This past Wednesday evening was a very busy time. The JCC hosted its first Grill N Chill of the season, there was a Shoreline Community Concert at “The Kate” in Old Saybrook and Women’s Philanthropy hosted its Spring fundraising event for women who give a minimum of $180 to the Annual Campaign.
This year’s “$180 fundraiser” (which how we refer to it around the office) was called Joy Unleashed. It was a workshop in laughter led by Esther Rachel Russell, who in an earlier life did Improv [isational comedy) in LA before eventually landing here in New Haven. I have to admit, that I usually find myself as the only man at these Women’s Philanthropy events (I am used to it after 10+ years) and try to stay in the background. But Esther would have none of that, and as any good comedienne would do, she pulled the odd ‘man’ out, in. It was my first exposure to what they call Laughter Yoga. The bottom line is the 25+ women there had a very good time, laughing at themselves, me, and each other. There were a lot of new faces there, especially a contingent from the new (this year) Young Women’s Circle, Women’s Philanthropy’s Young Leadership group. The evening also marked a transition point. The group was welcomed by outgoing President of Women’s Philanthropy and now Federation President Stephanie Wain and thanked at the end by incoming Women’s Philanthropy President Elaine Braffman. There’s an old saying that laughter is infectious, and it surely was that evening.
The next morning I had breakfast with Ed Sack at the Shoreline Diner in Guilford and he filled me in on the previous evening’s Shoreline Concert featuring Nu-Haven Kapelye, our community’s very own Klezmer band. He told me it was GREAT! Over 100 people, plus the teens of Bonim from Camp Laurelwood. For those of you who do not know, the Bonim program combines community service, counselor training and leadership skills for campers entering 10th grade. Shortly, these teens will be off on a real adventure, 18 days in Costa Rica. I plan on visiting Laurelwood in two weeks and my Campaign Update that week will tell you all about what I saw and experienced.
The JCC Day Camp began this week as well. I haven’t seen too many of the campers yet (except watching the Soccer match yesterday), which is a good sign. Bad weather drives them into the building. Next week I plan to take a walk up the hill and get a feel for what’s happening there as well. Yes, Summer has arrived!