June 23, 2012
Saturday evening, Nirel, Rotem and I arrived at Shula and Alon Hanoy’s beautiful Upper East Side residence for ELEM-Entry NY’s fifth Community Dinner to raise money to support ELEM’s Center For Prevention of Sexual Violence among children and youth. Nirel was carrying beautiful flowers to give the Hanoy’s dazzling triplex an extra sparkle. The main sparkle was the graciousness of the Hanoy’s in donating their beautiful home for the evening. They also purchased the food and cooked our festive meal.
When we got there, Shula was hard at work finalizing a fantastic dinner of pasta salad, loaded with delicious salmon. She also made tilapia, grilled veggies and tons of other treats.
Nirel, Rotem and I immediately went to work. Tables were moved. A quick sweep of the deck occurred. Vegetables were chopped. Fruit skewers were prepared. Cookies trays were made. Lots of pre-party tasting took place. Candles were lit. Sangria was poured. Guests arrived.
To further wet our whistles, everyone was treated to a great selection of delicious wines from Israel, Italy and Napa Valley.
Eighteen people showed up to spend their evening with ELEM-Entry NY. Some knew about the great work ELEM does. Some learned for the first time. Regardless a great time was had by all. Our guests took part in helping raise over $12,000 to help three kids get the treatment they need. Their generosity will change their lives in a good way and prevent future cases of sexual abuse.
Cello player Elad Kabilio entertained us throughout the evening. Guests strolled around the deck with smiles on their faces. Nirel brought the evening to new heights, when she gave a heartfelt speech about the way ELEM is changing the lives of distressed Jewish and Arab Israeli youth.
We partied on the deck a little longer. Then Shula invited us up to her beautiful living room for dessert. Nirel took to the stage again. She spoke for a few minutes and then played a video of parents talking about how ELEM’s Center for Prevention of Sexual Violence saved their children. The parents spoke about how nervous they were when they arrived at the Center with their kids. But shortly after they saw them make positive changes.
Guests opened their checkbooks and donated to keep this cause going. Cookies were finished. Everyone went home. Nirel, Rotem and I hung around a little longer to help clean up.
It was my third Community Dinner. I cannot wait for my fourth. As a side note, I’m sure those that know me understand how much I believe in our goals. Particularly since I was spending my evening volunteering, while my beloved Bronx Bombers were playing in the Subway Series. The Yankees won the season series that night. ELEM-Entry NY won the hearts and souls of many.