Alyn goes all out

Having a good time for a good cause seems to be the watchword for the Jerusalem Fund for Alyn (JFA). In an ongoing effort to raise funds for the Alyn Hospital Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center - the only one of its kind in Israel - the JFA has gone all out to create innovative ways to intrigue and involve the public. Hot on the heels of the highly successful Dine and Donate event in Jerusalem, a benefit concert will be held on December 31 at the Jerusalem Theater, sponsored by Operation Embrace. Based in Potomac, Maryland, the organization was founded to support victims of terror in Israel both morally and financially. The concert will feature Israeli pop vocalist Etti Ankri and Jewish soul music singer Neshama Carlebach. Another heady Alyn event follows on January 12 with a wine-tasting evening at a private home in Jerusalem. Connoisseur Daniel Rogoff will offer his insights and expertise about the libations generously donated by Castel, Ellah, Golan and Tishbi wineries. The spirits list runs the gamut from champagne and red and white vintages to delicate dessert wines. And in March the organization's anchor event, the gala dinner dance, takes place on the 16th at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, with the Soul Messengers Band of Dimona providing the high-spirited entertainment. Buoyed by their dedication to the formidable work done at Alyn for youngsters physically challenged by genetic defects, accidents or terrorist attacks, JFA committee members continually dream up new ways to drum up support. With the goal of making it an annual event, the first Dine and Donate day, held on November 22, was extremely well received and well attended. Organizers rallied 28 restaurants in Jerusalem to donate 10% of their take that day to Alyn. The public was given a list of the participating restaurants, which were festooned with bouquets of balloons to identify their involvement with the project. Knowing that they were eating out for a good cause, diners came out in droves to support the effort. Some went the whole nine yards, going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, says Abby Strenger, program director of the JFA. And some even helped without prior knowledge of the event. At the restaurant where Strenger was dining, she saw US senator Joe Lieberman and his family seated at a nearby table. When the Liebermans were informed that part of the bill was going to Alyn, they immediately added more to augment their tally.