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December 29, 2011 - Image 59

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Photos by Jeff A isen

spotlight

Funtastic!

Project Chessed's family fundraising event
stressed fun and good health.

W

here else could you get your blood sugar
checked, take an exercise class, get some
tips on healthy snacks for your kids'
lunches, have an actually good-for-you kosher din-
ner, shop for items that help you stay well and get a
Michigan Child Idenfication Program (MI Child) kit
for your little ones — all while your kids are dancing
with Star Trax DJs, playing basketball, wall climbing,
doing crafts and having their faces painted?
At Project Chessed's Family Funtastic event at
Franklin Athletic Club in Southfield held on Dec.
That's where nearly 300 people gathered to cel-
ebrate Project Chessed, a program of Jewish Family
Service that connects low-income, medically unin-
sured members of the Jewish community with a
volunteer cadre of physicians and hospitals. During
these tough economic times, many have lost jobs as
well as the health coverage that comes with them.
Family Funtastic was spearheaded by event co-
chairs Lisa Lis and Diane Orley, with guidance from
Project Chessed advisory chair Karen Schoenberg.
The committee wanted to have an event that would
not only raise awareness and funds for Project
Chessed, but also would educate participants on
healthy lifestyle tips, all while providing a fun and

Jacob Friedman of Huntington Woods

active family experience.
Beaumont Hospital, DMC Huron Valley Sinai,
the Kresge Eye Center, St. Joseph Hospital and the
Karmanos Center all had professionals on hand for
screenings, health information and demonstrations.
MI Child volunteers were on hand to create child
identificaton CDs for parents to use in case of emer-
gency.
Vendors with health information and items for
purchase were Wholeheart, Juice Plus and Kangan
Water. A kosher dinner was prepared by Chef Cari
Catering.
Event sponsors included Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss,
Weight Watchers, DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital,
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, the David Horodoker
Organization, Beaumont, Jim and Sandy Danto, Health
Plus, 1-800-Mini Storage, Prentis Family Foundation
and Stage Deli. Entertainment and emcee services for
the event were donated by Star Trax.
Project Chessed is supported by the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the Jewish
Fund, the Sinai Guild, the Slingshot Fund, the Jewish
Women's Foundation and other organizations and
individuals in the community. For more information
or to make a donation, visit www.jfsdetroit.org .

Dylan and Jordan Schoenberg of
Birmingham

Lisa Lis, Sam Orley, Diane Orley, Patti Aaron

---41 -

Ron Elkus gets his blood pressure checked out by Yohannes of
St. Joseph Mercy.

David and Daniel Aisner of
West Bloomfield

Jewish Family Service President Mark
Milgrom with youngest event attendee,
Chana Stein

Jewish Gay Network Goes Online To Seek Funding Help To Stay Viable

T

he Jewish Gay Network was
founded in the Detroit area to
meet the needs of a Jewish
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-
gender) community that is sometimes
invisible because Michigan is not a
particularly safe place to be out, yet is
craving connection to the Jewish com-
munity.
In six years, JGN has organized
religious, cultural and social events
both LGBT-only and open to the whole
community. It has sponsored lecture
series on topics of importance to the

LGBT community, bringing speakers
and teachers from around the coun-
try. It has held trainings in schools,
temples and synagogues to help anti-
bullying efforts and communities that
want to be more inclusive and diverse
but don't know how on their own. It
also has created a support group for
Jewish family members of and friends
of LGBT people.
Now the JGN is fighting for its exis-
tence. Because of Michigan's poor
economy, the JGN is really hurting for
funds, so much so that its executive

director was laid off, and the orga-
nization has returned to being fully
volunteer-led.
JGN members like to think of
themselves as bringing light in the
darkness, and they hope to have a
real Chanukah miracle by the end of
December.
Now JGN has mounted a fund-raising
campaign on The Point. It is built on
the same concept as Groupon: Malcolm
Gladwell's Tipping Point. The campaign
has a deadline date of Dec. 31 and a
goal of $9,600. If JGN receives pledges

equal to or beyond that goal, support-
ers who gave a pledge with a credit
card will see a charge to their card and
The Point will give JGN its pledges-
turned-contributions.
The key is that people get to see
that others support JGN before they
have to commit actual funds. If the
goal is not reached, the campaign ends
and JGN receives nothing.
To donate, go to www.thepoint.com/
campaigns/campaign-0-3639, and then
spread the word to tip the campaign
into true dollars. L

Dec

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