Archive for the ‘Houston Chapter of Hadassah’ Category

2011 Hadassah Women of Courage: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Hadassah President Debra Levine (center) with Women of Courage Co-Chairs Linda Rubenfeld (L) and Joy Blog (R)

Hadassah President Debra Levine (center) with Women of Courage Co-Chairs Linda Rubenfeld (L) and Joy Blog (R)

The Houston Chapter of Hadassah will salute Sonia and the late Harold Raizes, The Rose nonprofit breast cancer center and Hayley Feldman, leaders of “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at its 2011 Women of Courage benefit. The annual gala luncheon and auction will be held Sunday, February 13, noon, (silent auction opens at 11 a.m.) at the Westin Oaks Hotel, 5011 Westheimer.

“We are thrilled to incorporate several ‘firsts’ this year — the first time Women of Courage has honored someone posthumously, the first time to honor a man, the first time to honor an organization and we’re introducing our first-ever ‘Woman of the Future” Award recipient,” said Joy Blog, event co-chair with Linda Rubenfeld.

Representing “Yesterday” is the late Harold Raizes, a venerable Houston businessman, Jewish leader, and kind and loving husband, father and grandfather. Starting in the 1940s, Harold encouraged Sonia to become involved as a Hadassah volunteer. He had a deep passion and concern for the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Committed to volunteerism and humanitarian work, he took pride in Sonia’s rise in the Hadassah organization, where she blossomed in her Hadassah leadership positions. Though her volunteerism took her out of the city for speaking engagements, conferences, conventions and board meetings, Harold was always supportive on the homefront. “I couldn’t receive this honor without Harold, of blessed memory, being honored too,” said Sonia, reminiscing how Harold, a former president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and a Hadassah Associate and committed supporter of Hadassah, was always at her side at Hadassah functions.

Sonia, who, along with “The Rose,” signifies “Today,” first joined Hadassah when she was a bride in Mason City, Iowa. A National Associate of Hadassah and a member of the National Board of Hadassah, she served as the National Fundraising Task Force Coordinator for the Greater Southwest Regions and Area Founders Chair for the National Major Gifts Department. She has held portfolios on the local and regional levels of Hadassah and has given courses in training for fundraising, membership and leadership. A breast cancer survivor, Sonia has served as Area Chair for Houston’s Cancer Drive. Her community involvement also includes leadership roles with Young Judaea, United Jewish Appeal (UJA) and her synagogue board and Sisterhood.

The Rose is the Houston area’s leading 501(c)(3) non-profit breast cancer organization providing mammography screening, diagnosis, access to treatment and support to all women regardless of their ability to pay. Last year, The Rose provided 27,837 screening and diagnostic procedures for those able to pay; 15,680 screening and diagnostic procedures at no charge to low income, uninsured women; 7,621 free patient navigation services to other treatment patients without insurance. The Rose co-founders, Dixie Melillo, M.D., a general surgeon specializing in breast cancer, and Dorothy Weston Gibbons, CEO, will accept the Women of Courage Award.

The “Woman of the Future” — representing the future of Hadassah — is Hayley Feldman, a third generation native Houstonian, who learned the values of volunteerism by her family’s example. In Hadassah, she has been active in the LeAtid group for 11 years, holding many positions, including Membership Vice President, Fundraising Committee, President and restructuring LeAtid to include daytime meetings. At the Houston Chapter level, Hayley has served as Membership Vice President, Strategic Planning Committee, and coordinated mailings of the Women of Courage luncheon invitations. She is a PTO Vice President and Board Member for Beth Yeshurun Day Schools, Federation Collage 2011 Kick-off Co-Chair and has been active in Congregation Beth Yeshurun Sisterhood and the “Friends of Godwin Park” committee.

To salute these Women of Courage honorees, please consider purchasing or putting together a table of ten. Tables are available at the $1,800, $1,000 and $750 levels. Premium reserved individual seats are $150 and “individual reserved seats are $54. For further information on purchasing or putting together tables, tickets or donating items to the auction, please contact the Hadassah office at houstonadmin@HADASSAH.org or call 713-661-1022.

Hadassah, a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is the largest volunteer women’s organization in the U.S. with more than 300,000 members, including more than 3,000 in the Houston area. Hadassah promotes health awareness, medical miracles through its world-renowned hospitals in Israel, humanitarian relief, advocacy and youth programs.

Ode to Hadassah Women of Courage Auction by Auction Chair Debbie Gersh

Monday, December 20th, 2010

I thought I’d share a poem written by Hadassah Women of Courage Auction Chair Debbie Gersh, who is orchestrating a fabulous auction for the Feb. 13 benefit at the Westin Oaks Hotel. If you have an item or items to donate, please contact the Houston Chapter of Hadassah office at 713.661.1022 and they will supply you with the auction form and details to donate. Thanks so much for your consideration!

Ode to the Women of Courage Auction
By Auction Chair Debbie Gersh

Do you have a vacation home or
somewhere fun to roam?
Lots of extra miles,
want to see some smiles?
Network television within reach?
Tickets to shows would be really neat.
Boutique hotels are really great.
A weekend visit would be first rate!
Golf courses and sports,
boutiques and more,
and don’t forget, restaurants galore!
We would love all these items,
for the auction to be the best,
so please use your connections,
put them to the test.

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Thank you for your consideration
Susan Farb Morris/The PR Fairy
Susan Farb Public Relations

Nancy Levicki and Renee Suchowiecky Truly Are Women of Courage

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

"Great Day Houston" welcomes Hadassah Women of Courage volunteers.It was such a pleasure for Susan Farb Public Relations to handle the Houston public relations/media relations for the Houston Chapter of Hadassah 2010 “Women of Courage” luncheon. The honorees are always so deserving, but as it happens this year, I knew both honorees, so that made the event that much more special. Nancy Levicki, president and co-founder of Dress for Success Houston, is in the Women’s City Club business/social networking group with me. I’ve known Renee Suchowiecky through her work as an author and presenter at the JCC Jewish Book and Arts Fair, and as a former social columnist with the Jewish Herald-Voice newspaper. Renee’s first book, “Love Letters to Nicole,” is a journal of letters Renee wrote for the first two years following her daughter’s sudden death from cardiac disease on the lacrosse playing field at the age of 15.

Both women, as the theme of the Hadassah luncheon stated, are “Building a Better World. . . Right Here at Home” and have touched thousands of lives through their work. Dress for Success Houston is a nonprofit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to more than 3,200 women annually. Suchowiecky and her family established The NKS Foundation in honor of their 15-year-old daughter, Nicole, of blessed memory. The Foundation has financially aided high school students in their pursuit of higher education, purchased and distributed Automated External Defibrillators to Houston-area schools and public facilities; and currently pursues cardiac screenings for middle school students.

Susan Farb Public Relations fulfilled the Houston Chapter of Hadassah’s publicity goals for media coverage. There were feature TV interviews, “Great Day Houston” interview with honoree Renee Suchowiecky (KHOU-TV), KPRC-TV Saturday Morning News interview with Hadassah Greater Southwest Region Board President Barbara Shurberg, and KHOU-TV Sunday Evening News story on Renee Suchowiecky and the HEARTS program, as well as articles and photos in the Houston Chronicle,, Bellaire Examiner, Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston Lifestyles & Homes magazine, Houston Woman Magazine, as well as social media coverage on Facebook with more than doubled the number of Houston Chapter of Hadassah Facebook Fans from 77 to 164. . .and counting!

Event Co-Chairs Linda Tenenbown and Francine Beckman proudly presented Hadassah’s framed “Tikkun Olam” (“Repair the World”) works of art to Levicki, and Suchowiecky, before more than 350 admiring guests at the Westin Oaks Hotel.

Congrats to the entire Women of Courage committee and Hadassah, a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Hadassah is the largest volunteer women’s organization in the U.S. with more than 300,000 members, including 3,400 in the Houston area. Hadassah promotes health awareness, medical miracles through its world-renowned hospitals in Israel, humanitarian relief, advocacy and youth programs. Local programs include the Breast Health Awareness Program serving the underserved and uninsured in the Greater Houston area and surrounding counties; support of Dress for Success Houston; domestic abuse education and prevention, women’s health education seminars, Let My People Read ® children’s book drive for Ben Taub Hospital; and Meals on Wheels. For further info, contact houstonadmin@HADASSAH.org or call 713-661-1022.

Hadassah Names Nancy Levicki and Renee Suchowiecky 2010 Women of Courage

Monday, December 7th, 2009

HadassahWOC-Nancy&ReneeWebThe Houston Chapter of Hadassah has named Nancy Levicki and Renee Suchowiecky honorees of its 2010 Women of Courage benefit luncheon. The event, entitled “Building a Better World. . . Right Here at Home,” will be held Sunday, March 7, noon, (silent auction opens at 11 a.m.) at the Westin Oaks Hotel, 5011 Westheimer.

“Nancy and Renee are two courageous women who have continually worked to help to build a better world. Our community is so much richer thanks to their vision and initiative,” said Linda Tenenbown, event co-chair with Francine Beckman.

Levicki is president and co-founder of Dress for Success Houston (DFS Houston) a nonprofit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to more than 3,200 women annually. Houston Chapter of Hadassah has supported Dress for Success suit drives for four years.

Suchowiecky established The Nicole Katharine Suchowiecky Foundation (The NKS Foundation) with her husband, David, and daughter, Raquel, in honor of her 15-year-old daughter, Nicole, of blessed memory. The Foundation financially aids high school students in their pursuit of higher education, purchases and distributes Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) to Houston-area schools and public facilities; and pursues pre-participation screenings for high school athletes.

In 1998, Levicki put her Sakowitz couture buyer skills back to work with her long-time friend Susie Cunningham. They collected women’s suits from friends and colleagues, and took them to three nonprofit organizations to help low-income Houston women enter the work force looking their best. By October, Levicki and a small band of founding board members opened the first Dress for Success chapter in Texas. Eleven years later, DFS Houston has served more than 25,000 women and accepts referrals from more than 110 local non-profit organizations.

Levicki’s work, compassion, and dedication to serving women have earned her such honors as speaking at PBS Public Television’s “Speaking of Women’s Health” Conference and recognition as a “PBS Hero of the Month,” recipient of the American Red Cross Humanitarian Award and Texas Executive Women “Woman on the Move.” During its 10th anniversary year, DFS Houston was recognized by KTRK-TV for its community leadership. The organization received Oprah’s BigGive of $10,000 presented on the steps of City Hall as Mayor Bill White proclaimed the official opening of “Send One Suit Week 2008.” In 2009 DFS Houston received the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber Economic Development Award.

The NKS Foundation has contributed $20,000 toward scholarships to freshmen students at The Emery/Weiner School. It has granted AED’s to 13 schools and facilities: five H.I.S.D. high schools (Westbury, Madison, Austin, Reagan, and Kashmere); Westbury Little League; Bo’s Place – A grief center; Bellaire Family Aquatic Center; and five Catholic schools and facilities (Pope John XXIII, John Paul II, St. Charles Borromeo, Holy Ghost School, and Holy Name Retreat Center.) The NKS Foundation is pursuing pre-participation screening for athletes who wish to play sports. The NKS Foundation lends its support to the HEARTS project of Memorial Hermann Hospital (which does heart screening tests on middle school students to check for heart health to help in the prevention of students collapsing from heart issues on playing fields) and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Suchowiecky, a former teacher, is a motivational speaker and author of Love Letters to Nicole, (2005), a personal journal that follows the evolution of her grief as a mother and wife after her daughter’s untimely death. All proceeds from the book were donated to The NKS Foundation. In 2008 she published her first children’s book, Lollipup & Luvable, about two do-good dachshunds that emphasizes the importance of good deeds and friendship. A Life Member of Hadassah and past officer of her Emma Lazarus group, Suchowiecky is a past board member and officer of Congregation Beth Yeshurun. As Jewish Herald-Voice Party Planning Editor, Suchowiecky originated the “Let’s Schmooze” column that ran for ten years.

To salute these Women of Courage, please consider purchasing or putting together a table of ten. Tables are: “Grove” – $1,800, “Orchard” – $1,000 and “Field” – $750. “Stately Elm” premium reserved individual seats are $150 and “Live Oak” individual reserved seats are $50.

Hadassah, a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is the largest volunteer women’s organization in the U.S. with more than 300,000 members, including 3,400 in the Houston area. Hadassah promotes health awareness, medical miracles through its world-renowned hospitals in Israel, humanitarian relief, advocacy and youth programs. Local programs include “Check It Out ®, breast and testicular cancer awareness program in Houston-area high schools; support of Dress for Success Houston; domestic abuse education and prevention, women’s health education seminars, Let My People Read ® children’s book drive for Ben Taub Hospital; and Meals on Wheels.

For further information on purchasing or putting together tables, tickets or donating items to the auction, please contact the Hadassah office at houstonadmin@HADASSAH.org or call 713-661-1022.

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