The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Thursday reported that its annual banquet, held Nov. 19 in Anaheim, helped raise $454,000 to further the council's civil rights and advocacy work.
More than half of that total came from sponsorships, pledges and donations on the night of the banquet, which drew about 2,000 people. Munira Syeda, a group spokeswoman, said fundraising efforts would continue until the council reaches its goal of $500,000.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the nation's first Muslim congressman, delivered the keynote address. His theme stressed the value of Muslims becoming politically and civically involved in their communities.