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pRESS rELEASE

--------------- Chanukah Toy Fund
--- Annual Melave Malka -----------, 2010 8:30 pm

The --------------- Chanukah Toy Fund is at it again embarking on their --- Annual mission to Israel loaded with toys, gifts and necessities for distribution to seriously ill children and underprivileged families as well as their siblings.  Together with ------------- medical clowns, they will be bringing each seriously ill child and their siblings exactly what they ordered on a wish list solicited ahead of time by Chaiyanu in Israel.  The primary fundraising event for this special fund will be held on Motzei Shabbos ------------- at 8:30 pm at the home of the founders, --------------------. 
 
Many of the recipient families have been forced to make choices between medicine, food and clothing, so buying toys for Chanukah is definitely not on their shopping lists for this year.  That is exactly where the --------------- Chanukah Toy Fund steps in.  They fill this void with ‘luxuries’ such as toys that we take for granted and deliver them with merriment and good cheer bringing joy to those in need in Eretz Yisrael.   Last year, the fund delivered over 4,000 toys and gifts to families throughout Israel covering over a dozen hospitals and pediatric centers including Tel Hashomer Medical Center, Sanz Laniado Hospital, Rambam Pediatric Hospital and Ichilov Children’s hospital among others.  Furthermore, there were hundreds of home visits to seriously ill children not currently in the hospital. 
 
Stories abound as to the impact and import of this work.  Grateful beneficiaries often pinpoint these visits by volunteers and clowns as the first dramatic turning point in their recovery. Volunteers also describe their experiences as life changing.  “Giving those children with life threatening illnesses in Israel some joy and simcha unquestionably helps encourage their will to live and to fight off their illnesses,” says -------------------, the founder of the fund.  He continues, “I wish (people) could see the incredible encouragement that this all (brings), and not just to the kids and their families, but to us and the clowns.”  ------------------------, the senior clown in charge of ---------------------- adds, “Remember that a smile of a child can dispel so much gloom.” 
 
-------------------- tells a story of how one night in front of Hadassah Hospital a woman approached him saying that she remembered the party for her son and other children from the previous year.  She said that since her son was home now she had only come to the hospital to pick up his medication, but she knows that he would miss being part of the festivities.  As they were speaking, ----------- noticed that she was shivering with a threadbare coat.  ---------- went to the truck and pulled out a brand new coat for her.  Her tearful thank you revealed that she would now be able to give this coat to her daughter for the winter.  You see, she said, she had no idea how she was going to afford medicine, food and coats for the season.  Something was going to have to go. -------------------insisted on following her home where he outfitted the entire family with coats, distributed gifts and left a sum of money. 
 
Through a myriad of hospital and home visits, the ------------------------- Chanukah Toy Fund and --------------- do the work of a force twice their size with dedication double that.  On one of the missions, ---------received a call from one of his social workers asking if they could deliver toys to yet one more family.  Though it was the clowns’ day off, they readily agreed and performed their hearts out for a family of children singing and dancing, juggling and joking as if it were their only stop.  
 
The clowns are generally teenagers and young adults who finance the cost of their trip themselves, but find enormous payback in the experience, perspective and maturity they gain.  “I would jump on a plane right now to do the whole trip again,” says volunteer clown --------------- of ---------- High School in ---------------.  “This was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget,” said --------------- of --- High School --------------- in ---------------.  She adds, “I was privileged to experience Chanukah in a way that I would have never dreamed possible.”
 
The fund works like this:  each child is sent a letter to list not only their wish for a Chanukah present, but those of their SIBS (Specially Important Brothers and Sisters).  The feeling is that when one family member gets sick, the whole family suffers.  When a child is ill, both the parents and siblings suffer from fear and stress leaving the family as a whole in need of love and support.  Tens of thousands of dollars are required to supply each child with their hearts desire from bicycles and rollerblades to dolls and lego sets and even MP3 players and digital cameras.  ----------------- Toy Fund refuses to allow illness to rob these children of their childhood, or, at least, their Chanukah. 
 
The parties where the toys are distributed are filled with music and laughter.  Clowns do their shtick of spinning, juggling and dancing.  Tables are filled with candy, cake and Chanukah treats.  Of course, each child is fitted with a bright red clown’s nose.  Each clown is dedicated to making each child feel special, as if that clown was sent specially for him or her.  “Every breath and action (is) to bring smiles to the faces of these ill children,” says volunteer clown -----------------.  Many parents are laughing and crying simultaneously. 
 
The fund is named for --------------------------- of ------------------ in -------------.  ------------'s greatest enjoyment was bringing a smile to someone’s face, especially a child’s.  Therefore, the family feels there is no better way to honor their father and teacher than through a toy drive that continues to bring children and their families such joy. 

This year’s big fundraising event will take place on Motzei Shabbos ----------------- at 8:30 pm at the home of -------------------------, -------------------- in ------------------ where a signature sushi bar will be served. For further information, you can call -------------------- or email ---------------------@---.com.  Tax deductible donations can be made payable to “---------------------------” a 501(c)3 organization.   ------------------- is also known as ----------------------------- and is an organization that teaches high school students the skills necessary to be a medical clown.  Information regarding -------------------- can be found at www.---------------------.com.   We pray to HaShem that He should remove all sickness, but until He sees fit, it would be nice to join these dedicated people in fighting illness with a hefty dose of love. 

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