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Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey will join with Jewish communities nationwide to observe a Global Hunger Shabbat at Westchester Refrom Temple on Friday March 19. The service, beginning at 7:45 p.m., is open to the community and will be a source of solidarity, education, reflection and advocacy to raise awareness about global hunger.

Global Hunger Shabbat is part of the American Jewish World Service’s (AJWS) campaign Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up created to build awareness about the political roots of hunger. Scheduled to coincide with the Shabbat just prior to Passover, Global Hunger Shabbat will evoke the Passover message of all who are hungry, let them come and eat, on behalf of the more than a billion people suffering from hunger worldwide.

The speaker for the evening, Congresswoman Lowey, represents New York’s 18th District, including parts of Westchester and Rockland Counties. As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where she chairs the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and is a senior member of the Homeland Security and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittees, Lowey is an extremely effective, committed legislator with a substantial record of accomplishment.

This event is free and open to the public at Westchester Reform Temple, located at 255 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale, NY. For directions or information, call the Temple at 914-723-7727, email to office@wrtemple.org, or visit the web at www.wrtemple.org.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is calling on the National Guard to assist Greenburgh during future crises. The recent storm and resulting power outages have caused thousands of Greenburgh and Westchester residents to lose power for days. In response, Feiner has written to Brigadier General Patrick Murphy of the New York National Guard. Feiner is urging the New York National Guard to take steps so that the next time there is a serious storm that leaves homeowners without power the National Guard could be activated to help.

According to Feiner, the New York National Guard could be used to direct traffic at intersections where lights are out, to help cut down trees or stand guard near downed wires.

In a letter to Scarsdale10583.com, Feiner says, “Con Ed and local governments are trying hard to restore power but the amount of damage has made it impossible to get to everyone immediately. Some people will be out of power for six or seven days—which is unacceptable. Even after a power outage, there is significant work to do. It will take the town weeks to clean up the mess. We could use the help of the Guard. If the Guard becomes part of power outage emergency planning , Guard members will get terrific practical training and can help localities restore power quickly.”

Here is the current status of the restoration in Greenburgh from Con Edison: Of the more than 11,000 Greenburgh customers affected by the storm 5,400 remain without service as of 6:50 AM Tuesday morning. Today, Con Edison is cutting trees off wires, and removing fallen wires and broken poles so that state crews can restore the power.

Scarsdale resident Grant Son has just launched an exciting new venture. It is an online fundraising program for schools called ClassClick.net that helps schools raise money through the sale of magazine subscriptions. Grant is very familiar with the world of school fundraising as he spent eight years at Time Inc. working with several fundraising companies.

Selling magazines can be an effective method for schools and organizations to raise money and putting the process online makes it easier for everyone. Grant’s company, ClassClick.net, has cut out the need for distributing catalogs, collecting checks, and students selling door to door; it can all be done online. They have developed web-based tools to enable school administrators and organizations to conduct productive and time efficient fundraisers and produced an online magazine store with the top 167 magazines.

At ClassClick.net 50% of sales revenue goes back to the organization and the process is simple.

Here is a short interview with entrepreneur Grant Son:

Tell us about your family:

My wife Lisa and I have lived in Scarsdale for 12 years and have a son Kyle, age 14, and a 12 year-old daughter named Kaitlyn. Both Lisa and I enjoy playing tennis and I met my current marketing partner, Brett Gerstenblatt when we both played on the Scarsdale Men's Tennis Team.

What is your professional background?

I have been in the magazine and online media business for almost 25 years including almost 20 years at Time Warner in their magazine company, as well as a stint as CEO of SchoolSports before it was sold to ESPN plus a few years at the NFL. I returned to the entrepreneurial world and last year I started Greater Good Ventures. Our first venture is the online fundraising program ClassClick.net.

What sparked the idea for ClassClick.net?

Selling magazines is a great way for schools to raise money. However, until now the process was too cumbersome and time consuming for teachers and students. We cut out the need for distributing catalogs, collecting checks, and students selling door to door –and put it all online.

We developed online tools to enable school administrators to conduct productive and time efficient fundraisers and produced an online magazine store where we offer the top 167 magazines. The subscription prices are all authorized by the magazine publishers and are much more attractive than prices at the newsstand.

How does Class Click's revenue stream to the fundraising group compare to traditional competitors?

Because we save money by not producing costly catalogs and order forms, we can give 50% back to the organization while other fundraisers give much less.

Is ClassClick.net only for schools or can other organizations use it to raise money as well?

The technology works for all non profit organizations. In fact our church just finished using ClassClick.net to raise money to build homes for orphans in Haiti.  We found that on average donors spent $60 and purchased three or four magazines. They found that the campaign was easy to run.

What are the main benefits to using Class Click over customary fundraisers such as a bake sale or a car wash?

There is growing push back against bake sales as fundraisers as child obesity has become the number one issue in schools across America. Many cities and states are no longer allowing bake sales or the sale of candy in schools. We are helping a school in New York City because their rules no longer allow bake sales.

Other fundraisers, such as car washes, are more labor intensive and take away time from either the classroom or the playing field.

How can people get started?

With three easy steps, parents can order a magazine, invite other friends and family to participate and purchase magazines. To check it out, go to http://www.classclick.net/

Bruce Wells of the Scarsdale Forum reports that the village election will still be held despite the loss of power at Village Hall. Village Hall is operating on emergency generators and since the voting machines are mechanical, the voting can go on without power. The Village Election is scheduled for Tuesday March 16th from 6am to 9am, and then from noon to 9pm.

The Scarsdale Woman's Club has no power at this point, so the planned reception to be held there Tuesday night is temporarily on hold. If the power is restored to the Woman's Club there will be a reception there to welcome the new Trustees from 8:30pm to 10pm. All are welcome.

The community came out in force to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Scarsdale Public Schools and hear acclaimed journalists and residents Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn discuss their latest book, “Half the Sky – Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.”

Though some students had been coerced into attending with an offer of credit from their history teachers, no doubt they left with a new sense of resolve. It was heartening to see representatives from a wide swath of Scarsdale – including former Board members, the school administration and parents whose children have long since graduated Scarsdale High School. There is clearly an appetite for intellectual stimulation and the turnout was a demonstration of pride in Scarsdale and the accomplishments of our residents.

The event opened with a concert from the high school wind ensemble and choir and giggles from the audience were audible as we sang “Happy Birthday” to Scarsdale accompanied by the band.

In his introduction of the speakers, School Superintendant Michael McGill told the group that “Half the Sky” poses a moral challenge to more fortunate readers and asked us to consider our obligation to respond to worldwide oppression and poverty.

WuDunn opened by offering to take the group on a journey and told us the story of a young woman in rural China. The girl lived in a remote town that was two hours away from the nearest road. WuDunn showed how a very small check had made a monumental difference in this girl’s life – just $13 had given her the chance to stay in school and from there she went onto college and ultimately became an accountant.

Ms. WuDunn continued by posing a question….she asked the group if they thought there were more men or women in the world. The majority of the audience thought there were more women, but in fact in the developing world there are many more men. Why? Because in countries with limited resources girls have a higher mortality rate …in fact in India girls ages 1-5 have a 50% greater mortality rate than boys. When food is scarce, boys are fed first and even within families there is discrimination against girls.

WuDunn’s passion and impressive command of the facts make her a powerful proponent for women around the world. She relayed that her grandmother had bound feet and in just two generations advocacy by women had ended this barbaric practice. WuDunn contended that the central challenge for this century is gender equality. As slavery was to the 19th century, and totalitarianism is to the 20th century, providing opportunities for women is the 21st century challenge.

In their book the authors argue that one of the best ways to fight poverty is to educate girls and bring them into the labor force. Educating women will yield other benefits such as preventing overpopulation and moderating spending patterns –and can transform the world’s women from being a problem to a solution.

Kristof then presented the stories of several more women who were empowered, saving their own lives and altering the fates of their children, extended families and friends. With a loan of just $65 a woman in Pakistan started an embroidery business, ultimately employing another 30 women and earning enough money to ensure her children’s education.

How can you make a difference and why should you care? Kristof urged the audience to travel outside their comfort zones, to learn and to listen. He believes that those who engage in public service become the beneficiaries, as helping others can be a source of personal fulfillment. He told the group of Scarsdalians , “the fact is that we have all won the lottery of life and we do have responsibilities.”

When asked where to begin, WuDunn suggested that we look for a cause about which we are passionate, choose a challenge and a region and then investigate to find out how we can make an impact.

Both Wudunn and Kristof are marvels themselves and together they are truly inspirational. They were the perfect pair to help the community celebrate 225 years of education and to challenge us to frame our future.

Thanks to the Scarsdale Teacher’s Institute, the Interdependence Institute and the Scarsdale Middle and High School PTA’s for making this enlightening evening possible.

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