By Pam Ruben 

Feuerman honored by Pavilion

 

PGS honoree Carol Feuerman (r), with son Ryan Sokoloff and husband, Marc (l) at last year's event.

If you've always wanted to volunteer, but haven't been able to find the time, ask Carol Feuerman of Longwood how she does it. The active grandmother and mother of five adult children holds two jobs, and serves on three nonprofit boards, including the Jewish Pavilion, an organization she has devoted herself to since 2003. On May 15 the Pavilion is honoring Feuerman, past president of both its Executive and Friends Boards, at its fourth annual Pavilion Golf Society (PGS) at Longwood's Alaqua Country Club.

"Two of Carol Feuerman's favorite things about Orlando are its philanthropic spirit, and its year-round, golf-friendly weather," noted Jewish Pavilion Executive Director Nancy Ludin. "Carol's two favorite things will link up, when she is honored at our PGS for her years of devotion to the elder community, with all funds raised going to the Orlando Senior Help Desk. Please join us for a beautiful day of golf and friends, all for a good cause."

The Pavilion past president was at the helm of the organization in 2011 when the idea for the "Help Desk," a help line for older adults and their families, was first mentioned.

Feuerman stated, "The Pavilion office was receiving calls on a regular basis from community members looking for help when they had a question or a crisis relating to an aging family member. Dealing with life's transitions can be a scary proposition. It seemed like a natural segue to use our knowledge from working with older adults to help the community navigate their way through the daunting senior maze."


Feuerman was present when the first part-time Senior Resource Specialist, Barbara Bonaparte, was hired to administer the Help Desk. Emily Newman became Senior Resource specialist in 2013. On a typical weekday, you'll find Newman scribbling notes at her desk at the Jewish Pavilion offices, phone glued to her ear. Newman pays close attention to the needs of her callers, who phone the Orlando Senior Help Desk looking for answers on all matters related to aging and elder services. In the past few years calls have steadily risen, and funds from the PGS have helped increase the hours of availability of this essential service, with the goal of offering a five day a week senior helpline getting closer each year.

As part of the "sandwich generation" taking care of both parents and children, Feuerman has seen the need for the Help Desk from the other side. She recently consulted with Newman when her own mother transitioned to a senior living community. "While I have the benefit of having learned so much about elder communities through the Jewish Pavilion, I still had questions and concerns when it came to my own parent. I was able to rely on Emily and the Help Desk, and believe this service is invaluable when families are in a place where there are no easy answers," Feuerman said.


Feuerman first became involved with the Jewish Pavilion 13 years ago when friend Susie Klaiman asked her to join its Friends Board. Feuerman hit the ground running and served in several leadership capacities before becoming president of the Executive Board in 2013, and still serves on the Executive Board as past president.

"I felt the Jewish Pavilion was a phenomenal idea, since we didn't have a Jewish home. As we served more and more facilities, the Pavilion served many more Jewish residents than a Jewish home would have been able to accommodate. While attending a national conference for Jewish agencies, we learned that we were the only organization serving as a 'Jewish Home on wheels' in the entire country." She added, "The Pavilion not only brings a Jewish connection to elder-care residents, it alleviates loneliness and isolation with every friendly visit and engaging program."

Ludin praised Feuerman's natural leadership skills. "Carol is an outstanding leader with ideas galore. She has served in many leadership roles with the Jewish Pavilion, as well as the Jewish community. Carol has superb people skills and gets along well with everyone. She views life optimistically and does not let stress overwhelm her, even with her numerous commitments."

Feuerman expressed her admiration for volunteers who touch the life of a senior and offer one-on-one companionship like her own mother, Shirley Meltzer, who was an active volunteer before moving to Lake Mary's Oakmonte Village Senior Retirement Community.

"My mother served as a great role model for giving back, and was a one-on-one visitor for many years. Shirley developed a very close relationship with the residents she visited," she said. "Recently, we were able to appreciate the impact of my mother's efforts when the Pavilion received a thank you letter from the son of a woman whom she had regularly visited."

Feuerman reflected that life has come full circle, with her mother now enjoying holidays and programming from the same organization where she devoted her own time.

Feuerman attributes her youthful energy to her busy and connective lifestyle. In addition to the Pavilion, The Jewish Federation of Orlando and Kinneret Senior Apartments are two nonprofits close to Feuerman's heart, and she serves on the board of both agencies. Three years ago Feuerman picked up the game of golf, and "fell in love with the sport." She also shared that a day of golf has become a wonderful way to spend time with husband, Marc.

Feuerman is both "humbled and excited" to be honored at the upcoming Pavilion Golf Society Tournament, where she has been a player for the past several years. Her Orlando-based children Ryan (Dana), Lauren (Cesar), and Matt (Shane) will attend, along with beloved grandson, Jack, 1 ½. Daughter, Robin (Justine), plans to drive in from South Carolina, while son Scott (Robin) sends his best wishes from New York.

Feureman is thrilled that both her golfing and nongolfing friends are coming out to make the day a hole-in-one for the Feuerman family, while raising awareness and support for the Orlando Senior Help Desk.

Help the Orlando Senior Help Desk hit a hole-in-one on behalf of Central Florida's elder community at the PGS tournament on Sunday, May 15 at Alaqua Country Club in Longwood. Tee up for a morning of golf, food and prizes, in honor of Carol Feuerman. $100 entry fee covers breakfast, lunch, and golf. Not a golfer, but still want to join the club? Come for lunch for $36. Register at wwwjewishpavilion.org or call Ken Davis at 727-798-5354. Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. -8:15 a.m. Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.

 

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