It's an event Debbie Katcoff has helped orchestrate for the past five years, but this year she was removed from the planning committee for the Augusta Jewish Community Center's Humanitarian of the Year banquet.
She and her husband, Gary Katcoff, were the honorees.
"We were surprised,"said Mrs. Katcoff at Saturday's dinner when the couple learned they would be receiving the award.
The award is given to an individual or couple for contributions to the Jewish community in addition to the community at large, said Nettie Albrecht, co-chairwoman of the event.
About 150 people attended the party, which had the theme of a musical production.
Debbie and Dr. Gary Katcoff received the Humanitarian of the Year award Saturday at the Jewish Community Center.
Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett
"They are very involved in theater and are very creative," Ms. Albrecht said, explaining the reason for the dinner's theme. "It's one of their favorite things to do."
Dr. Katcoff, a dentist, and Mrs. Katcoff, an art teacher, said many of their volunteer activities are joint efforts.
"It's two for one," Mrs. Katcoff said.
The couple has served together at the Augusta Jewish Community Center. Each has chaired the humanitarian of the year banquet and the fund-raising committee.
Dr. Katcoff has served as the center's board president and treasurer; she has served as the center's programming vice president.
Mrs. Katcoff has been involved with various parent-teacher associations at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School and Forest Hills Elementary School. She was named the Star Teacher at Westside High School in 2001 and has been a district president for the Georgia Art Education Association.
She also has served on the teacher advisory panel for the Morris Museum of Art. Mrs. Katcoff said she also enjoys volunteering with the Empty Bowl fund-raiser, which helps the Golden Harvest Food Bank.
Dr. Katcoff has served with the Augusta Dental Society as the chairman of the children's dental health fair for three years. He said some of his favorite work has been volunteering the past seven years for Doctors Who Cook, a fund-raiser for the Medical College of Georgia's Children's Heart Fund.
"There are a great number of needs (in the community)," Dr. Katcoff said, explaining why the couple volunteers.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at (803) 441-6927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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