Woodland Annual Interfaith peace picnic 2013
Story by Omar Saeed and Pictures by Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Woodland Annual Interfaith peace picnic, held on Oct. 12, 2013, was another memorable event.
A crowd of over 250 men, women and children enjoyed a wonderful sunny day at the Fern Park.
This annual event is part of American Muslim Voice’s project which is organized nationwide in different cities.
The Woodland Muslim community, particularly the Woodland Mosque, is active member of this picnic and provides the main course of Pakistani lunch from Kabab Corner Restaurant of west Sacramento.
American Lutheran Church provided the drinks and all other participants brought in salads and desserts.
The main sponsor of the Interfaith Peace Picnic was the Woodland Ecumenical Ministries which include: Church of Later Day Saints, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church , United Methodist Church, Christian Church of Woodland, American Lutheran Church and Saint John's Church.
President of the American Muslim Voice and member of the Woodland Mosque as well as the Woodland Ecumenical Ministries, Khalid Saeed, started the program with the recitation of the Holy Quran.
He was followed by a brief speech by the Mayor of Woodland, Dr. Skip Davies, thanked all the participants , the mosque and all the participant churches and people to organize and come to the park to create a friendly community.
Dr. Skip Davies, elected Mayor in 2006, has received local recognition for his efforts in the Woodland Community receiving the City of Woodland's Community Service Award, the Yolo County Champion Award, The Yolo County Educator of the Year recognition, and Induction into the Woodland Athletic Hall of Fame.
Vice Mayor Tom Stallard and City Council member Dr. Bill Marble also spoke at the event. He was named “Small Business Person of the Year” in 2004 by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He was also the recipient of the 2004 Individual Leadership Award given by the Sacramento Arts and Business Council.
Woodland City Council member Dr. Bill Marble also spoke . Dr. Bill Marble is a distinguished council member. In 2011 he received the Advanced Leadership and the Leadership in Action Awards from the Mayors and Councilmembers Academy.
The Founding Executive Director of the AMV, Samina Sundas, who travelled from Palo Alto spoke about inclusiveness in the society. She distributed beautiful scarves from Pakistan to the attending ladies.
Samina Sundas said that the objective to establish this organization was to have interaction among all Americans, which has proven to be one of the best ways to enhance cross cultural understanding and to build mutual respect between people of all faiths.
Abdus Sattar Ghazali, communication director of AMV and Mrs. Meraj Sultana Ghazali came to join in from Fremont California.
Tasaqquq Hussain Attari, a prominent activist of the Bay Area, travelled from San Jose to attend the peace picnic.
City Fire Dept. brought in a fire truck and gave a tour of the truck and safety instruction.
Other activities of the peace picnic include face painting, live music and many games for the kids of all ages.
Bishop Dr. Bill Wagnon of the Later Day Saint enthusiastically participated in the picnic. His church arranged interesting games.
Live music was provided by the band of United Methodist Church.
Rev. Larry Love of the Church of Christ brought friendship bands to share with the guests.
In a statement Khalid Saeed he was impressed to see many people was various churches to attend the interfaith picnic. He pointed out that their presence made this event a real interfaith effort.
Khalid Saeed thanked all the churches for making this interfaith picnic successful.
The picnic required a lot of work before and after the event for which a team of volunteers was available. The volunteers included: Ahad Parvez, Ali Khadem, Bashir Chaudhy, Imam Aamir Hussain, Naseer Ali, Shafi Sialvi, Usman Sadiq and Zahoor Ahmed. Khaled Saeed thanked all the volunteers for their dedicated and sincere efforts.
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