older than us "Kuya" or "Ate", and instruct our kids to call our friends "Tito" and "Tita". I love that about us.
I first became president of this organization in 2003, and again in 2013. Now I return for the third time. In between my service as the president, I have been an active board member and also assumed various roles as an officer. I have been a Food Coordinator, Treasurer, Members Support Officer, Walk to Cure Cancer Chairperson, etc. etc. Most of our present officers and board members have also volunteered for various positions as officers, just as our outgoing president will be our next Vice President. Unheard-of!
CMFAA is unique. Our officers our unique. Our members have a unique sense of community and friendship. We volunteer as officers, not because of the name or status, but because we want to be there. We want to see our friends frequently, get together and enjoy Filipino food. We want to meet new people, welcome new Filipinos to our community and to the USA, and be there to help each other in times of need.
So here I am - back for the third time. I want to be there to see this association alive and active. With my past experiences with this organization, I offer a lot to achieve this goal. I will look at this coming year as a "Bridge Year" to tie in all those old faces to the new faces of CMFAA.
We will plan to have more opportunities to have fun with each other, as well as more opportunities to make CMFAA stronger and be in a position to help others in need. We seek involvement from the younger generation. We're hungry for young and energetic minds and bodies. As a community, we want to actively protect each other, protect our culture, and protect our youth. We want to keep our qualities as a unique group of people flourish, as we assimilate in our adopted countries and culture. During this process, we must be on the look out for practices and beliefs that divide us instead of unite us. Our organization seeks to create these unifying experiences and opportunities, and keep our community active, smiling, and engaged.
Please stay actively involved in your community and foster volunteerism among our younger generation. We encourage you to stay connected.
I am very proud and happy to announce the slate of officers for 2018-2019
President: Valerie Veridiano, M.D.
Vice President: Tom Jourdan
Secretary: Dee Grace Balingcasag
Treasurer: Luchie Ramos
Auditor: Trina Lasafin
Web Master: Dave Grybowski
Food Committee: Nena Anthony, Vina Jourdan, Edna Shato
Entertainment Coordinator: Edna and Zaldy Guarin
Chair to Walk to Cure Cancer: Leonora Poulin
Members: Jasmine Cabacungan , Justin Cabacungan, and Honeylou
Fund Raising Committee: Lucena Masters, Susan Leonard, June Geronimo
Member Support Committee: Cathy Hosegood
Media Support: Jeremy Hosegood