We appreciate the generosity of our raffle donors:
Koko Fit Club
The Pear Tree
Coolidge Corner Theatre
Clear Flour Bread
Cause to Paws
Our annual Feed Brookline Drive concludes with a benefit Dinner at the Fireplace. Remarkable generosity and compassion was alive and well even before the dinner started. Just hours before the dinner, I saw 11 local businesses, most of them the usual suspects, donating hard-earned gift certificates for a raffle. I saw my friend from
When the mingling started, every walk of
I saw Sarah Gladstone, a freshman at Brookline High and youngest recipient of a BrooklineHub.com Youth Award speak to those in attendance about her non-profit organization, The Starfish Project. She has raised over $8,000 to help young women, some her own age, suffering from obstetric fistula, severe internal damage occurring as a result of neglected childbirth . The gathering hung on Sarah’s every world, shocked by what they learned and amazed at the incredible young woman in front of them.
The gathering also heard from Jonathan Mande, a young man who arrived with his family of 12 from the
We saw David Leschinsky of
Three of this year’s Youth Award recipients, Jijin Jang, Anna Russo, and Jessica Lu collected raffle money and interacted with each table.
We met Brookline Emergency Food Pantry Executive Director, Rene Feuerman. Rene has been the perfect follow-up to the great work put in by past director, Jim Margolis. Her intelligence, hard work, compassion and respect for her Pantry clients are inspiring. Demand on the Pantry have risen 88% in just the last 4 years. We need Rene’s leadership now more than ever.
We also met this year’s Roger Grande Social Justice Award recipient, Kate Leslie. Kate is a towering example of what makes the Brookline school system so great. She is the kind of dedicated teacher who can change the trajectory of a young person’s life. It should be a comfort to know that while you are working so hard to pay the mortgage and meet your financial obligations during this challenging economic time, your sons and daughters are in the hands of people like Kate Leslie.
Kate picked the raffle winner. Ironically, it was Rene Feuerman. Rene plans to re-raffle the items of at the Food Festival, which is part of the Coolidge Corner Arts Festival.
It was perfect end to a near perfect night. The perfect night will be when we gathered to celebrate the day we know longer need a Food Pantry.
Lots of laughs were shared, and I admit I sort of like to entertain a room, but sometimes things seem funnier when there is a little tension. We laughed and smiled and congratulated each other’s dedication and resolve. To be honest, the laughter grew from tension, which will not fade until our neighbors can sleep without having to wonder where their next meal is coming from.
So now that the party and drive are over until November, keep in mind that some of us still worry about the most basic of needs. Hunger is not confined to any one season. Please continue to support the Pantry by making an online donation at FeedBrookline.org or through the donation button at BrooklineHub.com Please give as much as you are able, then allow yourself to feel like a rock star because you are one.
Keep your head up when walking through places like Coolidge Corner. One of those faces you see will get their next meal courtesy of you.
Harvey Bravman, Publisher