2015 Early Thanksgiving Dinner

ETD2015Raindrop Foundation hosted the annual Early Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday November 19, 2015. The program was also a celebration of Citizenship Month for Houston. The motto of the night was “Many Faces of Houston Together Around a Table.” The dinner was coordinated with the Glenshire Community Association, Brays Oaks Management District, Dialog Institute of the Southwest, Citizenship Month Committee, Raindrop Women’s Association, Office of International Communities, Houston Food Bank, Embrace Relief Southwest USA and Super Neighborhood 36 community.

Different from last years’ dinners, the program was also a fundraising for Houston Food Bank. 8 bins of food items and proceedings are presented to Brain Green, president & CEO of Houston Food Bank. With more than 300 guests in attendance, the atmosphere of the event was vibrant and diverse.


After Filiz Camuz, Executive Director of RAWA, welcomed guests, she gave a short introduction about Raindrop Turkish House, upcoming events and the activities of RAWA (Raindrop Women Association), Mahmut Gok, Executive Director of Embrace Relief Southwest USA, talked about the past and current campaigns of Embrace Relief for people in need all around world .

The keynote speaker of the evening was Ruben Perez, Assistant US Attorney. He gave a speech including his own story focusing on education with many inspiring highlights for young people. There were also several guest speakers at the event such as Bill Flores, the president of the University of Houston – Downtown. After reminding the attacks in France he focused on how we need peace in the world and giving value to the human “race.”

Mr. Mehmet Okumus, The President & CEO of the Raindrop Foundation, presented the “2015 Community Service Award” to Aynur Tanis for her efforts to start this early Thanksgiving Dinner tradition in 2008. The award received by Mrs. Tanis’s husband, Mehmet Tanis. Mr. Tanis also gave a inspiring remarks on the devoted life of his wife, Aynur Tanis.

The program continued with a wonderful traditional live Turkish Music, Ney & Ud and a Water Marbling Art Show while the guests were enjoying the delicious food. The program ended with a certificate presented to Raindrop Foundation Glenshire Community Association, Brays Oaks Management District, Dialog Institute of the Southwest by Senator Rodney Ellis’ Office.

We greatly appreciate all of our guests for their time and attendance and we hope to see you at next year’s Early Thanksgiving Dinner!