Although International House’s capital campaign was mostly complete at the end of 2012, higher than anticipated renovation costs for our move to the former Midwood High School meant that we were left with a $69,000 gap to cover construction expenses. Three generous couples have helped us close that gap through a September legacy gift of $30,000. We are delighted to announce that long term supporters Tony and Lakana Bikhazi coordinated a combined gift with their friends, Ziad and Roula Korban of Hong Kong, and Edouard and Rita Rassie of Lebanon. We are pleased to honor the Bikhazi’s, Korban’s and Rassie’s with Ambassador Level Recognition for their generous gift and named sponsorship of the large auditorium space here at the Midwood International & Cultural Center.
“We support the International House team for all the humanitarian and social activities they do in helping new comers assimilate and enjoy a better life”, said the Bikhazi’s who were co-chairs of International House’s 2012 capital campaign. Tony is from Lebanon, and Lakana from Thailand. Their own experience as immigrants who have built successful lives in the United States has given them great compassion for others who arrive in Charlotte from countries around the globe. Lakana Bikhazi has also given her time and energy for many years as the coordinator of the Doorways group at International House. Doorways provides a monthly opportunity to international women in Charlotte who want to meet new friends while enjoying programs and excursions to various places of interest.
Edouard Rassie expresses a similar motivation for their donation: “We lived in Charlotte for 14 years starting in 1988, and we are very familiar with the International House and its activities… we are very proud of what the International House has become and the help you provide to the members of the international community in the Charlotte metropolitan area.”
International House is deeply grateful for the generosity of the Rassie’s, Korban’s and Bikhazi’s. Their gift will continue our work of welcoming newcomers to Charlotte from around the world. It is because of people like them, and many other kind donors who support International House, that we can keep up the programs and services that turn strangers into neighbors!