The International Rescue Committee will host its annual Rescue Dinner (formally Freedom Award Dinner) to support the organization’s lifesaving humanitarian aid work around the world on Wednesday, November 2, 2016.
The event will honor Spyros Galinos, Mayor of Lesbos, Greece and The Mack Family.
The Freedom Award is presented annually to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in support of refugees, and who have championed the cause of liberty, individual freedom and dignity. This year’s Freedom Award will be presented to Mayor Spyros Galinos. During the past two years, more than 660,000 refugees have passed through the Greek island of Lesbos, the epicenter of the largest migration of people since World War II. The island’s population is only 86,000, but these generous people have invited 25,000 Syrians, Afghanis and others to settle among them. Mayor Galinos is being recognized for his efforts to assist hundreds of thousands of refugees as they face a harrowing journey, and for working to bring awareness to the tragic human costs of the current refugee crisis.
Additionally, Christy and John Mack, along with their children Jenna, John and Stephen K. Mack, will receive the John C. Whitehead Humanitarian Award. This award was created in recognition of Mr. Whitehead’s half-century of transformational leadership of the IRC and is presented annually to individuals who embody Mr. Whitehead’s spirit and passion for humanitarian causes and who have made significant contributions to saving and improving lives around the world. The Mack family is being recognized for their incredible support and engagement in Greece, with the IRC’s mobile health programs in Jordan, and their support of women and girls across the Middle East.
“This year’s Rescue Dinner honorees embody the best of humanity. In a climate that can seem downright hostile at times, Mayor Galinos and the Mack family are living examples of the good that is desperately needed in the world right now. The choices they have made and the work that they do every day results in life-saving opportunities for thousands of refugees around the globe. We are humbled to honor them at this year’s gala,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.
David Miliband will be joined on stage by Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, a member of the IRC Board of Directors. The evening will also feature a special performance by Syrian violinist Mariela Shaker.
The Co-Chairs for this year’s Freedom Award Dinner are Katherine Farley, Merryl H. Tisch, Maureen White and Tracy R. Wolstencroft.