April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Mariano Rivera Pitches In for OHEL

The summer calls for grilling, chilling and baseball. Then what do you get when you have OHEL, friends, family, an amazing open backyard, BBQ and a Yankees legend in attendance?

An awesome kickoff to the summer season!

Mariano Rivera, former pitcher for the Yankees and future Hall of Famer, came out to support OHEL at the exclusive pre-Father’s Day barbeque at the home of David and Leah Brecher in Lawrence, NY, who graciously hosted the event.

The evening kicked off with a special meet and greet for VIPs who had the chance to take part in one-on-one time with the Yankees legend, complete with appetizing sushi bar courtesy of Schick Caterers. Fans took pictures, mingled and acquired autographs on limited-edition commemorative OHEL Mariano Rivera baseballs.

Afterwards there was a memorable “baseball toss” where kids got to have a “catch” with Mariano, truly the thrill of a lifetime for any young baseball fan! Children that were formerly part of OHEL’s Foster Care program also had the privilege to meet and take photos with Mariano.

At the open BBQ, The “OHEL Red Carpet” was ready for OHEL friends to take photos with Mariano. Guests came from as far as Teaneck and Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Participants took part in a special Mariano Rivera Q&A session with Aaron Jungreis as emcee. The Q&A gave a chance for attendees to submit questions for Mariano, ranging from professional to personal. He opened the session by speaking about his admiration for OHEL’s work, his humble roots in Panama, his journey to becoming a Yankees pitcher, his dedication to religion, staying in shape and, of course, baseball. He also reflected on various highlights from his Yankees career such as being the last player to wear #42 (that number, worn by Jackie Robinson has been retired by Major League Baseball), favorite baseball players, going from starter to reliever and dealing with the pressure of being in the bullpen.

When asked “Who taught you to throw the cutter?” Mariano, without missing a beat, responded “I didn’t learn to throw the cutter; the Lord gave it to me”

Aaron Jungreis, speaking for the audience and the Jewish community at large, complimented Mariano by stating that “the people in this community respect that you are so religious, besides that you have so much dignity and that you’re the best closer ever, but you’re so humble and modest and we all respect you for that”

Robert Katz, OHEL’s Chief Development Officer, reflected that “in their remarks, both David Brecher and Aaron Jungreis perfectly captured the essence of Mariano Rivera and that’s why we chose him to work with him, in order to truly benefit OHEL’s children and families.”

In the areas of confidence and sports performance, Mariano related that “being nervous is a part of being a human being,” making issues such as anxiety and self-esteem very prevalent, even for a Yankees pitcher. OHEL offers individuals many services and opportunities to help overcome personal obstacles in order to reach their fullest potential.

As a special surprise gift for the host, Mariano threw a closing pitch to David Brecher, which David caught and will keep forever. The hundreds in attendance all stood and cheered.

Generous corporate sponsors of the event were FM Home Loans, Rosewood Realty Group and Omni Managed Health.

Since 1969, OHEL has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount disability and everyday challenges; heal from trauma and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. OHEL’s record of service excellence, stellar reputation and consistent top ratings in regulatory audits in foster care, housing, outpatient counseling, day programs and Camp Kaylie have enabled us to deliver cutting-edge programs serving the ever-increasing and diverse needs of the community. OHEL serves thousands in need every day in communities in New York, New Jersey, South Florida, Los Angeles, California and worldwide.

Individuals interested in the many programs that OHEL offers should contact OHEL at 800-603-OHEL (6435). Like us on Facebook at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services and follow us on Instagram at Instagram.com/ohelfamily.

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