"On Tuesday afternoon, August 26th, I asked myself, ‘should we go tonight or not?' I was debating whether to attend The SAFE Foundation's Annual Dinner on the Jersey Shore. I was hesitating, because my husband and I were a bit tired and we’d never attended a SAFE event before, but boy am I glad we got there! Not only was the setting at Ester and Joey Jerome's house so beautiful, but we also learned so, so much about The SAFE Foundation. This is an organization that we should all enthusiastically support!" –an attendee
The SAFE Foundation is a New York State OASAS licensed drug, alcohol, and gambling outpatient treatment program.
SAFE provides both patients and their families with an individualized treatment plan including counseling, education, and support in dealing with alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions. The staff at SAFE is comprised of certified addiction counselors, master’s level addiction counselors, licensed mental health professionals, and our in-house medical director - all working together to optimize recovery.
The SAFE Foundation's 12th Annual Gala Dinner began with a beautiful, catered dinner and an awards ceremony. The first award, The Sonny I. Gindi A"H Merit Award for Outstanding Dedication to Helping Those in Need, was presented to Trina & Joe Cayre and their family. Each year since the passing of SAFE's good friend, Sonny I. Gindi, A"H, SAFE has given this honor on one who has gone above and beyond in terms of their dedication to the Jewish community. Presenter of the award, Nancy Tebele, said, "The Cayre family is always there to step up to the plate, not just for financial, but for leadership, ideas and endorsement as well; they always go the extra mile."
The next award, the Employee Appreciation Award, was presented to the Director of the Project SAFE School Program, Shira Berkowitz, for her hard work and devotion. This award acknowledged Shira's 12 years as an excellent SAFE teacher as well. Shira told of her journey at SAFE; how when she lost her first husband to cancer, Ike Dweck and the team at SAFE were incredibly supportive and helped her through that very difficult time. She also described her most gratifying moment as a teacher as when a student walks up to her and tells her of a wise decision she made because of what she learned in SAFE class.
The ceremony closed with the NY Regional Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers, Todd Whitmer addressing the crowd. Caron is the one of the oldest and largest drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States. Todd said that professionals in the field of addiction consider SAFE to be like a Swiss Army knife - a multi-purpose one-stop shop for everything to do with addiction and its prevention. He told of how SAFE trained staff at Caron to be sensitive to the needs of Jewish Orthodox clients, from understanding kashrut to what is permitted to do on Shabbat.
The SAFE Foundation is grateful to the hosts of the evening, Ester and Joey Jerome, to The Bank Hapoalim for sponsoring the evening, and to all of the donors who help keep SAFE in the position to help those in need.