Thirty-three women, all dressed in pink, had a good laugh during a recent evening at West Lake Country Club as they discussed the different ways men and women handle situations.
Meredith Ray (left), the 2004 Woman of the Year, is congratulated by Phyllis Wolk, the president of the Children of Israel Sisterhood, at the Congregation Children of Israel Sisterhood Annual Donor Dinner and Awards.
Photo by Lynn Davidson
The women, members of the Congregation Children of Israel Sisterhood, were having their 30th annual Donor Dinner and Awards Ceremony and fashion show, whose theme was Think Pink for Spring!
The congregation has been serving the needs of the Augusta Jewish Community since 1845, according to the temple's Web site.
When introducing the Woman of the Year award winner, the president of the sisterhood, Phillis Wolk, read from an Erma Bombeck book about how women don't raise money for charities the way men do. Wolk said men call a buddy on the phone and say, "Can I put you down for $5,000?" and then start discussing their last golf game.
Women, on the other hand, think you should get more for your dollar. A woman will organize a luncheon, plan a theme, send out invitations, locate a caterer and round up donations from businesses to be used as door prizes.
"That's so true. It's because women keep the fun in fund-raiser," said Cynthia Eiring, a donor who attended the banquet.
Wolk went on to say that she chose Bombeck's quote because it reminded her of how the winner, Meredith Ray, put so much creativity and energy into the sisterhood's fund-raising events.
"I'm really honored, because I know people in the past who have received it and what it has taken for them to win the award," Ray said. She said she was surprised to receive the award and was "brought to tears" when her husband and son came out to congratulate her with a bouquet of flowers.
"Meredith is tough to surprise. I was getting worried, but we pulled it off," said John Ray, her husband. The Rays' son, Jordan, lives in Atlanta and visited the area as a surprise for his mother.
"The luckiest of sons I am to have a traditional Jewish mother who works so hard; she deserves this," he said.
Wolk said the sisterhood acts as a service arm of the temple, helping to organize social functions and fund-raising needs, such as scholarships, prayer book purchases and food for services.
In addition to the Woman of the Year, two other awards were presented.
The Woman of Distinction award was given to Lynn Jaffe, "because she has brought us spiritual awareness by teaching us to dream literally," Wolk said
The Woman of Valor award was presented to Paula Schwartz "for her longtime service to the sisterhood. She knows our history and respects it, yet is open to change," Wolk said.
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