Indian Community Center Honors Mathai Mammen, Johnson & Johnson Director of Research & Development, at Annual Gala, Raises $ 257,000 | Indian of the world

Dr Mathai Mammen, Global Head of Research & Development for the Janssen Pharmaceuticals Wing of Johnson & Johnson, received the India Community Center’s annual Inspire Award for his work in the development of the J&J Covid-19 single-injection vaccine, at the organization’s annual banquet on October 10. 2.

“J&J, BioNTech and Moderna had never created vaccines before. But everyone saw the public health crisis that was happening – as 10,000 people died every day – and wanted to help, ”said Mammen, who was interviewed at the gala by Divya Ganesan, a freshman at the ‘Stanford University and co-founder of Real Talk Ed.

“It was unthinkable to think of making a vaccine in such a short time. It would generally be a seven-year process, ”Mammen said, noting that 600 people at J&J have stepped up 24 hours a day, seven days a week to develop a vaccine. “We have broken all of our normal processes,” said the American Indian. “We had invested in good science that we put into play.”

“The trip was unlike anything we had ever seen. For 14 months, no one has ever taken a day off. I don’t think the world recognizes what it took to make this vaccine, ”Mammen said.

On October 5, Johnson and Johnson announced that she had asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve her vaccine for third injections / boosters. The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee is set to meet on October 14 and 15 to consider Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s requests to add booster doses for their Covid-19 vaccines, CNN reported.

CPI 18e the annual gala was held virtually for the second time, in keeping with Covid-19 security protocols, which discourage gatherings of large groups indoors. A friendly yet competitive live auction, followed by a lively pledge campaign, quickly raised over $ 257,000 to support the community center, a second home for many American Indian seniors and youth. .

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the ICC closed its doors and put its staff on leave, in accordance with the state of California’s stay-at-home mandates. The organization lost much of its revenue and incurred a deficit of $ 1.2 million. Two paycheck protection programs – loans of $ 384,000 and $ 355,000 which were later canceled – kept ICC viable and reopened.

ICC has expanded to four sites, including its headquarters in Milpitas, California; a second location in Cupertino; a Tri-Valley location in Dublin; and a center in the middle of the peninsula to serve Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Menlo Park and Atherton.

The pandemic has allowed the organization to deliver its programs to American Indians across the United States, said Raj Desai, executive director of ICC. India-West. “People were bored at home. The Zoom platform has allowed us to engage with new communities, ”he said.

The organization’s core programs including Bollywood dance, karaoke night, fitness programs and yoga for seniors have been reformatted to run through Zoom.

As the doors reopen, ICC’s signature senior programs, one of the organization’s most successful initiatives, are currently taking place virtually at the Mid-Peninsula and Tri-Valley sites, and in person at the centers. Milpitas and Cupertino.

The Milpitas table tennis center, run by coach Rajul Sheth, sent four of their students to the Tokyo Olympics this year.

ICC was founded 18 years ago with the goal of uniting the growing Native American community in the Silicon Valley of the San Francisco Bay Area. “We started the organization with children who came to our programs. Now they are between 20 and 30 years old; we want to create programs that are relevant to their lives now, that allow them to celebrate and conserve their Indian culture, ”Desai said. “The little ones are always there: people see the relevance for their children, but how do you involve parents? “

ICC Board Chairman Talat Hasan said in a speech at the gala: “We have always focused on our children and our elders, and will continue to be; because they are the ones who guide our actions and represent our values.

The live auction featured a vacation in Costa Rica: Rao Pokkala placed the winning bid of $ 4,000. Financial advisor Deepak Ganju has won an 8-day, 7-night stay at an elegant villa in Croatia, with his winning bid of $ 5,195.

Ananthalakshmi Anbuselvan was the only one to bid for a stay at a private house in Languedoc, southern France, and secured it for its opening bid of $ 6,995. Several ICC supporters made pledges in the round of donations, which started at $ 25,000.

The evening was rounded off with a performance by New York-based singer-songwriter Neel Nadkarni, who delivered a mix of Bollywood and R&B.

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