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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Derek Saker,
Director of Communications
OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services
dsaker@ohelfamily.org
347-920-0199

OHEL DRAWS CAPACITY CROWD To Celebrate 40 Years of Strengthening Our Community 

High-ranking government and elected officials, Rabbinic and business leaders, and more than 1,100 members of the community turned out to show their strong support and friendship at OHEL’s 40th Annual Dinner in NYC. It was a spectacular and memorable evening with tributes to the agency’s extraordinary honorees and the children and families it serves. 

The keynote speaker was Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and OHEL is grateful for his enthusiastic endorsement of OHEL’s mission and steadfast commitment to our community. More than 20 percent of OHEL’s budget comes from direct fundraising. With sharp and steady decreases in government funding, OHEL’s Annual Dinner—its most significant charitable event of the year—is more important than ever in helping OHEL provide programs and services to the increasing number of individuals and families in crisis who rely on OHEL every day of the year.

In celebration of OHEL’s milestone 40th anniversary and the agency’s new slogan—“Elevating Lives Every Day”—this year’s Annual Dinner theme was “Strengthening the Community.” The lives of thousands in the tri-state area are uplifted every day thanks to dedicated and diverse staff and volunteers who number nearly 2,000. OHEL began four decades ago with a single program—Foster Care. Today, it operates more than 30 programs and 100 residencies serving individuals in all five boroughs, Northern New Jersey, Rockland and Nassau Counties and South Florida. 

To pay tribute to some of the extraordinary individuals who help OHEL help our community, the Annual Dinner celebrated special OHEL friends and contributors. This year’s honorees—Gloria & Harvey Kaylie Guests of Honor; A.J. & Leah Schreiber Community Leadership Award; Hy Hetherington Corporate Man of the Year; Rachel & Jona Rechnitz Young Leadership Honorees; and The Bert Fried & Leon Hoffman Families, Community Partnership Award in Mental Health—are passionate about OHEL’s mission, tireless in their efforts on behalf of the community; and determined to bring OHEL’s mission and vision to the broader community. The leadership of OHEL is grateful for the many corporate sponsors, friends, supporters and partners who helped the agency recognize their commitment and make the dinner a most memorable one. 

The gala fundraiser was attended by key political and government officials, including Senator Charles E. Schumer, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Comptroller John Liu, Congressman Anthony Weiner, NY State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, and Council Members David Weprin, and Nadler among others. Many spoke of their close association with OHEL and acknowledged our exemplary work. Many said, as well, that it was humbling to see a capacity crowd during such challenging financial times. Support for OHEL’s critical contributions to our community was everywhere in evidence.

The crowd was especially moved by Steven, who appeared in a video featured at the Dinner and who joined the audience in person to describe how OHEL has enabled him to cope with bi-polar disorder to become “the best person he can be.” Likewise, Dinner attendees will not forget the inspiring – and very musical Bod family, who shared their very personal of their adult twins, one of whom lives with developmental disabilities. OHEL staff was proud that so many share their sentiments as expressed in, “Thanks to OHEL, we know we are not alone.”

“Support for our work is as important—if not more important—now than it was when we first began forty years ago,” said OHEL President, Moishe Hellman, “On behalf of every life that has been elevated over the last 40 years, and every life we will elevate in the years to come, we want to express our profound pride and gratitude to our generous partners and friends.”

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