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Johnny's Angel Award

Obaid Kadwani
Founder, A Slice of Hope and eyeBlink Entertainment

Obaid Kadwani is the Founder and General Manager of the non-profit multicultural entertainment company, eyeBlink Entertainment, Founder of A Spice of Hope, and is an actor, producer, model, TV-host, emcee and entrepreneur.

Obaid’s work history in the entertainment industry is long and varied. He is the host of the national tv-network "Namaste America." On Namaste America, he hosts entertainment shows such as Admit One, Dhoom Machale and 100% Desi. He has also hosted Sundance Channel's Doc-Day Night and anchored a variety of promotional programs. Obaid's excellent improvisational skills make him a natural to emcee live events like Miss India USA, several galas, and the NYC India Day Parade.

Obaid has walked the ramp for many designers and events including the Bollywood Fashion Awards, International Pakistan Cultural Ministry Fashion show in DC, and shows for several designers. Obaid's print jobs include everything from text books to trade journals to national magazines to international newspapers and catalogues for companies such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, Verizon, and more. Obaid's commercials include a national commercial for Target and a variety of local commercials.

Obaid's films include a cutting-edge short mockumentary called G-hoddie and the Hotties as well as Lovenik, Limousine Drive, The Writer and One Night Stand. Stage work includes the original eyeBlink Entertainment play Beneath the Banyan Tree as well The Swaggering Solider, The Frogs, The Master Builder and the regional play The Grocer's Daughter. His voiceovers are numerous and include Walmart, Sprint, Nokia, Orbitz, Western Union and an Urdu voiceover for Mayor Bloomberg's 2006 re-election campaign. He did a very special charity voiceover for a short film raising funds for earthquake relief in Pakistan.

Obaid has always believed in trying to control his own future. Before even graduating college, he had started his first business which shortly brought in 2 million dollars a year in sales. 4 other businesses soon followed. Obaid's business skills have proven valuable in the launching of the non-profit multicultural entertainment company, eyeBlink Entertainment in 2003. eyeBlink is committed to shattering stereotypes and promoting social change through theatre, dance, and special events.  Obaid took on the role of General Manager and head of Special Events, while his sister, actress/model Qurrat Ann Kadwani, is the President and Artistic Director. The company has steadily grown every year, and in the summer of 2006, eyeBlink Dance Department was added.

In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Obaid is the founder of A Slice of Hope, a project of eyeBlink Entertainment. A Slice of Hope aims to end the cycle of homelessness and hopelessness by creating moments of joy in homeless shelters and soup kitchens through pizza parties with live music during the month of June. A Slice of Hope (initially called Pizza for the Homeless) began in 2007 in New York City. Since 2007, the program has expanded to 25 states. 

Guests of St. John's Bread & Life have enjoyed pizza parties sponsored by A Slice of Hope since 2007. For the past two years Obaid has partnered with Chef Gaurav Anand, owner of three critically acclaimed and internationally recognized NYC restaurants. Together they present A Spice of Hope at Bread & Life, which combines a live DJ with delicious Indian comfort food prepared by Chef Anand.

Dr. Pamela Shea-Byrnes Award

Joseph Sciame
Vice-President for Community Relations, St. John's University

With more than 58 years of higher education experience to his credit, Joseph Sciame has worked as the vice president for community relations at St. John’s University since 1994. Prior to these appointments, he held multiple positions at the university such as vice president for government and community relations, vice president for financial aid and student information services from, dean of financial aid, and director of financial aid. Mr. Sciame began his career as an assistant to registrar, financial aid officer, and assistant to the dean of admissions at the university.

Before embarking on his professional path, Mr. Sciame pursued an education at St. John’s University, graduating with a Bachelor of Education in elementary education and pursued graduate studies thereafter. Previously, Mr. Sciame enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1964, serving until his honorable discharge in 1967, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

Beyond his efforts within the field, Mr. Sciame has participated in numerous endeavors outside of his professional circles. He was elected chairman of the Conference of Major Italian American Organizations for three terms, he has been on the board for the Queens Symphony Orchestra, the Boy Scouts of America, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc., and former chair and member of the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough Community College. A “guest chef” for the Queens Centers for Progress in 2014, Mr. Sciame has also been honored by many community organizations related to the University.  

Mr. Sciame is currently the President of the Sons of Italy Foundation, headquartered in Washington, DC; chairs the Board of Ethics of the Town of North Hempstead, Nassau County; served as the vice president of membership for the Queens Council of Boy Scouts of America; and a founding member and currently on the Foundation Board of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.  In his prior career in the field of financial aid, Joe Sciame was elected as President of the New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association, Eastern Association Student Financial Aid Administrators, and as national chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

In addition to his primary role at St. John’s, Mr. Sciame remains affiliated with various organizations in relation to his areas of expertise in consensus building and serves as the chair of the South Jamaica based Southern Queens Park Association and is also associated with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce as a board member.  In 1998 he became involved with the Parish of St. John the Baptist in Bed Stuy and founded with six others the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School as founder and chair.

In additional to his community relations work, Mr. Sciame is also active as a member and chair of the Italian Cultural Center Advisory Board for St. John’s University, and a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education.  Mr. Sciame has accrued many accolades and honors throughout his impressive career. In recent years, he has been presented with the Joseph Coccia Italian Language Award from UNICO, the Good Scout Award from the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Noteworthy Award from the Richmond County Orchestra and Richmond Opera Company.

Moreover, he was honored as a Hall of Fame inductee with the Power Memorial Academy Alumni Association, a Commander in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy, a Knight in the Order of Pope St. Sylvester, a Knight Grand Cross in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Merit of the House of Savoy, a Knight Officer in the Order of SS Maurice and Lazarus, a Knight in the Constantinian Order of St. George,  a Cavaliero in the Order of St. Michael of the Wing of the House of Braganza and a Commander Award from the Order of San Tomas Apostolo.  His awards from St. John’s University have included the St. Vincent de Paul Medal, the President’s medal, the Pietas Award for Alumni and the Administrative Outstanding Achievement Medal. 

Sr. Bernadette Award

Orville Blackburn
Facilities Maintenance Team, St. John's Bread & Life

Orville Blackburn hails from the Bronx. He has worked at Bread & Life for over 9 years and is an indispensable part of the facilities maintenance team. Orville works to ensure Bread & Life runs smoothly and is always ready and willing to support his coworkers. He always volunteers to help with even the smallest of tasks.

When asked what he loves about Bread & Life, he responded, “The positive environment. Everyone cares and that makes you happy to come to work.” Orville resides in Crown Heights with his wife.


Date: Tue, Jun 29th, 2021
Place: Giando on the Water
Where: 400 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
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