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Dick Greenberg To Receive Schoenfeld Volunteer Award

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Village Shalom’s Social Hall is abuzz with debate. In the center of it all sits the moderator – Dick Greenberg – legs crossed, iPad on his lap. When the conversation drifts off course, he gently steers it back on track with the grace of a seasoned seafarer. It’s a role tailor-made for Greenberg. He’s a genuine listener, a thoughtful voice of reason – one who commands respect without demanding it.  

Dick Greenberg will receive the 2015 Steven J. Schoenfeld Volunteer Recognition Award at Village Shalom’s Ages of Excellence Celebration on Oct. 22. 

S’Up, a resident-led current event discussion group, has become can’t-miss programming every Tuesday and Thursday morning at Village Shalom. Its creator and moderator, Dick Greenberg, will be presented with the 2015 Stephen J. Schoenfeld Volunteer Recognition Award at Village Shalom’s Ages of Excellence Celebration on Oct. 22. The award is in recognition of the countless hours he has given in order for S’Up to reach its can’t-miss status.  

S’Up began as an opportunity to help a visually impaired resident stay up to date on the latest news. Greenberg and the other participants quickly recognized that they were on to something. 

“We realized there are other people here who have some of the same limitations. But they still have such a contribution to make,” said Greenberg. “They’ve been there, thought about it, experienced it, and have an opinion.” 

S’Up wouldquickly become the highlight of Village Shalom’s weekly activity calendar – consistently drawing the highest attendance of any regular program. Greenberg devotes four to five hours a week to the class – not only serving as moderator, but also scouring the web for potential topics of conversation. The group’s discussions have covered current events, sports, politics and hot-button topics of the day. The group has also brought in special guests to provide inside perspectives on topics such as the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. and the events of April 13. 

“A day or two after the shootings, Dick still held his class and the conversation centered solely on the tragedy,” said Village Shalom President and CEO, Matt Lewis. “I believe this was important for many reasons.  It gave our residents the opportunity to process what happened, share concerns and comments, and come together as a group for support.  I attended most of the class that day, and it was very moving.” 

The Stephen J. Schoenfeld Volunteer Recognition Award was established in 2002. Schoenfeld generously donated his time to help improve the lives of those at Village Shalom’s predecessor – Shalom Geriatric Center. He would go on to serve as one of the organization’s youngest members of the board of directors before his life ended tragically at age 39. Each year the award is presented to someone who exhibits Schoenfeld’s legacy of volunteerism and commitment to the organization. 

“We’re honored to recognize Dick Greenberg with this year’s Schoenfeld Award,” said Bruce Kershenbaum, Village Shalom board member and Ages of Excellence Chairman. “His efforts have helped to provide many of his fellow residents with a renewed connection to the world around them.”  

Bruce and Eileen Kershenbaum will chair this year’s Ages of Excellence Celebration. The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Overland Park Sheraton. New York Times best-selling authors and Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect co-hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will be the featured guest speakers. KCUR’s Steve Kraske will emcee the presentation portion of the evening.  

Proceeds from the Ages of Excellence Celebration will provide much-needed financial assistance to Village Shalom residents who rely on the community for vital programs and services. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and general information, contact Michelle LaPointe at 913-266-8412 or visit www.VillageShalom.org/Ages