IRENE AUBERLIN AWARD. Dr. Ernestina delos Santos-Mac (center) poses for a souvenir photo with (from left) World Medical Relief (WMR) Chairman Mike Krause, WMR President-CEO George V. Samson, Dr. Stella Evangelista and emcee Andrew Humphrey after she was honored with WMR’s highest award, the Irene Auberlin Award, during the relief agency’s 63rd anniversary celebration last Nov. 12. More photos are on Page 8 and 9. (Photo by Percy Antonio)

[box type=”default” size=”large”] In recognition of her continuous support for the relief agency [/box]

The World Medical Relief (WMR) has honored Dr. Ernestina delos Santos-Mac with the Irene ‘Service Above Self’ Auberlin Award “in recognition of her selfless devotion and continuous support over the years to further the growth and services of WMR.”

The award, the highest award given by WMR to its supporters and volunteers, was given during the celebration of the 63rd anniversary of WMR last Nov. 12 at the Shriners Silver Garden Event Center in Southfield.

The seldom-given award, which aims to perpetuate the memory of the WMR founder, Detroit housewife Irene Auberlin, was presented to Doctor Mac by WMR President and CEO George V. Samson and WMR Chairman Mike Krause.

The honoree, a full-time pediatrician at Beaumont Health System, was introduced by Dr. Stella Evangelista who received the same prestigious award several years ago.

In her introduction, Doctor Evangelista said, “The recipient of the Irene Auberlin Award must have demonstrated over a significant period of time exemplary philanthropic activities to benefit people not just here in the United States but other parts of the world.”

Evangelista also said, “This year’s recipient is a rare combination of beauty and brains, grace and style and, most importantly, commitment and dedication to improving the lives of our fellowmen. She puts her whole heart and soul into achieving the goals she has set out to do.”

She likewise cited the many charitable and philanthropic activities the honoree has been engaged in. She noted that as the incumbent president of the Filamcco Foundation, she spearheaded the fund drive in Michigan for the victims of typhoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban City and nearby Leyte towns.

Doctor Evangelista further noted that Doctor Mac is the first Michiganian to be cited as one of the “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World” by the Filipina Women’s Network.

Doctor Mac, in a brief speech expressing her response to the rare honor, recalled that when she was a little girl growing up in a small town in Bicol, she would go to school with wooden slippers and a five-centavo allowance. She said her father instilled in her the sense of hard work, integrity and honesty, while her mother stressed to her that “nothing is impossible – if the opportunity is there grab it.”

She said that she has never forgotten her experience as a little girl which “keeps me grounded.”

Doctor Mac, 75 years old, recalled that some 21 years ago after her husband passed away, she started going to the old WMR building to do volunteer work on her off-days. “To this day, I can still picture Mrs. Irene Auberlin doing God’s work, turning the sins of waste into miracles of mercy.”

She said, “WMR is a house built with faith, faith in the goodness and generosity of people, faith that their generosity will help the poor people of the world…”

The honoree also said that the rare given to her “is not just about me; it is all about all of you, for in all of you lives the vision of Mrs. Auberlin, all of you here have committed time, talent and resources to WMR.”

She thanked WMR President-CEO Samson, Chairman Mike Krause, Ms. Rebecca Tungol, all the volunteer members of the board of directors, trustees and employees of WMR “for making tonight’s event happen.”                 

She believed that her life was designed by God to help people in need, saying, “thank you Lord for giving the opportunity and privilege of doing some of your work.”

In closing, Doctor Mac quoted the late Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel who said, “It is not what you gather that matters; it is what you scatter that matters.”