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2024 Annual Benefit Honors Jennifer Perkins & Recognizes Ellen Marram

We’d like to extend a tremendous thank you to the 250 guests who joined us for our Annual Benefit at The Harmonie Club of NYC on May 22, who helped make the event a record-breaking success. The Benefit celebrated the impact of DOROT’s work and honored Board Member Jennifer Perkins for her exceptional devotion to our mission. We also recognized Board President Ellen Marram, who will step down June 30 after four years of service.

In introducing honoree Perkins, DOROT’s Executive Director Mark Meridy said: “There are many ways that people support non-profit organizations. Jen Perkins is one of those amazing supporters who does it all: she devotes her time and expertise as a board member; she is a committed volunteer; she is a generous donor; and she is a passionate advocate for our mission.”

Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman of Larchmont Temple also spoke on Perkins ability to “always lead by doing” and for her continued efforts to “foster DOROT’s vision” as they worked alongside one another to bring DOROT’s program Aging Alone Together™ to their temple and create a bi-weekly lunch group for older adults.

Perkins shared the touching details of her journey with DOROT, which began in earnest in 2011, after her father died and she started making regular visits to an older adult named Martin, with whom she became very close. Volunteering with DOROT is a “two-way street,” she explained. “I promise you that my relationship with Martin was just as beneficial to me, if not more, than it was to Martin.”


Meridy told the crowd that after many years, the public had begun to understand the critical nature of DOROT’s work to alleviate social isolation and loneliness among older adults. That new view is in part a result of the pandemic and, in part, because of a widely publicized report last year by the U.S. Surgeon General, who declared an “epidemic of loneliness” in the U.S. and warned of its severe health consequences.

Meridy explained that in addition to contributing to individual health, the Surgeon General highlighted the “tremendous benefits to our society when there is greater social connection” and the value of fostering connections between people from different backgrounds and age groups. “That’s exactly what DOROT has been doing since our founding,” Meridy emphasized.

DOROT Board President Ellen Marram spoke fondly about her time with DOROT, as she shared what it was like assuming the Board Presidency in 2020, “in the middle of a time when everyone, regardless of age or circumstance, was struggling with the need to establish new forms of connection.” Marram continued to note that through work done in a time of rapid change and adaptation, DOROT emerged with an “ability to adapt to new circumstances and capitalize on new opportunities… ensur[ing] its growth, growing impact, and an even stronger future.” In his remarks recognizing Marram, Meridy noted that much of DOROT’s positioning for the future is a credit to Marram’s leadership.

Other program highlights included a spectacular piano performance by Pam Goldberg, introduced by our own Director of Onsite and Special Programs, Amy Stein-Milford, that echoes the music performances we offer as part of DOROT’s regular programming for older adults.

Explore the Annual Benefit through photos HERE.

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