Inductees – Asia

    Mohan Bafna 2016

    Mohan Bafna

    Opinion from Suresh Bafna

    My father, Dr. Mohan Bafna, comes from a very humble business family in a small village in the northwest desert province of India. He has always maintained a very simple and modest lifestyle. Even though he has lived in the U.S. for over 45 years, he has never forgotten his roots. He has visited India at least once a year since coming to the U.S. and also maintained all relations in India and all Indian customs, traditions, and language at his home.

    He continues to give back to the society here in the United States and India and tries to help in every way possible. He is a selfless devoted family person and member of the society. He has tried to live by the Gandhian principal of simple living and living by example.

    We have never heard him say a negative word about anyone – ever. He is an eternally positive man and believes in the goodness of all human beings. He is very thankful to all those who have helped him and has never forgotten them.

    Medicine & Internship: S.M.S. Medical College, Jaipur Oct. 1958 and Board of Internal Medicine: 1973 in U.S.A.

    Mohan and son Suresh Bafna at Cleveland International Hall of Fame

    Mohan and son Suresh Bafna at Cleveland International Hall of Fame

    Residency and Fellowship: Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital & Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio 1968-1973 in internal medicine and cardiology.
    Private Practice: Internal Medicine and Cardiology from 1973 to date at University Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Mary Mount Hospital and South Pointe Hospital. All in Cleveland.

    Special Achievements, Awards, Experiences, and Assistance:

    1. Assisted several people from home town and region while in Jaipur, Jodhpur, and USA when people came for treatments or personal visits.
    2. While at Primary Health Center in a small village, he toured surrounding villages. The home to home visits for health purposes, especially for small pox vaccination at the time of the epidemic in 1962 against severe resistance for vaccination in villages was particularly satisfying.
    3. Personal family and financial contribution to establish India Community Center in Greater Cleveland, the first of its kind in all of United States of America.
    4. Chair person of Federation of India Community Association in Cleveland for 10 years. Member of board of trustees of 20 years.
    5. Special award as Physician of the Year by Indian Physicians Association in 1994.
    6. Special award as Father of Community by Federation of India Community Association, Cleveland in 1995.
    7. Several special awards for community work by the Indian Community in Cleveland.
    8. Highest Recognition award from his home town of Sadri in 2014.
    9. Special Award by the Regional Association (Marwar Region) at Bombay.
    10. Special Recognition Award by alma mater high school in 1996 at Varkana.
    11. Member of the Executive Board of Bedford Medical Center in Cleveland for 29 years.
    12. Chief of Medicine at Bedford Medical Center for 4 years from 1974 to 1978. Stepped down voluntarily due to frequent visits to India.

    Contributions: Several educational, health, social and religious institutions in India and USA.

    • Bombay Hospital
    • Adarsh School, Sadri, India
    • Mahaveer Hospital, Sumerpur, India
    • Vidyawadi School (for girls only), Khimel, India
    • H.C. Bafna International School, Sumerpur, India
    • S.P. High School, Varkana, India
    • Nehru School, Coimbatore, India
    • India Community Center, Cleveland, USA
    • Siddhachalam, New Jersey, USA
    • S.V. Hindu Temple, Cleveland, USA
    • Jain Temple, Cleveland, USA
    • Health and Happiness Foundation, Chicago
    • Donated over $500,000 through the family foundation to Breakthrough Schools in Cleveland for naming the Citizens Academy to Mahatma Gandhi Campus.
    Mohan and son Suresh Bafna at Cleveland International Hall of Fame

    Mohan and son Suresh Bafna

    Click on the white arrows to watch the videos from the 2016 Induction Ceremony.   Make sure your speakers are on and note that you can maximize the videos to fill the screen.

    Video 1: Debbie Hanson of ClevelandPeople.Com introduced Suresh Bafna at the induction ceremony for the 2016 class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. Suresh was about to induct his father Mohan Bafna.

    Video 2: Suresh Bafna inducted his father Dr. Mohan Bafna into the 2016 class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

    Video 3: Suresh Bafna read the acceptance speech for his father Dr. Mohan Bafna who was just inducted into the 2016 class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

    ”Read

    Dr. Mohan Bafna

    Dr. Mohan Bafna
    Dr. Mohan Bafna

    Opinion from Suresh Bafna

    My father, Dr. Mohan Bafna, comes from a very humble business family in a small village in the northwest desert province of India. He has always maintained a very simple and modest lifestyle. Even though he has lived in the U.S. for over 45 years, he has never forgotten his roots. He has visited India at least once a year since coming to the U.S. and also maintained all relations in India and all Indian customs, traditions, and language at his home.

    He continues to give back to the society here in the United States and India and tries to help in every way possible. He is a selfless devoted family person and member of the society. He has tried to live by the Gandhian principal of simple living and living by example.

    We have never heard him say a negative word about anyone - ever. He is an eternally positive man and believes in the goodness of all human beings. He is very thankful to all those who have helped him and has never forgotten them.

    Medicine & Internship: S.M.S. Medical College, Jaipur Oct. 1958 and Board of Internal Medicine: 1973 in U.S.A.

    Residency and Fellowship: Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital & Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio 1968-1973 in internal medicine and cardiology.
    Private Practice: Internal Medicine and Cardiology from 1973 to date at University Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Mary Mount Hospital and South Pointe Hospital. All in Cleveland.

    Special Achievements, Awards, Experiences, and Assistance:

    1. Assisted several people from home town and region while in Jaipur, Jodhpur, and USA when people came for treatments or personal visits.

    2. While at Primary Health Center in a small village, he toured surrounding villages. The home to home visits for health purposes, especially for small pox vaccination at the time of the epidemic in 1962 against severe resistance for vaccination in villages was particularly satisfying.

    3. Personal family and financial contribution to establish India Community Center in Greater Cleveland, the first of its kind in all of United States of America.

    4. Chair person of Federation of India Community Association in Cleveland for 10 years. Member of board of trustees of 20 years.

    5. Special award as Physician of the Year by Indian Physicians Association in 1994.

    6. Special award as Father of Community by Federation of India Community Association, Cleveland in 1995.

    7. Several special awards for community work by the Indian Community in Cleveland.

    8. Highest Recognition award from his home town of Sadri in 2014.

    9. Special Award by the Regional Association (Marwar Region) at Bombay.

    10. Special Recognition Award by alma mater high school in 1996 at Varkana.

    11. Member of the Executive Board of Bedford Medical Center in Cleveland for 29 years.

    12. Chief of Medicine at Bedford Medical Center for 4 years from 1974 to 1978. Stepped down voluntarily due to frequent visits to India.

    Contributions: Several educational, health, social and religious institutions in India and USA.

    • Bombay Hospital
    • Adarsh School, Sadri, India
    • Mahaveer Hospital, Sumerpur, India
    • Vidyawadi School (for girls only), Khimel, India
    • H.C. Bafna International School, Sumerpur, India
    • S.P. High School, Varkana, India
    • Nehru School, Coimbatore, India
    • India Community Center, Cleveland, USA
    • Siddhachalam, New Jersey, USA
    • S.V. Hindu Temple, Cleveland, USA
    • Jain Temple, Cleveland, USA
    • Health and Happiness Foundation, Chicago
    • Donated over $500,000 through the family foundation to Breakthrough Schools in Cleveland for naming the Citizens Academy to Mahatma Gandhi Campus.

    Dr. Bafna will be inducted by his son Suresh Bafna

    ”Read

    Leo Weidenthal - 2010

    Leo Weidenthal

    Leo Weidenthal (1878-1967) was editor of the Jewish Independent and founder of the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation. Born in Cleveland to Emanuel and Julia (Kretch) Weidenthal, he began his newspaper career as a reporter for the Cleveland World; then for the Cleveland Leader and in 1906, for the Plain Dealer on the city hall beat.
    In 1917 he became editor of the Jewish Independent, a weekly founded in 1906 by his brother Maurice. Leo Weidenthal guided the Jewish Independent for 47 years. His retirement in 1964 served as the catalyst for a reorganization of Cleveland's Jewish press by a civic group incorporated as the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company.

    Weidenthal was a founder of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Conference of Christians & Jews. Cleveland was one of the first US cities to have a chapter because of his efforts.

    Bud Weidenthal recalls that he was dubbed "Leo the Lion of Willowdale" for his journalistic tenacity. When he got on to a story or a cause, he never let go. Among them was the Shakespeare Cultural Garden which he inspired in 1916, and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens which came eleven years later.

    When he retired as a reporter in 1917 to become editor of the Jewish Independent, Cleveland City Council unanimously voted to name a street in his honor. They called it Willowdale Ave. (the loose English translation of Weidenthal)

    Leo Weidenthal celebrated his birthday each year with William Shakespeare, and built and catalogued a Shakespeare collection which now resides in the Cleveland Public Library in his honor. As a reporter in 1916 he goaded the city leaders into creating the Shakespeare gardens in honor of 300th anniversary of the death of the Bard.

    During the dedication of the Shakespeare Garden in Rockefeller Park in 1916, Weidenthal said that similar sites should be prepared for each of the city's nationality communities. In 1926 the organization became the Cultural Garden League, and a Hebrew garden was established. On May 9, 1927 the city set aside areas of Rockefeller Park for future gardens.

    In 1962 Louis Seltzer, editor of the Cleveland Press, wrote a column dedicated to him. "You, Leo, are a great citizen of your home city, and in your lifetime have helped as much or more than any other in your generation to keep it great."

    ”Read

    Margaret W. Wong - 2010

    Margaret W. Wong

    In more than 30 years of practice, Margaret Wong built Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co., L.P.A. into a law firm nationally and internationally renowned for its knowledge and expertise in immigration and nationality law.
    Ms. Wong is licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Georgia, the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Her firm handles more than 4,000 immigration matters each year, with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Atlanta and New York.

    Among other honors, she has been listed as an Ohio Super Lawyer, Ohio Leading Lawyer and one of Cleveland Magazine's Most Interesting People.

    Ms. Wong has been inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and served as the first Asian-American president of the Northeastern Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She is also co-chair of the Immigration Law Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

    Ms. Wong has volunteered her time and expertise to the boards of diverse organizations, including Ideastream, the Ohio State Bar Foundation, Town Hall, St. Vincent Hospital Health Care System, United Way Services, The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, Notre Dame College, Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education and the national advisory boards of Cleveland State University and SUNY Buffalo Law Schools.

    Ms. Wong is an avid educator, reader and writer. She is a charter founding member of the Ohio Supreme Court CLE Commission and Ohio Supreme Court Racial Task Force, as well as a life member of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and Federal Bar Association. She has been appointed by the Ohio Attorney General's Office as a special counsel to represent Ohio universities for more than 20 years. Ms. Wong hosts two live radio talk shows in New York City on AM1480 and AM1380.

    ”Read

    Donna Hom - 2014

    Donna Hom

    Donna was born in Guangdong province in southern China. She married her husband Willie Hom in 1960 and emigrated to the U.S. (settling in Youngstown, Ohio).

    After arriving in the U.S., she had four sons and saw the need to earn more money to support her family. In the 1960s, she worked as a waitress at her mother-in-law's Chinese restaurant (called Ding Ho) in Youngstown and at Perkins Pancake House in Austintown. As the economy in Youngstown deteriorated in the late 1960s, Willie and she realized that the family would need to move to a larger city in order to economically survive.

    In 1970, they moved the family to Fairview Park. She worked at two west side Chinese restaurants as a waitress. Then in 1973, they opened their first Chinese restaurant, King Wah, in Rocky River across from Westgate Mall. The location was originally a dark biker bar, but they turned it into a Chinese restaurant after extensive remodeling. As business grew, they expanded the restaurant to accommodate more patrons.

    Then they bought the building housing King Wah in 1977. In 1979, she bought an east side Chinese restaurant (located at LaPlace Mall in Beachwood) called Ho Ho and renamed it Ho Wah. The east side restaurant was an immediate success.

    By the 1980s, the taste of American customers for Chinese food began to change. Customers were becoming tired of Cantonese-style/Americanized Chinese food (for example, egg foo yung or chicken chow mein). So Donna began to include in the menus Chinese dishes from other parts of China, such as Szechwan, Mandarin and Hunan dishes (for example, Kung Pao chicken).

    In the mid-1980s, many Chinese-Americans in Cleveland dreamed of building a Chinatown on Payne Avenue and Superior Avenue that would be comparable to ones in Toronto and New York City and that would attract Asian investment to Northeast Ohio. In 1988, Willie and Donna decided to get involved in the development of a Cleveland Chinatown.

    They purchased an old warehouse at the northwest corner of Payne Avenue and East 30th Street and began to develop Asia Plaza Mall under the supervision of their son, Stephen. In May 1991, they opened Li Wah Restaurant at Asia Plaza.

    Li Wah was designed for Asian customers by serving authentic Chinese dishes and dim sum. Many small shops also opened at Asia Plaza. Willie passed away in September 1991.

    In 2004, Donna purchased the old Cleveland Food Bank building, connected it to Asia Plaza Mall, and remodeled the building under Stephen's supervision. Most of the Cleveland Food Bank building was rented to an Asian grocery store.

    Donna's dream is to create a vibrant Asian community in the East 30th Street and Payne Avenue area. Since 1988, dozens of new Asian businesses have been established from East 30th to East 55th Street on Superior Avenue and Payne Avenue.

    In 2010, Donna opened up Asia Plaza Mall for the annual Cleveland Asian Festival, which is held on the third weekend of May each year.

    ”Read

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