Celebrating 15 Years of KOM at the 2023 KOM Gala!

Last month, on November 16th, KOM celebrated 15 years at our Annual KOM Gala! We are incredibly grateful for all our attendees, speakers, performers, sponsors, and staff for making this year’s Gala a success! We celebrated KOM’s new Mission Statement and program expansion, reflected on our past 15 years, and looked ahead to the future.

As aforementioned, this year KOM introduced a new mission statement:

“To build on refugee and immigrant communities’ strengths and remove barriers to achieving economic, social, and cultural well-being.”

This mission statement aims be more inclusive for all of the communities we serve and to be more specific about the kind of change we hope to see in people’s lives.

Through our sponsors, attendees, raffle ticket sales, and generous gifts, we are excited to announce that we raised more than $17,000 at this year’s gala! Proceeds from this year’s Gala go towards supporting services that assist refugee and immigrant communities from around the world. We are expanding our work in areas including after-school programs, youth substance use, job trainings, financial coaching, and refugee resettlement. And we still have more opportunities to grow! 

Click here to view all our photos from the evening. Read below more of our Gala highlights!



We were delighted to have Emily Velazco, a graduate of KOM’s Translating and Interpreting Program (TRIN), and Mah Jabin Amiri, a former participant in the Refugee Employment Services program, share their inspiring stories at the Gala.


Emily Velazco shared about how KOM helped her achieve her dream job of being an interpreter through KOM’s Translating and Interpreting Program (TRIN), as well as how KOM helped her overcome several barriers she experienced during her journey, such as securing childcare and transportation.

Mah Jabin Amiri spoke about her immigration journey to Minnesota and how KOM’s Refugee Employment Services program helped her find stable employment as she transitioned to her new life in the States.




We enjoyed some wonderful entertainment from renowned musicians from Burma Chit San Maung & his daughter Nge Nge Lay, as well as a fun dance performance by Karen dancers from Knyaw Baptist Church!

Chit San Maung performed a mesmerizing guitar solo before the start of the official program. Karen Dancers from Knyaw performed a cultural dance. To end the celebration, Nge Nge Lay sang a beautiful cover of Andy Grammar’s “Don’t Give up on Me.”

We are grateful for our performers’ contributions to this year’s Gala!


Our annual gala would not be possible without all our amazing sponsors! Our Platinum Sponsor this year was M Health Fairview, and our Gold Sponsor was Jody Baber State Farm Agency. We had several silver sponsors this year: Bix Produce Company, Maplewood and Inver Grove Toyota, and Hmong American Partnership. Additionally, we had 19 Bronze Sponsors! Thank you to all our sponsors for their support!

Thanks to everyone who made our 15th Anniversary Gala a success! We look forward to seeing you at more events in the future. 

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