Friday, January 13, 2012

American Friends of Magen David Adom Dinner

You can be assured that Gila Meriwether will always present a lovely, gracious dinner and she did Tuesday night as the chair for the American Friends of Magen David Adom Dinner at Michael's On East.  The tables were resplendent in red tablecloths with pretty, pretty white hydrangea centerpieces.  The glass ball rimmed chargers set it all off beautifully.  And what did you hear?  The lilting strains of a melodious harp wafted through the dinner time air.

As a relatively new organization to the area, you might not be aware of its mission, which is to support the lifesaving efforts of Magen David Adom, which provides Israel's pre-hospital emergency medical care, including disaster, ambulance, and blood services.

What I think is most impressive about MDA is that their Cord Blood Bank and their National Blood Services Center have launched a national effort on stem cell transplants and research.  Another impressive fact is that the Blood Services Center provides 100% of the blood requirements of the Israel Defense Forces and 95 % of the blood needs of Israel's hospitals and general population.

A highlight of the evening was when Linda Lederberg was honored for her donation of an $100,000 ambulance in the memory of her husband.
This was a first-time event for the Sarasota-Manatee Friends Chapter of the organization and I believe it was a big success.  The featured speaker was Frida Ghitis, an internationally known world affairs columnist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Jerusalem Post,, among many others. 

I apologize for not being able to write about the content of Ms. Ghitis' presentation, but just minutes into it, a server tapped me on the shoulder to say my husband was outside and needed me.  It was a small family emergency and everything is now fine, but it did cause me to miss the majority of her talk.  Again, my apologies.

In addition to those pictured below, others in the crowd were Janet and John Hunter, Gloria Moss, Michael Meriwether,Marilyn Schroeter, Dr. Helen and Sydney Fagin, Barbara Ackerman, and many others.

Gila Meriwether and Alice Cotman

Jeff and Julie Riddell

Veronica Brady and Eva Slane

Renee Sheade and Graci McGillicuddy

Rev. Jim and Nikki Nilon

Brian Lipton and Sue Jacobson

Phil and Charlene Wolff

Joan Lowery and Darlene Arbeit

Jennifer and Henry Gemmeke

Renee Hamad and Michael Scott

Jan Selwitz Segal and Marcella May

Diane Slattery, James and Rose Robinson

Beautiful harp music for dinner

The pretty hydrangea centerpiece

Michael's On East does the best salads.  Doesn't this look yummy?

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