Daniel Solomon’s Remarks from N Street Village Gala, March 8, 2007
Thank you, Mary. On behalf of my fellow trustees, my sister Diane Solomon Brown, her husband Stuart Brown, and my wife Jane, and the Cohen Foundation’s incredibly talented and dedicated staff, Alison McWilliams and Melinda Kotzian, I am most honored to accept N Street Village’s Founders Award.
I know I speak for Diane and Stuart when I say that we are also quite pleased to share in being honored tonight along with Joan Dodek, who shortly will receive the Volunteer’s Award. Joan is an old friend of our family, and we know that she is most deserving of her recognition.
An award is only worth the value of the organization that is giving it, and in the case of N Street Village, it is worth a great deal. When it comes from an organization that you really believe in, that truly makes a difference in peoples’ lives, that literally SAVES peoples’ lives, when it is THE recognized leader in its field, then to be recognized by them, that is truly something to value and cherish.
And speaking of awards, N Street Village’s winning The Washington Post Award for Non-Profit Excellence only confirms that our foundation has been making a wise investment over the last 15 years.
It’s not often that one can truly do Tikkun Olam, the Jewish concept of “repairing the world”, even just a small piece of it, one person at a time. But that is exactly what N Street Village does every day, and why we are so proud to help you mend the fabric of the lives of those most in need.
I am only sorry that Diane’s and my mother, Lillian Solomon, of blessed memory, is not up here receiving this distinguished award herself. Of course, if you knew Lil you’d know that this would be the last place she’d want to be. Not that she didn’t love Pastor John and Erna and the entire N Street operation, it’s just that she was a very private and modest person.
In fact, Lil regularly dropped off grocery bags of food (I’m sure I don’t need to say which store they were from) and clothing (there was nothing she loved more than cleaning out a closet), but true to her nature, she would slip in and out of N Street Village without talking to any of the higher ups. Norm Goldstein tells me the staff had a term for these unannounced visits; they called them “Lillian Sightings.” They’d see what had been left and ask each other: “Did you see an older lady in white socks and penny loafers?”
Well, even if she never would have wanted the public recognition herself, I’m sure she is shepping nachas (taking pleasure) in her children receiving an award on behalf of the Foundation that her parents created and that she ran for many yearsand that we have continued to help N Street Village accomplish its vital mission every day. Thank you.
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