Monday, November 23, 2009

On April 26 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant in the Ukraine (Then apart of the Soviet Union) exploded. There was a massive release of radiation, hundreds times more powerful than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The radiation spread over large parts of the western Soviet Union, and in the East, West, and Northern parts of Europe, and as far as Ireland. Most people died from radiation poisoning, and the lasting effect still lingers today. Now twenty four years later, the earth, air, food, and water is still radioactive, Innocent children continue to fall ill, there immune system destroyed, death is a constant reality, cancer and birth defects are endless.
Since it’s founding in 1989, the late Rabbi Yossie Raichik who was director of Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl project quickly set out to rescue thousands of children from the areas that were most affected by the radiation to live in Israel. After coming across a group of children who were affected by the Chernobyl incident in Israel, Nancy Spielberg founded the children of Chernobyl in 1990, here in the United States. The project as been recognized by UNICEF, and has amass the support of Hollywood film makers such as Steven Spielberg (who help funded the organization), and actors such as Jon Voight and Matt Damon are committed to the cause. The charity has continued to hold countless rescue missions that has brought 2,660 children and there parents out of devastated areas. Tonight, Children of Chernobyl held a fundraising dinner and fantasy auction Gala to kick off the holiday giving season and to save children’s lives. Outside the press stood firm as Jon Voight and Nancy Spielberg gave interviews and posed for photographs. New York’s elite and numerous more celebrities came out in force, donating time, money, and auction items to help rise more money for the organization. Priceless items were auctioned, such as dinner with Billy Crystal, become president for a day at Nickelodeon Studio, Internship with Ivanka Trump, and Elle Magazine, to name a few. Kenny Dichter and wife were awarded the wings of hope award. Nancy Spielberg’s husband Shimon Katz served as event chair and Steven serve as charity chair.