On The Avenue

Biggs Night for Blue Card

by Kristopher Fraser Photographed by Jason Biggs== The Blue Card Annual Benefit Dinner 2016== Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC== November 21, 2016== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - Aurora Rose/PMC== ==
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

“Where’s Tony Shaloub?” a patron asks as guests entered the Frederick P. Rose Hall. “He’s in a show now, Jason Biggs will be hosting tonight,” a guest replied. Yes, we got the man who became famous for making love to a pie on the big screen.

Guests clambered to their seats, some with significantly better views than others, in celebration of the honorees for the annual Blue Card Gala. Blue Card is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding Holocaust survivors. The theme was “Broadway Salutes Blue Card.”

This year’s event featured performances by Linda Lavin and Lainie Kazan. Lavin was there to remind us that she is still the last of the red hot lovers, and performed the song that remains a staple in any cabaret, “You’ve Got Possibilities” from It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman. As guests dined on arugula salad, Biggs said, “You guys got me, I’m younger and I talk faster.” A special performance was given by the cast of the upcoming Broadway play “Indecent” by Paula Vogel.

This year’s Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Social Justice went to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) As guests cut into seared chicken breast, Schumer gave a speech vowing to continue being a fighting force for the Jewish community and progressive causes in Washington D.C.

The Irene Hizme Tikkun Olam Award was presented to Brooke Goldstein, human rights lawyer and founder of the Lawfare Project, and the Max L. Heine Humanitarian Award was presented to Leo Rechter, founder and president of the National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors (NAHOS). Additional honorees included New York City Council, accepted by City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and stage, film and television actor Mimi Lieber, The Blue Card President Emeritus.

“The Blue Card is proud to recognize Senator Schumer, Brooke Goldstein, the New York City Council, Mimi Lieber and Leo Rechter, for their dedication to raising awareness of the current plight of Holocaust survivors in the United States who are so critically in need of financial assistance,” said Masha Pearl, executive director of The Blue Card. “For those individuals that survived the atrocities of the Holocaust, many are struggling to make ends meet in the face of a growing number of medical issues, the rising cost of living and challenges navigating the health systems. The mission of The Blue Card, to help survivors live their remaining years in dignity, is incredibly time-sensitive as at least 50 percent of Holocaust survivors alive today will pass away within the next 10 to 20 years. We greatly appreciate the work of this year’s honorees, and are looking to the larger community to help spread awareness about those still in need.”

As guests sipped their last glasses of wine and enjoyed mini pear frangipanes for dessert, cheers of Mazel Tov were heard, as well as promises to continue helping Holocaust survivors.

Visit Blue Card’s website at bluecardfund.org.



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