PAFCOM Invites the Fil-Am Community to the Gala and Inauguration of the 2014 Grand Marshals

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JERSEY CITY, NJ -- With great pleasure, the Philippine-American Friendship Committee, Inc. (PAFCOM) cordially invites the Filipino-American community in the tri-state area as they give honor to Dr. Edgar Lerias and Mrs. Mary Jane Lerias on their formal inauguration as the 2014 Grand Marshals of the Philippine-American Friendship Committee, Inc.


The much-anticipated gala and dinner-dance – A Salute to the 24th Grand Marshals – will be held on Saturday, April 5 at the Astoria World Manor, 25-22 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria, New York 11102. The cocktail hour will start at 1 pm; ball, program and dancing from 2 pm to 6 pm. The event is strictly black suit for men and long gown for women (optional colors are purple, lavender or lilac); donation is $85. Proceeds from the event will fund the 24th Grand Parade and Festival in Jersey City, New Jersey on June 22, 2014 in celebration of the annual Philippine American Friendship Day. Hudson County Freeholder William O’Dea is an Honorary Grand Marshal. Mr. O’Dea has been a staunch supporter of the programs and activities of the Fil-Am organizations in New Jersey.

Among those expected to attend are Philippine Consul General in New York Mario de Leon, Jr. and his wife Eleanor. The sons and daughter of Edgar and Mary Jane will be there too: Brandon and wife Courtney; Nicholas and girlfriend Nikki; and Tara. Lito A. Gajilan, Jr., founder of PAFCOM, has confirmed his attendance.

Nena Smith and Medy Taeza are the gala committee co-chairs with Dr. Dolly Rivera as honorary committee chair. For more information, please call Nena Smith 917-528-1212, Medy Taeza 646-415-3040, Mario Garcia 732-354-3084, Helen Castillo 201-920-9441, Gani Puertollano 908-230-6468 and Ledy Almadin 201-755-3084.

Dr. Edgar Lerias is a long-standing community leader and practicing physician. He was born in Davao City, Philippines and received a Medical Doctor Degree from Southwestern University College of Medicine in the Philippines in 1980. He migrated to the United States in 1981, and worked as a house physician in Union Hospital in Bronx, NY. He received a pediatric internship at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and then completed his residency at Nassau County Medical Center. Dr. Lerias completed a fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics at Winthrop University Hospital. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics.

Currently, Dr. Lerias has two Pediatric offices in Farmingdale and Deer Park, NY. He is also a Pediatric Attending and Consultant at St. Francis Hospital Heart Center.

He is married to Mary Jane Lerias, another community leader, and currently First Vice President of Sterling National Bank, managing the multi-million dollar Global Trade Finance Department.  She was the past President of Auxiliary to the Philippine Medical Association in America and Northern Mindanao Association.

The couple is blessed with three beautiful children: Brandon, who completed his biology degree at Boston University, Nicholas a pediatric resident at Good Samaritan Hospital, and Tara, who completed her communications bachelor's degree at Colorado University at Boulder last year.

Dr. Lerias and his wife have a long history of community service and charity work. He has coordinated medical missions in Cebu City in 2013, and Vigan Ilocos Sur earlier this year. He also coordinated medical missions in remote areas in Mindanao, partnering with local governments. He pioneered a program for indigent patients from the Philippines to come to the United States for congenital heart defect repairs through the Gift of Life Program of the Rotary Club of New York.

Some of the beneficiaries of Dr. and Mrs. Lerias' charity work were 4 burnt victims from different islands in the Philippines, who were brought to the United States and treated for reconstructive surgeries at Hilton Head, South Carolina - a joint effort with Hilton Head Rotary.

The couple also financially support scholars in the Philippines and send medicines and equipments to various local hospitals in the Philippines

Dr. Lerias is a member of the American Pediatric Society; member of the Board of Directors for the Home Reach Foundation; past President of the Philippine Medical Association in America; past President of the Philippine Physicians of New York, past President of the Northern Mindanao Association of Eastern Seaboard; and past President of the Fil-Am Golfer's Association.



Established in 1990, the Philippine-American Friendship Committee, Inc. Is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization comprised of Filipino-American community leaders from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).

The aims of the founders of PAFCOM are: (1) to enhance a better understanding of the Filipino culture and activities and be of service to the community and the general public in order to gain for themselves that recognition due them as an ethnic group in the United States of America and (2) to enhance the integration of Filipinos into mainstream America by engaging in socio-cultural, charitable and educational undertakings.


PAFCOM's dedication to serve the community continues to attract a diverse crowd of spectators and participants to its festivities each year. The annual parade and festival, held in the month of June, is an opportunity to share and showcase Philippine culture to mainstream America, through decorated floats, folk dances, arts and exhibits, assortment of native dishes, indigenous and modern music, and performances of Filipino American talents. A crowd of up to 30,000 people gather and celebrate the annual Philippine-American Friendship Day celebration.