Fed Live! Brings Beatlemania, Volunteer Appreciation

(Photo from jewishhowardcounty.org/beatlemania)

Fed Live!, the Jewish Federation of Howard County’s annual gala, will provide an opportunity for the Howard County community to gather and celebrate a year of philanthropy and community building. The evening will honor four community members and feature a show performed by Beatlemania Returns, a Beatles tribute band.

The gala will take place on June 7 at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel. VIP tickets ($125) include dinner at 6 p.m. General admission tickets ($45) offer access to the awards presentation and the Beatlemania Returns show. There will be light fare available at the reception, including popcorn, hot cinnamon buns and candy.

This year, the Tikkun Olam Volunteer Award has been renamed for the late Jacques Fein, a former president of the Federation and enthusiastic volunteer who passed away on May 11.

Betsy Singer Marcus, the award’s recipient, will be recognized for her work as “an outstanding community lay leader, both Jewish and non-Jewish,” according to Meghann Schwartz, associate director of the Federation. Marcus is highly involved with both political activism and the Baltimore Jewish Council. She also serves on the Federation’s board of directors.

Steve Sternheimer will receive the Community Builder Award. In addition to being very involved in his synagogue, Bet Aviv, he has driven more than 5,000 miles as a part of Neighbor Ride, a Howard County program in which volunteers drive senior citizen to appointments.

Robyn Gold will get the Woman of Valor Award for being “a true leader in the community,” said Schwartz.

As a lifetime member of Hadassah, Gold created an annual Day of Giving at Isaiah’s Gifts, which donates a percentage of sales to Hadassah Hospital. Additionally, she is the current Pomegranate/Lion of Judah Society Campaign chair, volunteers on the Women’s Division and Great Challah Bake committees, has been involved with Neighbor Ride and has led a women’s book club for the past 17 years.

“When I found out that I received this honor, I cried,” said Gold. “It is very humbling. It’s a wonderful honor. I am absolutely thrilled and excited.”

Randi Leshin is being honored with the Young Leadership Award. “She’s one of our most active young adults in the community, with both her synagogue and the Federation,” said Schwartz.

Leshin explained that her volunteerism began about two years ago when she served on a committee to organize Jew Year’s Eve, the Federation’s annual Rosh Hashanah celebration. “My leadership roles and my passion for volunteering and helping others emerged from there,” she said.

“I don’t necessarily feel like I deserve to be honored or recognized for volunteering and supporting my community,” Leshin added. “It’s just something that’s in my nature and that I believe one should do. With that said, I am very thankful and honored that my peers and others in the community think that what I do for the community is worthy of being honored with an award.”

In addition to the dinner and show, the evening will feature a Give 4 Good auction that benefits Federation services and programs in the county. Attendees will choose among four different Beatles-themed categories to which they can donate.

“People leave saying the event was wonderful and they want to help and give more,” said Schwartz, “but there aren’t really any volunteer opportunities between June and September, so this auction lets them donate right there to support the needs of our community.”

Options include “Come Together” to provide teens with meaningful Jewish experiences; “All My Loving” to sponsor a one-year PJ Library subscription for a local family; “With a Little Help from My Friends” to contribute to Jewish hospice care; and “Across the Universe” to provide food baskets for Ethiopian families during the holidays.

DJ Doug will be the evening’s emcee and auctioneer. “He always ensures that it’s fun and entertaining,” said Beth Millstein, president of the Federation. “Our goal is to raise as much money as possibly for each of these causes to support the work of the Federation both here in our community and abroad. There is no greater Jewish value than helping others, and all of our honorees have given of themselves to help improve Jewish lives.”


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