Those who attended still can not stop buzzing about the Madraigos Midwest Dinner of Recognition and Dedication that took place on May 10th at the Hilton Orrington. Entering the ballroom level of the Orrington, guests’ seating arrangements were placed on top of books about proactive parenting that was paired with a gorgeous bookmark created from a painting made by a Girls’ Lounge attendee. The Lounge is one of the many Enrichment and Prevention programs Madraigos Midwest offers weekly. Guests were then led through a hallway filled with a beautiful display describing some of the programs, the statistics of success of the counseling center and school program, and how every child in our city, no matter the hashkafa, school, or stage, is benefitting from the work of the organization.
Once the over 320 guests had entered the ballroom, Mr. Nesanel Davis, board member, and master of ceremonies, gave a moving introduction about the need for all individuals to be there for our children. Yankie Greenberger, LCSW, Clinical Director, echoed those thoughts, and described more at length about what a day at Madraigos Midwest looks like for all the staff, which paired beautifully with the ‘I Am Madraigos Midwest’ video that followed. (All dinner videos can be viewed on the Madraigos Midwest website.) The ‘I Am Madraigos Midwest’ video followed portrayals of three different teenagers in our city, and what their week looks like as a participant of the Madraigos Midwest services and programs.
Beyond enhancing lives, and more about the saving lives at Madraigos Midwest, Mr. Shua Ray, board co-chairman, gave a touching and passionate introduction to the evening’s highlight – the Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center dedication. This center is the only exclusively frum youth counseling center in the nation and was dedicated to echo the lives’ work and act as a lasting legacy for two incredible people, Mozes and Helen Stern a’h. Every table had leaflets describing the Sterns, and how this counseling center will forever honor their drive to help those in need and care for those who can not always care for themselves. Their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Joey and Suri Stern accepted a plaque declaring the new counseling center name, and were the center of the video presentation that expounded on the need and the importance of the counseling center. The Sterns expressed being driven by their own need for the services of Madraigos Midwest 15 years ago, and how they feel a responsibility to rectify that those services were not available then, and that now no family should ever have to experience that pain and frustration of having nowhere to turn. Conveying a call to action in the video, Mr. Joey Stern describes how “we are responsible for every child in our community, and if we don’t help them, we are responsible for the eventual outcome.” With misty eyes and heavy hearts, the room rose to their feet with a thunderous applause to mark the day of the dedication of The Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center.
With a full stomach and fuller heart, Mr. Josh Rosen, board co-chairman got up to recognize the subtle and far reaching efforts of one of his fellow board co-chairmen Mr. Yoni Bellows. Due to his modest nature, in order to recognize all of Mr. Yoni Bellows’ work, a video presentation captured the messaging of his children, family, friends, Rabbis, the staff, and various program beneficiaries to express how thankful they all are for all that he does. Mr. Yoni Bellows accepted his award with a stirring speech about why he has invested so much of his time and energies into the organization, and why evenings like this one are so crucial, so that the community awareness and commitment can continue and strive.
It truly was a moving, emotional, and most of all empowering night that reaffirmed every person’s’ commitment and pledge to continue to enable Madraigos Midwest help each child, our community as a whole, our schools, and those struggling emotionally.