Suffy Rudman Lisa Altman Volunteer Tribute Award Sharsheret Benefit Luncheon 2009
Every person has a unique way of expressing their emotion. Some people laugh, some people cry, and some do nothing at all. I sing. It is the way I express my feeling, spirit and character. Music has always had the power to touch my soul, and singing has always been my most expressive tool.
A few years ago I learned that my dear friend was battling breast cancer. Wanting to help her in any way I was able, I started attending the Sharsheret breakfasts. Year after year, I was truly inspired by the strength of the women involved in Sharsheret. Not only were the survivors courageous and exceptional people, but the leaders and volunteers of the organization were just as impressive. The dedication and the manner in which their services were being presented, was truly remarkable. I remember one year sitting at one of these tables thinking to myself- how can I contribute to all of this? The only inspiration that I knew how to provide was with my music, my singing.
And so, I decided to fulfill a dream that I had always had, and just needed the right motivation to accomplish – I recorded an album. I pulled together a collection of inspirational and uplifting songs for the album, believe, and worked on its recording for several months. With financial backing from family and friends, the album was released in June 2005, and all of its proceeds have gone to Sharsheret. Every time I perform and everywhere I go, people have come to learn about Sharsheret – and that, perhaps, has been my greatest contribution- just spreading that knowledge. For if just one person has been able to benefit from the gifts of Sharsheret, then that is one person who does not have to fight this battle alone.
So I thank you today for giving me this honor, but in reality, I am so grateful to all of you for letting me be a part of this wonderful organization.
I wouldn’t be able to accept this without acknowledging my dear husband, Yaakov, without whom I never could have followed my dreams. We both know that I never could have done this without your ongoing support and encouragement. To my dear children, thank you for letting me take the time out for my singing and thank you for letting our house be one that is always filled with music. I want to thank my family, my parents, my sisters, and my dear friends, some of whom have travelled so far to be here today – your presence means the world to me – And lastly, I dedicate my music to those brave and courageous individuals who battle this disease. I hope that in some small way my music brings you joy and comfort, and gives you the strength to keep fighting.
And again, thank you to Sharsheret for this very heart warming honor.