Brunch raises $1 million for sports center
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:03AM
Stuart Nitzkin seemed to be everywhere in the Ravinia Green Country Club in Riverwoods.
Nitzkin was overseeing the annual fall brunch of American Friends of the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled on Nov. 18.
Darting about, he answered questions, got caught in a group hug from well-wishers, then made sure an item donated for the silent auction was placed correctly on a banquet table.
He set it askew. A sideways view always attracts curious bidders.
And why wouldn’t anyone attending not want to bid?
It was a free brunch. Sharing a meal with others, it was hoped, would foster international sportsmanship. “I’m very passionate about the center,” said Nitzkin, who was raised in Glenview and lives in Highland Park. He serves as AFISCD national executive director.
“Helping these kids and being able to do it through sports and helping kids in Israel especially, it means a lot to me,” he said. “I’m very passionate about it, I love the work that I do.”
Drum roll here….the brunch raised over one million dollars in donations and pledges.
“We want people to donate because they love it,” said Nitzkin. “We want them to love it.”
Nearby, Adam Zborovsky and Idan Marash, grade school-aged athletes from Israel, enjoyed heartfelt hellos by the estimated 300 guests.
Among those guests was Lori Komisar who dazzled in a green jacket. A Winnetka resident of six years, Komisar is national president of the American Friends of the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled. She attended with Morrie Silverman, also of Winnetka.
“It’s not about the disability; it’s about the ability,” said Komisar. “They (student athletes) don’t look at themselves as having a disability, they just look at themselves as ability going forward. It’s a beautiful world when you can do that.”
Nitzkin added: “Regardless, if you have a disability or if something tragic has happened in your life, you can still do anything that you want to do. These kids are proof of that.”
Visit www.afiscd.org and www.iscd.com.