Every May, The Auxiliary of The William Breman Jewish Home holds a spring luncheon for its volunteers, members, staff and donors. The purpose of the annual luncheon is to name the volunteer of the year. This is the first year that luncheon includes a Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring Sandy Abrams, vice chair of The Auxiliary’s fundraising, a founding member and all-around Jewish HomeLife volunteer since 1986.
The annual Auxiliary Awards luncheon will be held virtually May 20 to honor Abrams’ accomplishments over a 35-year period.
Abrams volunteered for numerous organizations in the JHL network, including The Cohen Home, Berman Commons and The Jewish Tower.
Stephanie Wyatt, JHL chief development officer, said of the award-winner, “Abrams has served Jewish life by living as an example of how to give back to your community. Whether it be by personally delivering a card to a fellow Auxiliary member who may be under the weather to helping fundraise for major events in support of The Auxiliary and JHL.”
Abrams, a mother of three and a real estate agent for 45 years, admits that there is nothing she loves more than to serve her JHL community. “It started years ago …. I went in and began fundraising, going to the various homes to entertain people during the holidays and visiting the guests, staying in touch with the staff while making them feel wanted and appreciated.”
Board members at JHL further explained the role of The Auxiliary. “Founded in 1986, The Auxiliary of The William Breman Jewish Home provides social activities for residents, networking opportunities through our events, such as learning canasta, and funds to support the mission of the organization through our Jean A. Cohen Gift Shop and other popular fundraising events, such as Game Day.”
Abrams, a native of Brunswick, Ga., shared her admiration for what she termed JHL’s diversified network. “People do not realize how [blended] the homes are,” she said. “It’s not just Jewish. It’s nonsectarian. It is every race, creed and color. It doesn’t matter. It’s probably one of the best in the country.”
About receiving the award, she said, “I was stunned. I was shocked. This Lifetime Achievement Award is the only one that has ever been given.”
She further expounded on her commitment to the organization. “My main goal was to be sure that The Auxiliary stayed functional. Bringing in younger people and making sure that they know how important the residents are to the home and to the families,” she said. “I never get tired of it. I always look forward to the meetings. We have dynamic officers, which is great.”
Auxiliary Manager Cindy Cassano said, “Many of the good works that Sandy does are the gestures of a person who fundamentally believes in giving back to our community. Sandy shows up, does the work, smiles and askes for nothing in return.
“An Auxiliary member is a person who feels a responsibility to care for others. Our members are living examples of people who embrace the commandment ‘to honor thy Father and Mother.'”
In addition, “‘Because we love, because we care, because we are their children’” is the Auxiliary motto,” Cassano said.
Abrams was chosen based on a recommendation from The Auxiliary board, she added.
Jody Goldstein, co-president of The Auxiliary, will bestow the honor at the virtual event.
For more information about The Auxiliary and to buy tickets for the spring luncheon, visit www.jewishhomelife.org/ways-to-give/volunteer/auxiliary/.