For more than three decades, Ellie Wainer and the Teen Life Counts program have diligently worked to educate and prevent suicide. The “Rhythm & Soul 2017 Gala,” benefiting Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, which honored these efforts, raised more than $85,000 to support the TLC program.
The evening began with a Patron Hour, featuring sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres. Guests enjoyed music from Joseph Krown Duo.
Prior to the jazz dinner program, Event Co-Chairs Julie Wise Oreck and Lynne Wasserman welcomed the group. Then President Laurence Manshel briefly spoke about the impact honoree Ellie Wainer has made as a result of her decades of work at Jewish Family Service and managing the Teen Life Counts program. Executive Director Roselle Ungar gave remarks on the agency’s history, Ellie Wainer and the continued relevance of the TLC program.
Rabbi Deborah Silver delivered the blessing of the bread, joined by Ellie Wainer and TLC Program Coordinator Melissa Stewart. After the meal, the program included screenings of a video of the TLC program and a tribute video to Ellie Wainer, who was then presented with a custom-fused glass plate by Lizano Glass Haus.
Ellie Wainer emphasized the value of TLC Volunteer Educators and shared a personal story about suicide affecting her own family, which drew her to help teens in crisis: “Working with those kids was amazing. Connecting with them to make sure they knew they had resources and people who cared about them was the greatest reward.”