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Dairy Queen owner a rising star in the community

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Oct 06 2011 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 07 2011 09:51:23 AM CDT

Leaders in Berks County who make it a better place to live and work were put in the spotlight Thursday night.

READING, Pa. -

Leaders in Berks County who make it a better place to live and work were put in the spotlight Thursday night.

The Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry gave out its Rising Star Awards to leaders under 45. On that list was the owner of the Dairy Queens in Exeter Township and Kenhorst.

The Mifflin Art Club was painting the windows of the Kenhorst Dairy Queen on Thursday. It's a big part of their community.

The owner behind the counter, wearing a Mifflin t-shirt, is the reason.

"If I hadn't moved to Berks County and come to America, I still would be living in the slums of Pakistan," said Hamid Chaudhry.

Chaudhry said he gives back by throwing some of the best parties in Berks, and they all raise money for good causes.

Thursday night was no different, except that Chaudhry couldn't be at this party.

Instead, he was at the Planetarium, receiving a Rising Star Award from the Chamber.

Forest Crigler of Fulton Bank, who presented the award, said, "He is very modest."

Chaudhry is a rising star because his charity work includes 20 churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Crime Alert Berks County and schools.

He's so involved he wanted to skip the awards ceremony to go to the Mifflin Intermediate Family Fun night.

"It's a great great party, but I can't wait to get back to my party," said Chaudhry.

"He won't let us cancel it or move it," said Monica Rush of the Mifflin PTO. "We really wanted to be there to support him at the other event."

Rush has been organizing fund raisers with Chaudhry for years.

"He is just extremely generous," said Rush. "He's a businessman second, he is a kind-hearted gentleman first. And that's just who Hamid is."

He has become a leader in the nine years he has been living in Berks County, and the kids are so glad this is his home.

"Here in Berks County, I'm sure they don't understand me half the time, but they still smile at me," said Chaudhry. "Why would I want to leave Berks County? Why?"