Teen raising money to buy ambulance for Israeli group

December 10, 2003

Yoni Grossman-Boder, whose parents are Rabbi Susan Grossman of Beth Shalom Congregation and David Boder, president of Nirvana Noshes, a natural foods broker, has been raising money to buy an ambulance.

The vehicle is for Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross.

Yoni, 14, who lives in Hickory Ridge, said he was horrified by reports on television showing Israeli victims of terror, chose this as a service project for his bar mitzvah last year.

"When I started the project, I would see ambulances just burning on the sides of streets, being bombed or being shot to pieces, and it was just awful," Yoni said. "I saw it on TV every day that I got home from school."

Starting in May last year, Yoni designed a bear wearing a red sweater decorated with a white heart and the red Star of David, the symbol of Magen David Adom. He has been selling the bears for $12.99 each to raise money to purchase the ambulance.

An ambulance costs from $61,000 to $135,000 for an armored unit; Yoni has raised about $33,000 from sales and donations.

Parcel Plus in Hickory Ridge Village Center packs and ships the bears, which are sold on the Internet and in area stores.

"It's been a massive program; people love this bear," said Gary Kenzer, co-director of Magen David Adom's U.S. office in Skokie, Ill. "The power of a young person is tremendous."

Kenzer stressed that 90 percent of Magen David Adom's work deals with the medical emergencies of ordinary life. The organization's needs change constantly; state-of-the-art supplies and equipment are needed, he said.

"Every terror attack in Israel, they use three to four months of supplies in one day" depending on the nature of the attack, said Sharon Kobernik of Magen David Adom's Skokie office.

On Sunday, Party! Party! Party! in Dobbin Center will sponsor a Bears for Life Hanukkah Party from noon to 4 p.m. Yoni will talk about his project, sign bears for collectors and give out gifts.

A Hanukkah basket will be raffled, and a holiday family activity guide, written by Rabbi Grossman, will be given away. The store also will offer a gift with each purchase of a bear.

All of the proceeds will go to Yoni's project, Bears for Life.

"People as far away as Alaska and Hawaii have ordered bears," Grossman said. "Yoni's project, I think, teaches us that you don't have to stand by and watch terrible events unfold and feel helpless; that each one of us contributes to making the world a better place."

Information: www.magen davidadom.org/bearsforlife.asp.

-- Fay Lande

@SUBHEDHistoric Oakland to offer afternoon tea on Tuesday

Historic Oakland will offer afternoon tea from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

A two-course tea that includes scones, sandwiches, dessert, fresh fruit and tea will be served by the Tea Trolley in the 1811 restored mansion.

Tickets are $15.75. Registration is required in advance. Historic Oakland is a 5430 Vantage Point Road in Town Center.

Information: 410-730-4801, 800-730-4802, or www.historic oakland.com.

Births

Grace Annabel: To Scott and Megan Treml of Harper's Choice on Oct. 16.

Isabella Yosenia Valles: To Sigifredo Valles and Cristina Bock of Harper's Choice on Nov. 13.

Around Town

Winter concerts: The Wilde Lake High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will present a winter band concert at 7:30 p.m. today in Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts at the school. Tickets are $3. The school's orchestra will present its winter concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are not required, but donations of $1 or $2 are requested.

Comments sought: As part of an effort to obtain lighting for its stadium, Wilde Lake High School is seeking comments for and against the project. Letters should include the writer's name, address and telephone number and be addressed to Mike Harrison, athletic director, Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Lane, Columbia 21044, or e-mail mharrison @hcpss.org. A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 in the cafeteria. To testify: 410-313- 6973, and leave a message with name and telephone number.

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