YAD gets ‘up close and personal’ …

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Over 350 people got up close and personal with the famous Goldfish at this year’s Yad Launch on 18 March at the Hellenic Club. The venue looked slick but laid back, with its white couches, sequined cushions and orange lighting setting the scene for a night of fun and fundraising.

The evening commenced with a welcome cocktail, courtesy of Smirnoff Vodka Premium, and a decadent spread catered by Merle Rubin, for all to indulge in. The crowd was diverse, with everyone having the chance to mingle, network and catch up with friends. The atmosphere — buzzing with anticipation and excitement!

Starting the proceedings, YAD chairman Warren Kaimowitz updated everyone on the Campaign’s current position and explained the vital importance of YAD’s targets for 2009. This was reinforced in an emotive educational video by Di Rosen Productions, screening personal accounts from beneficiaries within the community, ranging from Glendale, Cape Jewish Seniors Association, Highlands House, Herzlia, Oranjia Children’s Home to CSO/Ezra and Staffwise. These touching stories highlighted the importance of the Campaign and brought tears to eyes.

This year’s event saw pledges made at the function reflect an increase of 52% on last year’s figures on a card-for-card comparison. We extend a HUGE thank you to all who contributed so generously.

Of course there were many individuals who elected to take their cards home and who will be advising YAD of their pledges in due course. Warren also introduced the incoming YAD chairman, Robert Lewenson, who will be stepping up to the leadership plate in due course — and also the new member of the YAD professional team, the young and vibrant canvasser and events co-ordinator, Kimberley Suttner.

And finally, it was time for the audience to ‘let their hair down’ … GOLDFISH took to the stage, entertaining for hours with their unbelievable energy.

The crowd ‘immersed’ themselves, singing along to their favourite tunes and dancing up a storm! Goldfish CDs were conveniently available for purchase from sponsors Look and Listen’s booth, and getting them autographed proved to be a simple task with the band on hand.

Robert Sulcas was there to add thrills and laughter with his ingenious digital photo booth, offering the perfect opportunity for everyone to dress up and have some fun while creating an amazing memory of the night to take home.

This function was a fantastic start to this year’s Campaign, with its fundraising target of R5.2 million. Coupled with the growing YAD presence at the recent UJC Top Donors function, it set the right tone for a highly successful year of fundraising and community involvement by YAD.

Judging by the hours of socialising after the music ended, the evening was a real success and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

YAD hopes to have continued support throughout the year, so that they can reach their goals within this amazing community!

Thank you to all YAD’s sponsors who made this event possible: Macsteel, Discovery, Look and Listen, Anonymous and Absa Bank.

Special thanks to: The YAD team, the CSO team, Geoff Levy of Pro-Exec Security, Robert Sulcas and Karin Maister of Photo Booth Inc., Brandhouse for Smirnoff Vodka Premium, the team at the Hellenic Community Centre, Goldfish’s Raymond Bloom, Martin Myers and Gee for sound, stage and lights. Thanks too to Matt & Kerrith of Matt Advertising, Seón of Event Interiors and Sarit Werb for décor.

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