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May 22, 2014 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-05-22

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

metro >> around town

Volunteers Honored

F

riendship Circle of West
Bloomfield hosted its
annual volunteer rec-
ognition event at the Berman
Center for Performing Arts to
honor the 800 adult and teen vol-
unteers who dedicate their time
each week.
The event opened with
an original performance by
Friendship Circle's Music and
Drama program entitled "G-d is
Everywhere:'
Bassie Shemtov, Friendship
Circle director, thanked each vol-
unteer in the audience for being
the strength for the children of
Friendship Circle and showing
them unconditional love.
The night ended with an inspi-
rational and unforgettable per-
formance by Christopher Duffley,
a 12-year-old singer from New
Hampshire. He was born blind
and autistic, but that has not
slowed him down. Christopher
brought the house to tears with
his a capella rendition of "Lean
on Me:' Christopher embodies
everything that Friendship Circle
stands for: inclusion, strength
and love.



Friendship Circle annual recognition event features dynamite singer.

Christopher Duffley with his newest fans, Jodie and Josh Jacobs
of West Bloomfield

Friendship Circle's Bronze Level volunteers are honored on stage
for volunteering between 50 and 100 hours this school year.

Bassie Shemtov, Friendship
p Circle director, ,
Lauren Lewis of Detroit and Christopher
and Christopher Duffley of Manchester, N.H., Volunteers Hannah Tighe and Caroline Petch,
Duffley share some smiles after his a capel-
both of Commerce, received awards for com-
after Christopher's singing performance
la performance of "Lean on Me."
pleting more than 100 hours of service this

year.

Volunteer of the Year

T

he dedication and hard work of about 150 regu-
lar Yad Ezra volunteers and board members
was honored at Yad Ezra's annual Volunteer/
Board Appreciation Dinner May 12 at Congregation
Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield. Event chair was Nicole
Lester.
Yad Ezra accomplishes its mission of feeding needy
Jewish families in Metro Detroit because of its dedi-
cated volunteers who work one-on-one with clients in

Mel Hersh accepts award for his dedication and commitment to Yad Ezra.

intake and distribution. They also help with clerical
tasks, data entry, and the planning and execution of
special projects and fundraising events.
Since 2001, a volunteer has been presented with
the Diane and (the late) Emery Klein Volunteer
Recognition Award, established by Yad Ezra's leader-
ship to honor the Kleins' heartfelt, unwavering support.
This year's Volunteer of the Year is Mel Hersh, intro-
duced to Yad Ezra by his daughter nine years ago. Mel

Mel Hersh receiving his award from Lea Luger, executive director

28

May 22 • 2014

volunteers three days a week handing out chickens
or dairy products. He also showed up on the coldest,
snowiest and iciest days this year, driving almost 15
miles each way from West Bloomfield to make sure he
could greet and assist clients. He always does his job
with a great sense of humor, compassion and thought-
fulness.
For more about volunteering, call Yad Ezra at (248)
548-3663 or email info@yadezra.org . ❑

Hersh and his granddaughters, Lindsay and Hallie Remer of West Bloomfield

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