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Hats Off to A High-Octane Hero
Beverly Goldberg is a woman of many hats.
And some of them she actually wears.
This high-octane helper could put a smile on the Mad Hatter while throwing a delicious tea party of her own. For once, though, she won’t be in charge of the planning when she gathers with friends on April 6 to celebrate her birthday.
According to some of those friends, this 75-year-old hat-wearing former teacher has taught others the value and worthiness of making mitzvot happen.
They call her a force of nature. Just don’t call her with excuses.
She doesn’t accept them when asking others to help support charitable causes, whether it be the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia or the Southeast Region of the American Cancer Society, she concedes with a laugh.
Indeed, when it comes to mitzvot, Goldberg's benign presence has led to some bigtime donations. As chairwoman of the cancer society’s Party With a Purpose for the past 12 years, Goldberg, also president of the Friends of ACS, has proved a fundraising goldmine, bringing in $4 million — some $400, 000 this past year alone.
“It’s my obsession,” says the spirited supporter whose monthly party-planning meetings draw in droves of do-gooders, including high-powered execs invested in her vision of a better society.
“And that includes my stockbroker,” she says proudly.
When Goldberg talks, others listen — and attend. Functions she helps plan and promote are almost guaranteed a packed house, filled with many of her friends.
Such has been the goings on for more than 40 years at CHOP, where there's a room named in her honor, and Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel, where she and her husband, Dan, donated to the sanctuary, also named in theiur honor. Aside from supporting these groups, Israel Bonds, the Friends of Hope Lodge Council and other causes, she also works with her husband at his dental office.
“My family always believed in tzedakah,” Goldberg says of her late parents, Regina Sekler Fassler and Joseph Fassler. “Giving back was always a way of life.”
Goldberg says she hopes others will take her mitzvot and make them their own.
She can cajole, coax and, occasionally, stalk — or at least that’s the impression one donor got when he finally contributed hard-to-get show tickets for a party prize only “so you’ll stop calling me!” Goldberg recalled.
But it’s all a calling for Goldberg, who proudly bears the nickname “The Nudger."
“You just cannot say no to Beverly," friends advise.
Indeed, we could not say no to ACS — who honored Goldberg in 2010 as Volunteer of the Year — when they suggested this whirlwind as a Mitzvah Hero. A philanthropist, party planner extraordinaire and soulful source of energy — a natural hat trick from a woman who wears hers so jauntily.