Victoria’s Secrets: Powerful moments of unity

The Els’ Work Experience Program matches companies with people on the autism spectrum being trained for jobs.

There were two unique events that captured the attention of us all.

When the earthquake hit, I was in my living room and thought that there was construction in the building. But after putting the TV on and receiving a text message from my colleague Sara asking me if I was OK, I realized there had been an earthquake! Our world shook and for a moment in time, all of us were united.

My friend remarked it was a similar feeling to when the World Trade Centers fell and we all cared about our neighbors. It was a remarkable shared experience for us all.

With all the discord in our world, it was a rare experience we all shared and felt fear before feeling relief and gratitude that we were safe.

And with the solar eclipse coming into our region, it was another moment of unity. 

These events reminded me of the many wonderful people helping, caring and sharing their neighbors.

Speaking of helping neighbors, my friend Meg Weinberger introduced me to her friend Liezl Els, a woman with a mission and a dream to help children like hers on the autism spectrum — friends helping friends.

While I was in Florida, I visited her programs, run by The Els for Autism Foundation. Liezl’s husband Ernie Els, a renowned golfer, is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame golfer Ernie Els sponsors golf outings to help the foundation.

Together with his wife and friend Martin Shaken, out of the need of their child — like me — created the world class center of educational programs in Jupiter, Florida, where their impressive campus serves over 40,000 individuals with special needs.

I was particularly interested because they have developed a state-of-the-art workforce training program for adults, similar to Life’s WORC’s plan here in Garden City to work with those people who have aged out of school and are left without options. Now there is hope!

I was very impressed with the Els’ Work Experience Program that matches companies with people on the autism spectrum who they are training to be able to take jobs those companies are offering. 

When I visited their campus on a sunny afternoon, I was impressed with the training programs and enjoyed a lunch served by the trainees and saw the beautiful kitchen that duplicates a professional kitchen and dining room. But what was most moving to me was to see the happy faces and engagement of the people in the program.

Knowing the great need for reliable qualified employees on the autism spectrum, the Els for Autism Foundation is making it possible and making it happen!

I left the stunning Stoops Family Adult Services Building with my heart full of joy and hope. Their center is a model for every community. I’m delighted to know that Life’s WORC will be replicating their powerful work on Long Island.

Congratulations to The Els’ program, which raises millions with their golf outings. Life’s WORC will hold its 36th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic on May 13 at the Old Westbury Golf and Country Club honoring Long Islander Howard Fensterman, the lead attorney of the influential law firm Abrams Fensterman, LLP

Geraldo raises millions of dollars with the Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic.

Join me there! 


It was a reunion in Palm Beach of the members of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach that was my last social event of the Palm Beach season.

Thanks to help from Jeri Kronen and Jerry Cammarata, we were joined by Rabbi Marc Schneirer for a joyous few hours and a group photo.

A reunion of the members of The Hampton Synagogue with Rabbi Marc Schneirer, his wife Simi and mother Donna.

Adding to the joy of the evening, I breathlessly waited for my grandson Blake to learn if he was accepted to his first choice college, Duke University. Waiting for the school’s 7 p.m. “reveal,” my heart was pounding, but seconds after my phone alarm went off, I got the text from my daughter — it was a YES! 

Blake and his parents

Blake, who is extraordinarily well qualified, will now be a Duke man. We shared in our cheers and tears of joy! It was a special moment in my life that is embedded in my mind forever!

Love to you, my dear readers. Until next time!