Unsung Heroes: Women DINE for a CAUSE Aids Rockland Agencies

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Its March 26 evening drew 70 people/George Pejoves
Its March 26 evening drew 70 people/George Pejoves

The community rallied last week, helping Women DINE for a CAUSE raise more than $2,600 and counting for the Nyack Center.

Launched last September from an idea started by Paula Davis and Liz Kallen,  Women DINE for a CAUSE meets bi-monthly to raise money for nonprofits that provide services to Rockland County’s women and children in need.

“It was amazing!” Davis said. “Seventy people came, we had a flutist and a pianist (internationally acclaimed flutist Jacquelyn Drechsler and pianist Ron Levy), and it was a wonderful experience.”

Between 75 and 100 participants bring a dish or wine or a case of water or soda and share the meal. “We ask for donations, and people give whatever they want or have,” she said. “No amount is too small. It’s also a chance to network and meet new friends.

“They’re putting a spotlight on organizations they care about and that the public may not be aware of, raise the mission and expose it to a variety of people,” Nyack Center Executive Director Kim Cross said of the gathering.

Women DINE for a CAUSE launched in September at Davis’s house. Its fundraising efforts to date aided the Center for Safety & Change, the Martin Luther King Multi-Center and Child Care Resources of Rockland. “It’s heartwarming, everyone has a wonderful time, the food is delicious, the company’s great,” she said.

The lowest-cost after school program in Rockland County, Nyack Center is subsidized by grants and community donations that provide services for the 150 kids and teens — 87 of them in the after school program — who pass through its doors each day from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

All services, including Breakfast Club and After School Program, operate on a sliding-scale fee. A complete list of services is here.

Its 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. computer program is a bonus to kids who don’t have computers at home. “For some, it’s the only way they get access online,” Cross said. Nearly one-quarter of the youngsters attending Nyack Center speak English as their second language; homework help is a big part of the after school program.

Women DINE for a CAUSE “has been blessed with people who want to be part of us and donate their time. The money goes directly to whichever nonprofit is chosen for that dinner,” Davis said.

May 13 the group will meet at the home of Clarkstown Councilwoman Shirley Lasker; proceeds will benefit Rockland 21C. For information call 914-582-9439 or email womendine@gmail.com.

Send your idea for Unsung Heroes to editor@rocklandcountytimes.com

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