2002-06-01 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

Hadassah:  Together We Will Succeed
By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Hadassah:  Together We Will Succeed

The Hadassah luncheon held at the Silver Gull was an outstanding event where friends and neighbors came together to promote the philanthropic and research work of Hadassah Hospital at Ein Karem through the annual Heart luncheon.  The monies raised go toward purchasing equipment like heart lung machines resuscitators and fund transplant operations for those who can't afford them as well as contributing to research projects.

Our sincere gratitude goes to Fay Cohen who has chaired the luncheon for 43 consecutive years.  Through Fay's leadership Hadassah has been able to raise funds to continue its outstanding research on the heart.  Fay Cohen has chosen to devote her time and talent to this most important work.  I congratulate Fay Cohen.

Congressman Anthony Weiner congratulated the two honorees - Monsignor Martin Geraghty and Renee Freeman.  Congressman Weiner noted that Monsignor and Renee have well earned reputations as individuals who are always willing to lend a helping hand to assist others.

They have earned the respect and commendation of Congressman Weiner's constituents by standing at the forefront of the battle to help those who are unable to help themselves.  They exemplify the highest definition of community service that individuals can attain.  They have developed many co-operative relationships in the parish, with Hadassah, in the community and with elected officials in order to assist others.

Ralph Lineoff is an eloquent and dynamic speaker.  He introduced Monsignor Martin Geraghty and noted that he has a spirit of modern enlightenment.  Monsignor is never at a loss for time whenever anyone needs help.  Lineoff described Monsignor Geraghty as a true gentleman.

Monsignor Martin Geraghty announced that he was delighted to be honored at the luncheon as a humble brother.  Monsignor Geraghty rejoiced when he traveled to Jerusalem.  He felt that it was a personal going home.  It is his sincere hope that there will be peace in the Holy Land and everyone will come together with love.

Monsignor Geraghty, the pastor of St. Francis de Sales, noted that in 1947 something wonderful happened at St. Francis de Sales.  The pastor at that time - Monsignor Jerome J. Reddy - erected a monument honoring a Rabbi, a priest and two ministers who died in World War II on February 4, 1943.  They gave their life vests to four servicemen and sacrificed their lives to save their fellow man.  The monument symbolizes the feeling of friendship, sisterhood and brotherhood that permeate our community.  Every February, St. Francis de Sales holds a community ceremony at the monument to remember and celebrate the outreach that we feel.

Currently as a result of the November 12 disaster St. Francis de Sales continues to reach out to the Dominican community and is flying the flag of the Dominican Republic at the church and the school to honor those who perished on Flight 587 on the American Airlines flight headed to the Dominican Republic. 

Marilyn Blicksilver did a stupendous job as the program chairperson.  Proof of her outstanding ability was that the luncheon was filled to overflowing.  As usual Marilyn was a fashion icon.  Marilyn introduced Renee Freeman as a role model. Renee dedicated her life to her family, her pupils where she taught every grade from Kindergarten to high school in our New York City public schools and to Hadassah.  In Hadassah, Renee has served as the group president, the chapter president and on the state, regional and national level.  She is passing the tradition on to her grandchildren.  Last year she took her oldest grandchild to the National Hadassah Convention in San Francisco.

Renee Freeman addressed the luncheon.  She noted that Hadassah funds many projects in the U.S., Israel and around the world.  Hadassah started in 1919 with ten original members and now is more than 350,000 strong.  Hadassah runs two hospitals, a College of Technology and Youth Aliyah.  Hadassah also maintains Hebrew University Medical School, Nursing Schools, gives assistance to children at risk and helps newly arrived immigrants from Russia and the Mediterranean countries who settle in Israel.

Hadassah is an organization that benefits everyone. Best wishes for their continued outstanding success to Monsignor Martin Geraghty, Fay Cohen, Marilyn Blicksilver and Renee Freeman.  Each of them has been a major positive force for our community.

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