IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jeanne Carpenter
for the Children of Iran Raises Over $1 Million for Iranian Children's
Health Care in U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS May 5, 2008-The Foundation for the Children of Iran today
announced that donors attending the Bahar Ball fundraising event on
April 12 contributed more than $1 million to support the organization's
mission: To make U.S. health care available to indigent Iranian children
- or to children of Iranian origin with complex medical or surgical
conditions - who are not able to receive needed medical treatment
More than 600 guests took part in the evening's event at the Andrew
Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Traffic on Constitution Avenue
came to a halt as the Empress Farah Pahlavi, His Majesty Reza, II,
and Princess Yasmine and guests were met on the steps of the Auditorium
by a dozen dancers dressed in ethnic Persian costumes.
this year's Ball, held in honor of Her Majesty Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi,
donors contributed more than the combined total raised over the organization's
17-year history. Founded in 1991 by a small group of Iranian immigrants
and patriots, the Minneapolis-based Foundation secures U.S. health
care services at greatly reduced prices or on a pro bono basis for
Iranian children. With administrative services donated by the Eftekhari
family, 99 percent of contributions to the Foundation go directly
to securing treatment for the children. The Foundation serves Iranian
children regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.
"Our efforts are truly a labor of love, and our success is grounded
in being focused on the children we serve, rather than on the people
who serve the organization." said co-founder, healthcare executive
and Iranian-American immigrant Nazie Eftekhari. The evening celebrated
the generosity of volunteers and donors from all nationalities and
walks of life, including physicians and nurses whose life-saving measures
have changed the destinies of countless Iranian children. According
to Eftekhari, the Foundation has seen a significant increase in the
demand for health care services this past year.
Princess Yasmine Pahlavi, Foundation co-founder, daughter-in-law of
Her Majesty Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi and wife of His Majesty Reza Pahlavi,
II, said that the children of Iran have helped unite people in a cause
that some believe is impossible. "Look at what the children of
Iran can do," she said, "allowing us to show the best of
America, the enormous heart of America, and the amazing medical competence
of America to the neediest and most forsaken of our people."
"The Foundation for the Children of Iran is a testament to the
generosity of Iranians, Europeans, and Americans who have opened their
hearts to the vulnerable children of Iran," said Princess Yasmine
Pahlavi. "Their generosity reaffirms the truth that while governments
may quarrel, people are tied together by a common bond of humanity
that is enduring and reflective of the nobility in each of us."
Hosted by the evening's emcee, journalist Rudi Bakhtiar, the event
also recognized Firouz Naderi, Ph.D., a native of Shiraz, Iran, who
immigrated to the U.S. many years ago. Dr. Naderi is an esteemed Associate
Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
He was selected by NASA in 2000 to lead the Mars Exploration Program
where he successfully launched three missions to Mars, placing the
heralded twin rovers on the planet.
On behalf of the Foundation, Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi honored
Dr. Naderi by presenting him with an Ovissi sculpture depicting "The
Declaration of Human Rights" as proclaimed by Cyrus the Great
centuries ago. Her Majesty also noted the generous donations by compatriots
from all over the world. "This evening I ask you to join me in
celebrating our collective achievement. Let us continue to extend
the hand of love and caring to all we can. Surely when all is said
and done, history will remember those who reached across barriers
with kindness and friendship."She continued by saying, "I
am proud of the accomplishments of Dr. Naderi, my daughter-in-law
Princess Yasmine, Ms. Nazie Eftekhari and all the capable young Iranians.
I hope to see them one day serving our country-Iran -directly."
Iranian immigrants, donors and honorees of the evening included internationally
acclaimed designer Bijan, renowned artists Ovissi and Ghass, legendary
singer Sattar and Shahryar, a popular young singer, both of whom performed
pro bono. Also present were award-winning actress Mary Apick and daytime
soap opera actress Nazanin Boniadi.
About the Foundation for the Children of Iran:
The Foundation for the Children of Iran, a non-profit, tax exempt
501 © (3) organization, was founded in the United States in 1991
by Princess Yasmine Pahlavi and Ms. Nazie Eftekhari. The purpose of
The Foundation is to enable children from Iran or of Iranian origin
to receive health care services in the United States. All healthcare
services are provided by a primarily volunteer medical community.
The Foundation attempts to provide medical services where there is
a reasonable chance of a reduction in morbidity or mortality. For
additional information, please visit www.childrenofiran.org.
Editor's note: Footage from the 2008 Bahar Ball can be viewed at www.childrenofiran.org,
or on YouTube: Nazie Eftekhari's videos.
Foundation Phone: 952-896-9190