LAOE honors organizations and distinguished individuals for their support and contributions to growing and advancing the Lao American community of Elgin.

Elgin, IL – December 30, 2011

The Lao American Organization of Elgin (LAOE) proudly honored and awarded State Representative Keith Farnham as the “2011 Person of the Year” for his contributions to the Lao American residents and all constituents in the 43rd Congressional District of Illinois.  Over the last year or so, Representative Farnham has achieved the passage of bills to bring additional monies to School District U-46, improve conditions for Illinois veterans, and improve nursing home oversight across the state. His leadership has contributed the thousands of households in his district and in the state of Illinois.

“Representative Keith Farnham has been an inspiring figure in our community. He has reached out to our community with open arms and allowed us to dream of a greater future. We were very much honored he invited our Lao Youth Leaders to visit him in Springfield to learn more about the democratic process. This is just an example of many significant contributions that Representative Keith Farnham has achieved for his constituents in his district. He is very much deserving of being the first person to be awarded the Lao American Organization of Elgin’s Person of the Year,” commented Jay Rasavongxay, Chairman and Founder of the LAOE.

The Lao American community has been a part of the greater Elgin community for over 30 years. LAOE is a non-profit 501( c ) organization that supports the growing needs of Lao Americans in the area through numerous organizations serving and supporting the needs of the elderly, youth and other community-related needs. LAOE’s Board of Directors voted to create awards to honor the organizations and individuals who have contributed to the growth of the Lao American community. These awards will be given annually to honor the organizations and individuals who are committed to service excellence. The 2011 Awards Ceremony was hosted on December 30, 2011 at The Seville in Streamwood, IL.

In its inaugural year of presenting awards, LAOE honored several deserving volunteers, organizations and distinguished individuals.  The Asian Health Coalition of Illinois was honored with the “2011 Platinum Partner of the Year” for the support to improve the health and wellness of the community. The Seville Banquet and Conference Center was honored with the “Lifetime Partner Award” for the generous contributions and support to serving the Lao American families with their service. Na Songvilay was awarded the “2011 Ambassador Award” for his dedication to the outreaching to others and working for the continual growth of LAOE. Abe Vongvilay was awarded the “2011 Volunteer Award” for sharing his time and resources to support LAOE programs especially the Lao Youth Leaders program. Soukanh Thavisouk and Jay Rasavongxay were both honored with the “2011 Lifetime Achievement Award” for their compassion, dedication and leadership to grow LAOE from its origin. Finally, State Representative Keith Farnham was awarded the “2011 Person of the Year Award” for his greater contribution to the Elgin community and beyond.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the Lao-American Organization,” Farnham said. “Since taking office I have worked tirelessly on behalf of all of the residents of the 43rd district. One of the greatest rewards of this job is to be able to help people and I will continue to do all I can to assist residents.” 


“LAOE is extremely grateful and honored to celebrate the success and contributions of all award recipients. Without their generosity, compassion and contributions, the Lao American community would never have achieved and accomplish many successes in 2011. These individuals and organizations are true examples of leadership at its best. On behalf of our community, LAOE expresses our deepest gratitude for their support and look forward to growing our community with their support in 2012 and all years beyond,” expressed Alan Thavisouk, LAOE Board Member and Chairman of Awards Committee.

Click on image to view the LAOE New Years Party 2012 at The Seville