Saturday, October 25, 2014 Heshvan 1, 5775

Donors Learn to 'Walk This Way,' One Little Brick at a Time

December 20, 2007 By:
Jared Shelly, JE Feature
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Harry Willner (left), chair of the Bricks Fundraiser for the Kaiserman JCC, with the first people to purchase an inscribed brick, Elaine and Leon Goldberg
If the idea helped raise money for the Wachovia Center -- home of the Philadelphia Flyers and the 76ers -- then why not use it to shore up a Jewish community center?

That's exactly what motivated JCC Kaiserman director Farrell Borine to institute a new fundraising technique -- selling personalized, inscribed bricks to line the walkway leading up to the building, much like the fundraiser done at the Wachovia Center.

Bricks come in two forms: a four-inch-by-eight-inch for $75; and an eight-inch-by-eight-inch one for $150. The smaller brick can hold three lines of text, while the larger one can display six.

"We're hoping for 100 percent participation from our members," said Borine. "The price point is reasonable enough where everybody can participate."

The JCC seeks to raise $50,000 from the Bricks Fundraiser, added Borine, and that money will go toward making improvements around the facility.

Elaine and Leon Goldberg purchased the first brick and inscribed it to commemorate Mr. G's 85th birthday.

After starting the campaign just two weeks ago, the JCC already has sold around 20 to 25 bricks, according to Borine. Some donors chose to donate in memory of a loved one; others have picked a Bar or Bat Mitzvah to acknowledge. One brick was even donated in honor of the JCC's basketball league. Another will simply read: "Mazel Tov to the JCC."

Borine noted that the walkway could certainly use a repair, although the goal of the project is to raise money for the entire facility.

He said that the profits from the campaign have not yet been earmarked by the JCC board for any specific project, but he hopes to see the money go toward fixing a leaky roof, and updating and maintaining the gymnasium.

"We have competitors," he said, talking about other health clubs in the area. But he added that Kaiserman offers plenty of programs outside of the exercise rooms.

He also noted that money from the brick project could be spent on creating more classroom space and purchasing computers for the growing preschool, which currently serves 150 students.

Another area where cash could come in handy is to help pay the rising gas and electric bills for the cavernous facility, which is open for business about 14 hours a day.

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