Nearly 100 of Westchester’s most philanthropic donors came together to kick off UJA-Federation of New York’s 2018 Annual Campaign and celebrate the organization’s vital work on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.
Guests heard from actress Marlee Matlin at the event, which took place at a private home in Scarsdale. Matlin has dedicated herself to raising awareness for many humanitarian causes, including diversity and LGBTQ rights, and has served as a champion for the deaf, children, and those struggling against domestic abuse and addiction.
At 21, Matlin became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar — and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut — for her role in Children of a Lesser God. Despite losing her hearing at 18 months, she has enjoyed a successful acting career, also winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and earning two Emmy nominations for her work. Matlin has joined Quantico as a series regular for its upcoming third season.
Guests heard from Scarsdale resident Alexis Kashar, president of the Jewish Deaf Resource Center, which builds bridges between Jews who are dåœeaf and hard of hearing and the individuals and organization that serve the North American Jewish community, as well as from UJA leader Pam Wexler, also a Scarsdale resident, who was one of the original JDRC board members.
Other speakers included Kenny and Joey Lane of Scarsdale, who recently had taken part in a UJA relief mission to Puerto Rico that brought aid to the area devastated by Hurricane Irma, including medical supplies, infant formula, diesel fuel, personal care products, cleaning products, batteries, work boots and gloves, and hundreds of bottles of water.
“I’m so happy to be here with people who truly understand that it’s only through our support that such missions like that one, and others that followed, are possible,” said Cindy Golub of Mamaroneck, UJA’s Westchester Regional Chair, to the guests. “It is my pleasure, on behalf of UJA, to say thank you. We are deeply grateful.”
Funds raised at the event go to UJA-Federation, which sustains the activities of a network that includes hundreds of nonprofits, including more than 80 core partners, a dozen of which are located in Westchester. These community-based organizations provide services that combat poverty, help the elderly age with dignity, promote Jewish identity and renewal, strengthen children and families, and open doors to those with disabilities and special needs.