Dr. Enestina delos Santos-MacDr. Enestina “Ernie” delos Santos-Mac, outgoing chairperson of the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM), said that the center is “in excellent hands” with the election of Becky Tungol as new chairperson.

Tungol, meanwhile, pledged to “continue the great work of my predecessor, Dr. Ernie Mac, who had made a lot of sacrifices for six years to keep the center open and available for our children’s education.”

Mac said, “I am confident that the new officers led by Becky will carry out the same mission and vision which we had initiated for our community.”

Mac expressed her gratitude to the outgoing PACCM board members and officers for “their firm commitment of service and keen sense of mission” that enabled the center to meet all its obligations and continue its operations for six years. She commended the outgoing officers and board directors for not allowing “personal differences” to distract them from discharging their duties.

She particularly lauded PACCM Executive Director Fred Porte for his “undying passion to serve the community,” noting the long hours of hard work he has done so that the center functions continuously and smoothly as a “home away from home”  for all Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in Michigan.

Mac also thanked all the supporters, patrons and benefactors of PACCM for their donations and volunteer work, saying their generosity and civic mindedness have gone a long way in ensuring the maintenance of its building and implementation of its flagship programs – namely, the Paaralang Pilipino, Health and Wellness Fair and Consular Services on Wheels.

She is likewise grateful to her children for their commitment to the cause of PACCM, noting the generous fund donations they gave to the center in memory of their late father, Dr. Frankie E. Mac.

She said that in her capacity as immediate past president, she will continue helping the PACCM leadership, but “I will just be working behind the scenes.”

Mac said in jest, “If my friends think that I will not bother them anymore because I no longer head PACCM, they are mistaken; I assure them that I will nag them again for their support for PACCM whenever the need arises.”

She asked the whole community, which she considers as her extended family, to support the new PACCM officers so that the center can continue serving the people, especially the children and the less fortunate.

In pledging to continue Mac’s programs, Tungol said, “The big challenge we face every year is to raise at least $60,000 for expenses for the maintenance of the building and for the accomplishment of our goal of providing services to the community.”

Tungol said she has a plan to increase the number of PACCM members so that the membership fees would be substantial enough to cover a big part of the maintenance expenses. “I know this is difficult to achieve but it’s not impossible if we unite and focus our efforts on recruiting more members and retaining the present members,” she said. “We could make them part owners of the center with their fees and contributions.”

Tungol added, “We will continue the annual fundraising events such as the Valentine’s Ball and the Golf Outing that are our main sources of income, while we are looking for grants that could help us meet our expenses to keep the center continuously operating.”

It was learned from Fred Porte, PACCM executive director, that the center needs at least $5,000 a month for building maintenance and implementation of its programs.

Porte said that the repair of the building’s roof will be done soon, adding that the fund for the purpose has already been set aside.

A financial statement released by PACCM Treasurer Jeff Vedua showed that as of yearend, PACCM has $15,415 in its savings account and $19,940 in its checking account.