National Volunteer Week 2017 Highlight: Liz Cohen Goldstein and Jeff Goldstein
National Volunteer Week
Liz Cohen Goldstein and Jeff Goldstein have been volunteering at the HealthCorps Garden Gala since 2008. Liz is a leader with Marriott International and Jeff is an Entrepreneur in New York. On this National Volunteer Week we want you to meet the wonderful couple who have given us a decade of service.
Thank you Liz and Jeff!
Why did you choose HealthCorps?
We learned about HealthCorps at the NYC Expo for Dr. Oz’s book “You – The Owner’s Manual” in 2007.
We were drawn to HealthCorps’ mission because we both have personal connections to the impacts of obesity. For Liz, she was an overweight child from age 7 – 16 and for Jeff his brother recently passed away at the age of 60 from complications from obesity. Liz lost 60 pounds just before college and has kept it off through her founded passion for health and wellness – becoming a certified personal trainer over 12 years ago, and most recently taking graduate classes from Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Both have been vegetarian’s for the last 5 years and stay very active – including walking many golf courses!
Over the years we have had the opportunity to meet HealthCorps students and coordinators and heard fantastic stories about how the HealthCorps program changed not only their lives, but their families though the education and events/activities that promote healthy living as a way of life and not a diet.
This is our true north and our hope is that the percentage of obesity in the US will start to decline rather than continue to rise, and the best route is through the education our next generation!
What kind of relationships have you built thorough your service over the years?
Michelle Bouchard is an inspiration and amazing leader of the program. While many of us only see each other once a year around gala time, there are several workers/volunteers that keep coming back and it’s so great to get life updates. And you also meet new people every year and you just never know where these relationships will take you in the future!
What was the most memorable moment in your Gala history?
One Gala that stands out is when Students and Coordinators gave speeches about success stories – it was very moving and motivational. We love the venue selections as well – one of our favorite locations was the Intrepid!
What is the hardest part about executing the event?
There are a lot of moving pieces, but we can personally say that we have seen such an amazing evolution of the Gala production – every year getting better and better. Last several years there always seems to be plenty of volunteers, which is a testament to the growing success of this program. Rob Lunde is a fantastic leader and provides the opportunity to give feedback after each event so they can continue to improve. Liz, having worked in Event Planning for years, knows that something will always go wrong – but it’s how you react and ensure the “show must go on” that matters – and the Gala Committee and all the volunteers always make it happen!
What is the most fun part of the event?
Stepp Stewart’s opening performances are so creative, fun and full of spirit – we look forward every year to see what he has in store for us – and Dr. Oz! Also leaving with lots of fresh fruit from the table centerpieces!
What are your tips for future volunteers?
Don’t be afraid to show up alone, everyone is very friendly and welcoming. While the event set-up can be a “great workout” – it’s very fulfilling to see the hundreds of guests that attend enjoy the evening and donate lots of money to allow HealthCorps to continue to bring wellness education to kids across the country. Wear comfortable shoes!