All is set for the DEAR awards ceremony to be held on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at Brooklyn Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
The awards ceremony, which was started nine years ago, is organised by Kenyans living in the USA under the auspices of its CEO/founder Dr Pam Obare. Other co-founders are Alan Anami, Gladys Griffins and Jackie Peck.
Speaking to Saturday Nation earlier this week, Dr Obare expressed optimism in the forthcoming event which not only seeks to empower Kenyans living abroad but also those back home.
“The essence of the DEAR Awards lies in recognising and honouring individuals who are making a profound difference in our community. We seek out those exceptional people who are dedicated to bringing about positive change and impact,’’ she said.
Similarly, she said the awards was initiated nine years ago by a group of visionary friends who believed in the power of dreams and being able to empower others.
The inaugural event held in Dallas, Texas, was, according to her, overwhelming in response, selling out tickets for over 400 attendees.
“For a start, this was very encouraging and there has been no turning back in hosting the event annually,” she added.
Already there is enthusiasm about this year’s award ceremony. One of the notable guests invited is veteran media personality Fred Obachi Machoka who will receive an honorary award and will be a guest speaker. For Machoka who last Saturday hosted his 70th birthday celebration party at his Fred's Ranch in Isinya, Kajiado County, it will be an opportunity to interact with Kenyans living in the USA. Others expected are
US-based Kenyan musician Igwe Prezda Bandason, Jackie Ongechi, Benjamin Bogonko Junior, Maureen Vanessa, Macarena Mo, and Susan Japheth. Others include Fanaka Nation, Geoffrey Mogire, Thomas Onchoke, Kepha Oyugi Bwonda and Allan Anami.
Jackie Ongechi and Bogonko Jr will be the co-hosts during the event.
A host of artistes have also been invited to perform at the venue in Marriott North West, 7025 Northland Dr. N Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis 55428. The show will start at 6pm, with gate charges at US$100. The dress code will be black tie.
Those seeking to attend are encouraged to visit DearAwards.com to secure their tickets in advance.
As Dr Pam Obare pointed out, over the years, they have been privileged to bestow this prestigious awards upon outstanding individuals from various parts of the world. “We have invited remarkable people who have ventured to the United States, only to return to their homelands and achieve even greater heights in various aspects of life,’’ she said.
Notably, this year the organisers have taken a step further by sponsoring over 10 exceptional individuals who will travel to the USA to attend the event. It is an opportunity for them to witness the power of collective inspiration, connect with like-minded individuals and likewise a platform for international interaction.
Back in 2019, Dr Obare was at the forefront of the ‘Giving Back is Power’ programme which involved 14 days of charity work in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Part of the programme was visiting schools, orphanages and the less privileged in society.