OHEL Annual Gala 2013Â Over 1,000 Counted as Friends of OHELâ€™s Children and Families
Co-Presidents of OHEL Childrenâ€™s Home and Family Services, Moishe Hellman & Mel Zachter,Â warmly welcomed more than 1,000 guests to OHELâ€™s 43rd Annual Gala at the New York Hilton onÂ Sunday, February 10th. Guests included the Gala honorees; prominent members of the businessÂ community; NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, NYS Assemblyman David Weprin,Â Congressman Jerrold Nadler, NYC Public Advocate Bill deBlasio, State Senator Simcha FelderÂ and NYC Councilman David Greenfield as well as OHEL Board members, friends, supporters,Â vendors, staff, and volunteers.
The large and enthusiastic turnout, moving speeches, and video presentations demonstratedÂ tremendous commitment to the Galaâ€™s theme: Everyone Counts at OHEL. For more than 43Â years, OHEL has provided critical programs and services inspired by the principle that everyÂ individual counts and deserves to be a cherished member of the community.
OHEL is grateful to Annual Gala sponsor Americare and the companyâ€™s President and CEO,Â Elly Kleinman. Chair of Camp Kaylie at OHEL, Mr. Kleinman is one of OHELâ€™s most ferventÂ supporters and loyal friends.
â€śOHEL looks at every person and sees a soul,â€ť said Hinda Mizrahi, who with her husband,Â Robert Mizrahi, was honored with OHELâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Advocacy Award. Ms. Mizrahiâ€”fourÂ of whose brothers have lived in an OHEL residence for adults with developmental disabilitiesâ€”Â moved the crowd to tears with a beautifully composed, heartfelt speech about her â€śspecialÂ brothers,â€ť the value of every individualâ€™s unique story, and the â€śimportant chapterâ€ť OHEL hasÂ contributed to her brothersâ€™ story. â€śOHEL provides care and comfort and offers us great peace ofÂ mind,â€ť she said.
Corporate Guest of Honor Saul N. Friedman of Friedman & Associates, an OHEL BoardÂ Member and Vice President for more than 21 years, shared his passion for OHELâ€™s work inÂ a video presentation honoring his commitment to OHELâ€™s children and families. This yearÂ represents a significant milestone for Friedman & Associates, the 40th anniversary of the foundingÂ of the business, and hundreds of Mr. Friedmanâ€™s business associates and clients came out toÂ celebrate with him at the Gala. â€śEvery second word Saul says is OHEL,â€ť said one long-time clientÂ in the video, a testament to Mr. Friedmanâ€™s deep engagement with OHELâ€™s children and families.
The eveningâ€™s Guest of Honor David Brecher, President of First Meridian Mortgage, was joinedÂ at the podium by his sixteen year-old daughter, Daniella, who spoke with maturity beyond herÂ years about the ways in which OHEL has inspired her interest in helping to care for childrenÂ with disabilities. The Community Award was presented to Jason Cury and Joel Beritz of TheÂ Gruss Life Monument Funds, which has generously contributed computer systems to OHELÂ residences and Day Habilitation Centers and supported creation of the Outdoor RecreationÂ Center at the Arlington Residence for adolescents with disabilities in Cedarhurst. Mr. Cury andÂ Mr. Beritz said they were proud to partner with OHEL in order to provide first-rate educational andÂ recreational opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
The Gala also paid tribute to the memory of Chaim Kaminetsky, OHELâ€™s beloved Board MemberÂ and Vice President for more than 30 years, who is missed. His love for OHELâ€™s children wasÂ immeasurable and his dedication to chesed legendary. OHEL is proud to honor his memory byÂ dedicating the Bais Chaim Kaminetsky Womenâ€™s Residence in Hillcrest.
OHEL extends profound thanks to everyone who attended the Gala, made a gift in support ofÂ OHELâ€™s important work, and contributed to the eveningâ€™s success. Many OHEL vendors wereÂ especially generous, including Pomegranate, which provided essential support for the event.
OHELâ€™s children and families know they can count on our community.Â
To support OHELâ€™s important work transforming the lives of children and families, pleaseÂ visit www.ohelfamily.org or call 718-972 9338. Every giftâ€”of any sizeâ€”counts and makes aÂ difference.