Elaine Paige OBE entertains dinner guests at HSC Dinner 201831 Oct 2018
Tracey Kyte, the Chair of this year’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre dinner opened last night’s fundraising dinner with a minute’s silence telling the 260 guests; “We have here in this room those for whom the emergence of bigotry, hatred and rising anti-Semitism needs no explanation. For those of us lucky enough to have grown up largely untouched by it, what happened in Pittsburgh is our worst fear. All of us can relate to what happened. We send our deepest condolences to those family and friends of the killed and injured. Pittsburgh, we stand with you”.
Throughout the evening, guests at the event held in the Marriot, Regents Park were reminded of the importance of this small and unique centre in Hendon on the lives of Holocaust Survivors.
The Centre, which opened its doors over 25 years ago, provides social, practical and therapeutic support to its 500 members. Every month it receives calls from up to 20 new referrals – people who often have had little or no contact in the past but as they age, and lose loved ones are turning to this unique community for support.
One member, Auschwitz survivor Ivor Perl, featured in an appeal film. Ivor turned to the Centre for support a few years ago when his wife of over 60 years became ill; “It all came to a head when my wife had to go into a dementia home. The children said why don’t you go to the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre. I came along and I remember from literally the first day there was a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders. The Holocaust Survivors’ Centre has given me a tremendous new lease of life and brought me back into the fold”.
Singer, broadcaster and actress Elaine Paige OBE provided a stunning musical performance for the guests with big hits including; Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Memory and As If We Never Said Goodbye. She was thanked and presented with flowers by Susan Pollock, a member of the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre. At the end of the evening HSC members met with Elaine Paige and thanked her for her performance and support. Before leaving she commented; ““I was delighted to have been able to support the Holocaust Survivors Centre, and those who use its services, by performing a few songs at tonight’s fund-raising dinner. I heard first-hand how important the centre is for its members - some whom I was honoured to meet and speak with. "
Speaking after the event Aviva Trup, the Centre’s Manager said;
“A huge thank you to the Dinner Chair, Tracey Kyte, the committee, table hosts and everyone involved in this event. The Centre is reliant on the generosity of the community. Over the past few years, thanks to the support of the community, we have been able to keep the doors of our unique centre open whilst growing our outreach programme ensuring we can provide services to Holocaust Survivors living across London and the South East … and in some cases further afield. This all costs. Today’s dinner has raised a tremendous £180,000 this will go a long way to meeting our annual £500,000 deficit”.