On the Horizon – 40/40 in 2020. The Lost Year.

36th Helping Hands Award Dinner Honors Drs. Zoreen and Rafat Ansari

Planning for the 36th Helping Hands Award Dinner began like every other in years past: identifying deserving recipients, sending out announcements and working with vendors to get the details right. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic took us all by surprise. Our spring 2020 event was moved to the fall, then again to the following spring – 2021. Now, as we eagerly anticipate the next vital steps toward the end of this pandemic, we find ourselves looking toward to Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 when we will honor Drs. Zoreen and Rafat Ansari – our 36th Helping Hands Award recipients.

August 2, 2017; Zoreen and Rafat Ansari, The Rafat and Zoreen Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

The year 1980 saw two major developments in the healthcare industry in our community – oncologist Dr. Rafat Ansari began caring for patients at Michiana Hematology Oncology and Center for Hospice Care served their first patient. In recognition of these two milestones, the theme for the 2020 Helping Hands Award Dinner was “40/40 in 2020.” The Ansaris were chosen for the award to recognize their exponential impact in our community through their acts of kindness and philanthropy. In the spirit of the unprecedented circumstances of 2020 and in consistency with moving our event to 2021 the theme was revised to “40/40 in 2020. The Lost Year.”

The Ansaris were also integral in establishing autism advocacy and services in our community through the creation of the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism at LOGAN Center in South Bend.  The center, named for their daughter Sonya, provides a range of services, resources, and training for parents, educators and professionals who face the daily realities of autism.

In 2017, Zoreen and Rafat presented a transformational gift to the University of Notre Dame to establish the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion in the Keough School of Global Affairs. The institute focuses on religious studies and research, with worldwide engagement and education. Further demonstrating their commitment to education, Zoreen was essential in the creation of two elementary schools in Sindh,
Pakistan. Rafat’s extensive published work in oncology care has provided guidance to physicians around the world. In addition, the compassionate care, support and guidance provided through their work as physicians has given great comfort to innumerable patients and families in our community.

Zoreen and Rafat moved to South Bend in 1980 where they raised three children: Sarah, Adam and Sonya. Through their ongoing work and generosity, the Ansaris have created a ripple effect across the community and around the world. Center for Hospice Care and the Hospice Foundation are honored to recognize Zoreen and Rafat Ansari who have done so much to improve the quality of living throughout our community and around the world.

For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities or to RSVP to our 36th Helping Hands Award Dinner, please visit: FoundationForHospice.org/HHAD2021.

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