What event could draw a crowd of close to 60,000 people of all ages, from all segments of Klal Yisroel, all joined together with one ambitious goal in mind?
The answer is the Annual Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) Auction!
Tens of thousands of people from all around the world tuned in at RCCSauction.org, listened live to one of several radio stations broadcasting the show, or called in to the live hotline, and enjoyed an exceptional evening of entertainment and inspiration, all with the goal of raising much-needed funds to save the lives of cancer patients in our communities.
The show was hosted by the well-known community activist and motivational force, R’ Chaskel Bennett, who kept the show going with his wit and enthusiasm. He was joined by his cohost, renowned orator who has inspired thousands worldwide, Rav Gav Friedman, who provided words of Torah inspiration throughout the evening.
The devoted RCCS volunteers manning the phone lines were kept busy all evening, as the calls kept coming in from around the globe with their donations and auction ticket purchases. A huge cheer went out when this year’s goal of raising $1.8 million to fund lifesaving insurance policies for cholei Yisroel was met!
By the time the show ended, the auction had far surpassed the original goal. The success of the event will allow RCCS to continue to be there for cholim and their families as they go through their painful and difficult ordeal. Huge thanks go out to everyone who helped make this a reality. Mi k’amcha Yisroel!
A highlight of the evening was the amazing Team Talent Show presented by Chai Care – The Official Auction Sponsor. Anyone with a talent they were willing to showcase was to able to apply to join the live talent show – and the judges and crowd were really blown away by the acts. From music to acrobatics, to magic tricks to karate – the contestants of Team Talent were a sensational bunch.
The Talent show was hosted by Mr. Ari Abramowitz and featured a panel of all-star celebrity judges. Jake Turx, Ami Magazine’s Washington Correspondent; Jewish music legends Yossi Green and Eli Gerstner appraised the competitor’s skills and gave their expert opinion on all the acts. The judges were also joined by Gabriel Boxer, the famed Kosher Guru, who added his own blend of humor to the show.
Taking home first place were the Braun family, who performed a sensational unicycle act that included the entire family – from the father right down to the baby! Coming in second was 13-year-old Shmuel Duvid Landau, who sang an emotional tune while simultaneously masterfully playing the guitar. Rounding out the top three was Yisroel Zachariash, a 14-year-old bochur who performed a new song that he actually composed specially for the event. Talk about dedication to the cause!
The jam-packed program also featured all-star musical performances, inspirational messages, moving first-hand accounts of dealing with illness, and informative panels that kept the audience spellbound until well after midnight.
Finally, it was time to draw the winners of the 40 incredible auction prizes, as well as the three elite prizes – a family Sukkos in Yerushalaim, a trip to Cancun for Pesach, and Shavuos with Nofesh – the Grand Prize of up to $50,000 cash (depending on how many tickets the winner put into the auction) and the “Chai Cash” prize of $18,000.
The Grand Prize winner received the full total of $36,000! Congratulations to the Katz family of Lakewood! The “Chai Cash” winner of $18,000 was Ruchi Katz of Brooklyn! Other winners came from throughout New York and New Jersey, as well as Waterbury, Conn., and even two winners from Miami Beach, Fla.
Congratulations to all the winners! But, of course, everyone who participated in this amazing auction is a winner!
The theme of this year’s auction was #ThereAreNoWords – as no words can ever truly do justice to depict the pain, suffering and confusion cancer patients and their families go through as they deal with the effects of the dreaded disease, and no words could ever suffice to explain all that RCCS does to ease their pain and assist them in so many ways. So too, no words could ever describe how much the mass show of support by tens of thousands of Yidden means to RCCS and the cholim they care for, and no words would ever be enough to portray the amazing level of achdus Klal Yisroel showed by joining as one to be a source of life for the most vulnerable segment of our society.
It was a truly awesome event – one that shall be long wordlessly remembered with fondness and joy!