The 19th annual gala dinner was organized at the University Club in Chicago, Illinois, by the Serbian Bar Association ( Two prestigious awards were presented at the ceremony: His Grace bishop Iriney (Dobrijevic) was presented with this year’s “Major Felman” award, and lawyer Tom Karacic is the winner of “Czar Dushan” award.

The “Major Felman” award is in the memory of Maj. Richard Felman and the largest Allied airlift operation behind enemy lines. The Serbian Chetnik guerrillas, led by General Draza Mihailovic, were instrumental in saving over 500 Allied airmen downed over Nazi occupied Serbia. This rescue operation took place between August and December 1944.

Bishop Iriney was praised for his efforts to support the Serbian cause during the sanctions imposed on Serbia and for representing interests of the Serbian state and church in those days as well as for improving the Serbian-American relations. Bishop Iriney has always been a faithful advocate for the needs of the Serbian people and especially the suffering people.

The Czar Dushan Award is given to Serbian American lawyers who have excelled in their legal work and who have, through their legal careers, demonstrated leadership in the community.

The mission of the Serbian Bar Association of America is to use the knowledge, experience and skills of their profession to provide resource assistance to, and promote the best interests of the Serbian American community, including the Serbian Orthodox Church, its national and humanitarian organizations. Also it is providing scholarships to individuals of Serbian birth or ancestry and/or their spouses, who are enrolled in an accredited law school in the USA.