World Medical Relief (WMR) President George V. Samson and Michigan community leader Van Ong received the 2011 Gintong Pamana (Golden Legacy) Awards from MegaScene Publication during a program held last August 27 at the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, Illinois.
The Gintong Pamana Awards honor Filipino Americans for their outstanding achievements in various fields of endeavor. It signifies excellence, success, extraordinary qualities, uncommon passion and everything that distinguishes a special and exceptional individual from the ordinary one.
Samson, who hails from Magalang, Pampanga, received the Gintong Pamana’s Life Achievement Award for his humanitarian activities that have brought relief to poor, sick people all over the world.
He has helped and continues to help the indigent and the sick in his capacity as president and chief executive officer of WMR, a Detroit-based relief agency.
With Samson at the helm for about three years now, WMR has been donating medical equipment and supplies to hospitals in many developing countries. These include the Philippines, which has already received from WMR donated supplies and equipment valued at some 180 million pesos.
In recognition of his humanitarian work at WMR, Samson has received many awards and certificates of appreciation from all over the world. Among these awards is the prestigious Irene Auberlin Award, an honor intended to perpetuate the memory of the WMR founder.
During the same Awards Night, Ong received the Gintong Pamana’s Apolinario Mabini Award in Community Leadership.
Ong is the incumbent president of the Filipino-American Community Council (FILAMCCO), the umbrella organization of some 60 Filipino-American groups in Michigan.
A former member of Michigan’s Board of Nurses, Ong is the immediate past president of the Far Eastern American Nurses Association of Great Lakes (FANA) and board member of the Michigan chapter of the Philippine Nurses Association. He is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Cosmopolitan Detroit, lieutenant governor of Division I Michigan District of Kiwanis International and former two-term president of Ang Bisaya.
Ong is likewise noted for his humanitarian mission which he conducts regularly in the Philippines together with his brother Oscar. His medical, dental and medical missions have helped thousands of poor, ill people who do not have money for doctor’s fees and hospital expenses.
He is also instrumental in the donation of medical equipment and supplies to poorly equipped hospitals in Mindanao. The donations are valued at millions of dollars.
It was recalled that in 2010, some Filipino-American community leaders in Michigan also received the Gintong Pamana Awards from MegaScene. These leaders included Willie Dechavez and Martha Cabarios.