BY JOE SCOTCHIE
“Enjoy the gorgeous day. We don’t allow any rain or bad weather to ruin our days in East Hills.”
So proclaimed East Hills Mayor Michael R. Koblenz as the Sid Jacobson JCC held groundbreaking ceremonies for its new facility on 200 Forest Dr. last Sunday.
The occasion was also the opening of a food pantry. Over 200 people came out on the spring day to witness the ribbon-cutting with many of them decked out in Good Deed Day tee-shirts.
“We are here to serve the senior citizen who lives on a fixed income,” said Susan Berman, director of the Center for Community Engagement. “We are here to serve the single parent who struggles, the veteran who is homeless, the students who have to manage skyrocketing tuition costs and the families, who behind the picket fence, live from paycheck to paycheck.”
The pantry, Berman added, will serve as a distribution center. As important, the pantry will provide job training and job opportunity for the special needs population.
Michelle Albeg, the parent of a special needs student, praised the food pantry for providing such an opportunity, noting that parents such as herself have concerns about what their children will do once they turn 21 and no longer attend school.
“We want our children to live life to the fullest,” Albeg said. “We want them to have their voices heard, to become contributing members of society.”
Once again, the JCC spirit works in abundant ways, both providing food stuffs for the needy and opportunity to special needs students, along with plenty of hope in both instances.