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SFCS Hosts a Magical Night at Scarsdale Golf Club

dara jay susanA respected community volunteer, and enthusiastic benefit committee and the promise of magic and mystery brought out a large cross section of the community for the Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service (SFCS) Gala at Scarsdale Golf Club on Thursday May 10.

For the first time, SFCS decided to honor a younger community volunteer with the Rising Star Award and selected Dara Gruenberg to be the first recipient. Her many ties to various volunteer activities brought out a large crowd. SFCS is invigorated as well, with Director Jay Genova reporting that they have “been busy” and added 45 more hours of counseling per week. Referring to SFCS’s role in Scarsdale, Genova said, “It’s been a difficult year …. Scarsdalians are resilient and we are proud to be part of the fabric of the community.”

He noted the presence of some local leaders in the room including State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Mayor Dan Hochvert, Village Trustees Justin Arest, Carl Finger, Seth Ross and Jane Veron, and former Trustee Deb Pekarek and thanked the Scarsdale Rotary for their generous support.

He introduced honoree Dara Gruenberg calling her “loved, honored and revered, and listed her many volunteer activities including President of the friends of the Scarsdale Library and co-chair of the Capital Campaign, member of the Ad Hoc Communications Committee and Board of Ethics for Scarsdale Village, member of the Foundation Board for White Plains Hospital, Trustee on the Board of Westchester Reform Temple, Board of Directors of the Scarsdale Forum, Co-chair of the Forum’s membership committee and member of the nominating committee. She was elected to the Scarsdale Citizen’s Nominating Committee and served as the campaign co-chair for the Non-Partisan Party.

Dara Gruenberg thanked SFCS, her family, friends and in-laws for giving back to the community. She said, “I am simply overwhelmed and humbled to be selected as your recipient. So many in this room do so much for our community, and I am grateful to be a part of the team.”

To her children she said, “Thank you to Cornelia and Jake, for sharing your mom with Scarsdale and morettifor thinking it is totally normal to have 20 strangers sitting around the dining room table having a meeting on a Sunday night during bedtime. One of the reasons I volunteer is not just to try to make the world a better place for you but it is to show you how important it is to roll up your sleeves, work hard and try to make a positive difference.” She called her mother a pillar of strength and thanked her for “showing me how love, compassion, and giving help us to overcome and transcend the most trying of circumstances.”

Referring to the death of Rabbi Aaron Panken she said, “I know the profound loss of a beloved community member this past week is weighing heavily on many people’s hearts, including my own. Scarsdale has been faced with so many unimaginable tragedies within the past several months. What I have been struck by, time and time again, is the magnanimity and resilience of this community. The outpouring of love, generosity and care have been tremendous and fill me with hope. At every turn, this community rises to the occasion and steps up. We are a caring group of volunteers and neighbors -- and that is evident not only in how we face adversity but also with the institutions we choose to support.”

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About SFCS she said, “Whether you are a long-time friend to Scarsdale Family Counseling or just learning about its offerings, you may be interested to know that it has been here for almost 100 years, like an invisible thread connecting us and tethering us to a larger network of support. This organization provides critical support, counseling and help to every segment of the population of Scarsdale from our youngest to our most senior — aiding us as we face the every day struggles of life and helping us cope when we are at our most raw and vulnerable.”

lyonsDara closed her remarks by reflecting the light on community, saying “While I know this was billed as an honor for my work as a young volunteer, I would like to take this opportunity to honor you all for your open heartedness, willingness to give back and for your commitment to our wonderful Village and to each other. That is what inspires me every single day.”

After enjoying a buffet style dinner, guests were treated to an amazing performance by mentalist Oz Pearlman, who gave a mind-blowing demonstration of how he was able to read people’s minds. The entire room watched as he was able to select random audience members and relay out loud what they were thinking. It is confounding how he knew for instance that when asked for the name of a famous person they would like to dine with, one person thought of Winston Churchill and another JFK. Somehow Pearlman knew without any discernible signals.

Wonders never cease!

Kudos to the Benefits Committee, lead by co-chairs Elise Flagg and Denise Koslowsky as well as SFCS President Susan Greenberg and the entire leadership of the organization. Photo Credit: Mark Jessamymillerperlman

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