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26th annual CAMEO (Cleveland American Middle East Organization) picnic

IMG_2843On Sunday, July 10th, we attended the 26th annual CAMEO (Cleveland American Middle East Organization) picnic. Among the General Sponsors was Margaret W. Wong and Associates. This year, just like last year, the picnic was held at the Picnic Area just off Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights. Packed with CAMEO members and candidates for public office, it was one of the most attended picnics given by this oIMG_2839rganization that we can remember.

We enjoyed chatting with our friend Ms. Annie Ying Pu, "Erie Chinese Journal" publisher, who was there with her little dog, Keke, as well as with Mr. Mike and Ms. Mary Sawczak who live in the same neighborhood as Mr. Abby Mina, one of CAMEO's founding members, and like to help out via providing sound equipment and selecting choice music for CAMEO events. Later in the day, before we left, there Ms. Mary Bejjani's birthday was recognized so everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Mary.

Our good friend Mr. Pierre Bejjani, CAMEO's President, lost no time in introducing the candidates and giving them a couple of moments to speak. First up, were Judges Michael Sliwinski (Cleveland Municipal Court-appointed now seeking election), Joan Synenberg (Common Pleas Court-appointed now seeking election), and Maureen Clancey (Common Pleas Court seeking re-election). Mr. Bejjani then introducted Mr. Matt Dolan, Candidate for the Ohio Senate in the 24th district, who said that Pierre did a very "subtle thing" by first introducing the judges even though they would appear on the ballot last. He praised Mr. Bejjani for doing this because the work that our judges do is very important to our community and often overlooked. Mr. Dolan praised Mr. Bejjani again when he said that Pierre asked him "40 questions" about his views and his qualifications which indicated to him that Mr. Bejjani had the IMG_2856community's best interests at heart.

At various interval throughout the one hour and forty-five minutes that we were at the picnic, Mr. Bejjani introduced other candidates who were Cuyahoga County Councilman Dave Greenspan (candidate for Ohio State Rep. District 16), Judge Francine Goldberg (Domestic Relations Court seeking re-election), Ms. Merle Johnson (candidate for State Board of Education District 11),  Ms. Kelly Ann Gallagher(candidate for Common Pleas Court Judge), Ohio State Rep. Marlene Anielski (6th District seeking re-election), Ms. Andrea Nelson Moore (candidate for Common Pleas Court Judge), Judge Janet Rath Colaluca (appointed to IMG_2854Cleveland Municpal Court but seeking to be elected to Domestic Relations Court), and Cuyahoga County Councilman Dale Miller (District #2 seeking re-election).

During the speeches, the importance of judiciary was again emphasized when Judge Colaluca said that the lower the office is on the ballot "the more impact it has on our lives." Mr. Bejjani seconded this when he said that 80% of what we do every day is affected by an action taken by a judge at one time or another.IMG_2851

Along these lines, Councilman Miller said that it was very important for voters to complete the entire ballot and then pointed out the County Council offices were even below those of the judges. He added that he was proud to serve on the Cuyahoga County Council because partisanship is kept at a minimum there and everyone works well together.

A special guest at this gathering was Dr. Mansoor Ahmed, Director of the Cleveland Sleep Research Center. Dr. Ahmed spoke for a moment and urged all of us to be sure to vote in November because "our votes make a difference about what happens in this country which affects the rest of the world."


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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