Fifteen-hundred supporters flocked to The Sands Atlantic Beach on Thursday evening, Feb. 15, to salute Achiezer and its dedicated board and staff.
The “Tribute of a Decade Gala” marked the organization’s tenth anniversary by presenting Community Patron Awards to its 10 board members — from Bayswater, Yakov Mirocznik; from Cedarhurst, Aron Solomon; from Far Rockaway, Dovid Bloom, Moti Hellman, Moshe Schreiber and Shulie Wollman; from Lawrence, Jay Gelman, Ben Lowinger and Joel Yarmak; and from Woodmere, Michael Krengel.
A special Hakoras Hatov Award was presented to Elke Rubin, Achiezer’s executive coordinator who’s been with the organization since 2012.
Anthony Vero, deputy general manager of LaGuardia Airport, was cited for his unexpectred assistance in a problematic near-Shabbos transfer of an aron from LaGuardia to Newark airports enroute to Israel.
Among several speakers who praised Achiezer, Michael Harbater said he answered the call and was an early supporter but “never once did I think I would need Achiezer’s help.” But when he did, Achiezer was there.
“If you haven’t been helped by Achiezer, there’s a good chance you will be,” he said.
Rabbi Baruch Ber Bender, founder and director of Achiezer (pictured at left), said the organization, which began by providing medical referrals, expanded into many other areas in which people in the community — in and around the Five Towns and Far Rockaway — needed help.
He called the 10 honorees “real community heros,” and said they agreed that “if we want to help people, if we want to be there for others, where there’s a will there’s a way” — and there’s no turning back.