The festive and meaningful event Monday, May 7, seated 225 women (and a few men). Added Touch Catering enhanced the room with tiers of desserts and bow-wrapped bouquets of pastries after the chicken breast salad and martini-glassed squash soup with popcorn.
“It’s been a very rewarding privilege these past two years working with the executive board and getting to know these impressive ladies. But the most gratifying part is walking into Srochi Hall to volunteer for the Chanukah party, the sweethearts ball, bingo or any function,” said Jodie Jackson, the auxiliary’s outgoing board chair.
“Spending time like this with the residents of the Jewish Home reminds me why I love the auxiliary and the home. These events make everything we do worthwhile. At the end of the day, if you can put a smile on a resident’s face, see them laugh, dance, sing and enjoy their celebration, that is why we volunteer.”
Two women were named the Volunteers of the Year: Sylvia Friedman and Lori Lewis.
Friedman, whose son, Barry, came in from Lakeland, Fla., for the event, recalled her mother’s time at the Jewish Home. Speaking less than a week before Mother’s Day, she said, “When my mother (of blessed memory) moved in at age 97, I spent many afternoons visiting and encouraging her to attend the activities. It just seemed natural after she passed away that I continue as a volunteer.”
Son Barry said, “I have been so proud of her work over the years — and I’ve benefited from the Friday challahs.”
Lewis concentrates her time at the gift shop, in meetings and in event execution.
Auxiliary member Cheryl Joss pledged to get more involved as she perused the volunteer opportunities for 2018-19, saying, “Between the fiesta celebration, bingo, wine and cheese, bazaar day, game day and bake sale, there is something to interest everyone.”
Steve Berman, a former board chair of Jewish Home Life Communities, made his traditional Motzi and urged: “We should direct our accolades towards the staff. Where would we be without them?”
Event co-chair Fran Scher summed up the emotions of the day: “The Jewish Home is a gift to our community … and being able to serve it has been my pleasure.”
Co-chair Ann Kay said: “I love being around the residents. I’ve been doing weekly cookie baking with them for years.”