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Two Local Women Helping Bring Joy to Sick Kids

"Uncle Yuddy Fund" provides entertainment for seriously ill children throughout New York area. You can help.

From left, Uncle Yuddy officers Terese Cavanagh of Port Washington, Sharon Weintraub Dashow of Plainview, Lori M. Russo and Mary Zitwer Millman, both of Manhattan. (Not pictured is Wade Tajerian.)
From left, Uncle Yuddy officers Terese Cavanagh of Port Washington, Sharon Weintraub Dashow of Plainview, Lori M. Russo and Mary Zitwer Millman, both of Manhattan. (Not pictured is Wade Tajerian.)
More than two decades ago, Mary Millman and Sharon Dashow decided the best way to honor Millman's father was to start a foundation geared at helping kids in need of some love and special attention.

The Eugene Zitwer Foundation was born, and now serves sick children throughout the New York Metropolitan area.  

"Mary and I started "The Uncle Yuddy Fund" in memory of her father, Eugene Zitwer, a man who loved children," said Dashow, of Plainview. "While we have funded some equipment and procedures from time to time, our main goal is to brighten the lives of seriously ill children in New York area hospitals."

The group provides a wide range of activities for children in hospital care, including birthday parties, extended play times, clowns and other entertainers. There is music and art therapy, and time set aside for siblings to play together. Doctors say the fun time is vital to the children's ability to fight their diseases.

Organizers describe the foundation as a "celebration of life" during the most difficult days in the lives of a child and his or her family. The children are being treated in prestigious medical centers including New York Presbyterian, Maimonides, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, among others.

The program is run solely by volunteers like Dashow and Port Washington's Terese Cavanagh.

"We bring a smile to their faces and provide a respite from the medical challenges that they face," Dashow said. "Other than the performers that we pay to go to hospitals, we are all volunteers and take no money whatsoever.  There are no employees; we do everything ourselves."

The foundation is hoping to raise money to continue their efforts, which began in 1991. Five people comprise the board of directors and operate the entire program. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity. People can donate either by sending a check payable to:

The Eugene Zitwer Foundation, Inc.
50 Court St.; Suite 702

Brooklyn, NY  11201

Donors can also pay online through a credit card by going to their website, which is eugenezitwerfoundation.org and clicking on the donate button.



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