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Emmaus Services For The Aging


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I'm happy to announce that proceeds from the upcoming Ray's The Classics dinners will be going to Emmaus Services for the Aging.

Because of Michael Landrum's generosity, I was presented last week with the responsibility of selecting a charity to receive a fairly substantial amount of money. At first thought, a 'food charity' seemed like an obvious choice, but which one? Then it occurred to me what I had written the night the website went online: "It's not going to be about the food; it's going to be about people."

A few things were certain: whichever charity I selected needed to be free of political or religious ties - there are simply too many people in this community of all beliefs and faiths to be supporting anything else. I also needed to be assured that the money would have an impact, and that the organization had a track record of making good use of its funds.

Many hours of research later, I found myself on 9th and O Streets NW earlier this afternoon, chatting with the delightful Mauri Carter, Development Director for Emmaus (pronounced ee-MAY-us). What I had hoped to see is exactly what I saw: a community-based charity with no agenda other than helping senior citizens in need.

Emmaus is currently serving over 600 senior citizens with an average monthly income of $550. Over 300 volunteers are reaching out and providing daily reassurance phone calls, monthly delivery of free groceries, help with utilities --> (click) <-- it's a terrific organization that's having a major impact on peoples lives.

And I'm happy to say that our newest member, Ms. Mauri Carter, will be here tomorrow to say a few words about the work Emmaus is doing in our community.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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DonRocks said:
I'm happy to announce that proceeds from the upcoming Ray's The Classics dinners will be going to Emmaus Services for the Aging.

Bravo Don, I’m touched! Very good decision-making and well thought of. I’ll support that. How do you choose which charity to donate? There’s so much to consider, certainly a big responsibility to do.

Thanks Michael L. for being so kind and generous. Bravo to all of us for participating! Eat, drink and be merry—but for a good cause. :unsure:

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When I walked into Ray's The Classics preview dinner last week I was so honored and proud that Michael Landrum and Don Rockwell chose to make a difference in the life of low-income elderly men and women in DC by making Emmaus Services for the Aging the beneficiary of a Ray's The Classics preview dinner.

I was blown away by the fabulous food, professional staff and conversation with members of donrockwell.com. I was also thankful for the opportunity to share the mission of Emmaus and let the great group that I spoke with know about how our services help seniors in DC that often suffer in silence. Our organization serves a population that is reluctant to ask for assistance or "make a fuss" when they are lonely, isolated or hungry. Many people sympathize with those living in poverty and the ordinary challenges of the eldery, but can you imagine what life is like for seniors who live on a modest budget of between $500-$550 a month in the Washington, DC area.

Emmaus Services for the Aging reaches out to build trust with seniors to provide support, advocacy and services that help them remain active, respected and independent members of their communities. Our approach is very simple...if seniors are hungry we feed them, if they are lonely we visit them, if they need advocacy we stand up for them. With a small staff of 13, we are able to stand in the gap for over 600 seniors with the help of over 300 volunteers in the community that give their time and generous donors that give their resources to help seniors in need.

This year Emmaus converted to a full senior center providing nutritious hot lunches for seniors Monday-Friday and fun activities in our center throught the day. Some of our new activities that have been very well received by our seniors is a supplemental/emergency food pantry called Feast for All Market and a Senior Cooking Class. Attached you will find a few pictures from our senior cooking class that is designed to teach seniors how to cook nutritious meals on a small budget.

THANK YOU DON AND MICHAEL FOR MAKING OUR MISSION POSSIBLE!!!!

For more information about Emmaus Services for the Aging, please feel free to visit www.emmausservices.org or call Mauri at 202.745.1200 x414.

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I stopped by Ray's today to pick up Michael Landrum's check to Emmaus Services for the Aging, which I'll be dropping off later this week. Here are the final numbers:

154 dinners x $25 donation per person = $3,850.

Based on our previous events here, I'm fairly certain that at $30 per person, we could have filled 154 places (or 140, or 130, or whatever) at Ray's The Classics whether Michael donated the proceeds to charity or not. He didn't need to do this, but he chose to anyway. Analyze things however you want, but I can only reach one conclusion: generosity to the point of insanity.

I chatted with Michael briefly, then he handed me a check which I immediately folded and put in my pocket. As I was driving out of the parking lot, curiosity got the best of me, and I pulled it back out and looked at it. He had written it for $5,000.

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DonRocks said:
I stopped by Ray's today to pick up Michael Landrum's check to Emmaus Services for the Aging, which I'll be dropping off later this week. Here are the final numbers:

154 dinners x $25 donation per person = $3,850.

Based on our previous events here, I'm fairly certain that at $30 per person, we could have filled 154 places (or 140, or 130, or whatever) at Ray's The Classics whether Michael donated the proceeds to charity or not. He didn't need to do this, but he chose to anyway. Analyze things however you want, but I can only reach one conclusion: generosity to the point of insanity.

I chatted with Michael briefly, then he handed me a check which I immediately folded and put in my pocket. As I was driving out of the parking lot, curiosity got the best of me, and I pulled it back out and looked at it. He had written it for $5,000.

This is simply breath-taking. Let's not forget his matching the take at the "Flea Market" for Share Our Strength. Thanks, Michael.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Mauri at the Thursday night dinner. At that time she thought Emmaus would be receiving a $2,000 donation. When I told her that it would be closer to $4,000 she had tears in her eyes and was speechless. At first she didn't believe me and it took a few moments to sink in.

I can only imagine the reaction when Don hands over such a generous check.

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Michael offends every fiber of profit-grubbing business sensibility in my body. Providing food to people who would have paid much more than $30 and then GIVING the money AWAY?! Offering up valuable real estate, feeding people for free, and then DONATING money?! I would have charged for the use of the front of my restaurant, sold $5 snacks, and that would have been the end of it. I would have charged $100 a head for an invitation-only preview of my new restaurant, and pocketed it!

Then again, I'm going straight to hell.

People like Michael exist to karmically balance out people like me.

Thank God for St. Michael!

The real St. Michael is the patron saint against temptations and of grocers, haberdashers, artists, hatters, radiotherapists, and holy death.

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The Epistle of Michael to the Rockwellians

Might I suggest, from our positions of wealth, privilege and ridiculous over-abundance in the face of so much want and hardship, that we find other matters from which to take offense while we enjoy such unimaginable plenty.
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DonRocks said:
Another restaurant that I neglected include was Azi's Cafe.

Don't forget to give these places your business!

For those reading this in the future -- I'll save you searching the ToddChogArchive:

Quote
Don Rockwell: Hi Todd,

Last Saturday night I attended a charity Gala put on by Emmaus Services for the Aging (www.emmausservices.org), a wonderful organization based in the Shaw neighborhood that supports our city's elderly in many ways.

Part of the fundraiser was a silent auction, and I'd like to recognize the area restaurants who were donors:

Polly's Cafe ($30)

Vegetate ($50)

Irish Inn at Glen Echo ($60)

Arucola Osteria Italiana ($75)

Tabard Inn ($95)

Maestro ($150)

Indigo Landing ($200)

Cafe Milano ($250)

And then:

Ben's Chili Bowl, who donated between $1,000 and $2,499 in cash.

Ray's The Classics, who donated an eye-popping $5,000 in cash.

And as for your humble wine columnist, I was bidding furiously at the silent auction in a successful attempt to drive up the prices, but I kept getting outbid. There was one thing I did win, however, because I simply wasn't going to let myself get outbid.

Dinner for two at Ben's Chili Bowl, of course! Yeah, it set me back $100, but you gotta do what you gotta do, know what I mean? (Not to mention that I got two t-shirts, two baseball caps, and a tote bag out of the deal.)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank these restaurants for their generosity.

Cheers! Don

Todd: Don, thank you. These restaurants are all wonderfully generous for taking part, and I'm happy to give them the recognition they deserve.

Thanks for writing in.

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This community contributed an incredible $3,850 towards Emmaus Services for the Aging - but Michael took that amount, paid for all the food and lost income by himself, and then added enough to make the donation an even $5,000.

Michael Landrum contributed thousands of dollars to Emmaus - very few times in my life have I felt a greater responsibility than when I was assigned to pick THE charity worthy of such generosity, but I remain convinced that, at that time, Emmaus was THE charity.

Thank you, Michael - from all of us. 

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