Tens of thousands of people of all ages, from all segments of Klal Yisroel, joined together for the 2018 Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) Auction. The auction marked the completion of the “RCCS Tour”, which included the iconic yellow RCCs Tour Bus that has been traveling from community to community in recent weeks and has engendered much excitement for an incredible cause.
Tens of thousands of people from all around the world tuned in to the live show using many different media outlets. Many tuned in at RCCSauction.org others listened live to one of the several radio stations broadcasting the show, while others called in to the live hotline. Most importantly all enjoyed an exceptional evening of entertainment and inspiration; with the goal of raising the funds needed to save the lives of cancer patients in our communities.
The show was hosted by well-known community activist and motivational force, R’ Chaskel Bennett, who kept the evening going with his wit and enthusiasm.
The highlights were many, with one being the amazing Team Talent Show: an array of performances by a select few who were brave enough to come on stage and show off their unique talents. The talents were eclectic the performances were mesmerizing, the crowd and the judges were blown away. From singing to ventriloquism, from impressions to magic tricks – the contestants of Team Talent were a sensational bunch.
The talent show was hosted by the one-and-only Kosher Guru and featured a panel of all-star celebrity judges. Jewish music legend Country Yossi, singing sensations Mordechai Shapiro and Berry Weber, and comedian Mendy Pellin appraised the competitor’s skills and gave their expert opinions on all the performances.
Taking home first place was young singer Shia Ostreicher, who blew everyone away with his angelic voice.
Another highlight was the personal live message from R’ Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. R’ Sholom Mordechai described the plight of cancer patients, who are “locked in a box” of disease. He urged everyone to sympathize with their pain, while simultaneously strengthening their emunah and bitachon and believing that the geulah can arrive at any time!
The evening’s program began and ended with stirring remarks by the renowned and inspirational orator, Rav Gav Friedman, who provided powerful words of Torah and inspiration.
Most would agree that the most moving and inspiring parts of the evening were the live testimonials from the families who have been affected by cancer and who have been helped by RCCS. Thousands were moved to tears as the Nagel family described how their daughter has been battling cancer for three years, yet continues to hold on to hope and joy. With the help of RCCS, the family is looking forward to a brighter future.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house – or amongst those watching at home – as one of the Nagel boys sang a beautiful song together with Mordechai Shapiro, his sisters favorite singer. The family was then presented with a surprise gift by Uncle Moishy, who himself has been a huge part of the success of the 2018 auction by appearing and performing at all the Tour Bus stops along the way.
As the crowd awaited an amazing performance by Elimelech Adler playing the harmonica and guitar simultaneously, their eyes started to tear as they heard his personal story with RCCS. Mr. Adler related the dedication of the RCCS patient department and their action to save his son’s life.
Renowned Mechanech Rabbi Leibish Lish related powerful words of chizuk and led the entire crowd in the recitation of Tehilim.
R’ Chaim Rapfogel, COO of RCCS, shared a powerful message of thanks to the over 700 RCCS hostesses who opened their homes to host auction parties. RCCS global medical director R’ Zisha Lowy described an “ordinary” day in the patient department – which is anything but ordinary.
The devoted RCCS volunteers manning the phone lines were kept busy all evening, as the calls kept coming in from around the globe with donations and auction ticket purchases. A huge cheer went out when this year’s goal of raising $2 million to fund lifesaving insurance policies for cholei Yisroel was met!
By the time the show ended, the auction had surpassed the original goal. This influx of funds will allow RCCS to take on many more cases and be there for more cholim and their families as they go through their painful and difficult ordeals. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped make this a reality. Mi K’Amcha Yisroel!
Finally, it was time to draw the winners of the 30 incredible auction prizes, the three elite prizes – an Eretz Yisroel Tour, an African Adventure Tour, and a Europe History Tour, the Grand Prize of up to $50,000 cash, and the “Bonus Raffle” prize of $18,000. The excitement could be felt in the room.
Congratulations to all the winners! But, of course, everyone who participated in this amazing auction is a winner!
It was a truly awesome event – the culmination of a truly incredible Tour in which tens of thousands rode along and created the largest get-well card for cholei Yisroel.