This is a WORTHY institution.
This institution needs money.
But that doesn't mean that we can't do things better.
I understand that in recent years we have had to do away with the sit down dinner in favor of buffet style in order to cut costs, but why not put the forks where the food is??? And don't tell me that it is to encourage the people to sit at their assigned tables once they have their food, because the spoons WERE at the buffet tables!! Consistency please, folks.
In addition, if you want to encourage people to sit down with their dinner, give them plates that hold more than two bites. Nobody likes to wend their way through an entire ballroom to arrive at their table and eat a morsel and then run back for more (unless they're going back for a spoon anyway).
And don't get me started on Viennese Tables. Some people I know refer to them as Vietnamese Tables because the way people rush the goods, you'd think they were at war. (Boy are you lucky I'm not posting pics of the people who got a head start on dessert during the speeches! But you know who you are.....)
But by far one of my biggest gripes was the dais. I feel that before putting people on the dais it is important to verify TWO things:
(a) That they are indeed showing up (this applies similarly for brochos under the chuppah by the way) and
(b) that they plan to stay for bentching (which took place at the completely reasonable hour of 8:30 pm, it should be noted.)
Why should guests feel that it is imperative to attend and/or stay at a fundraiser when those people that the institution honors the most, don't find it important enough to do the same?
A dais should DEFINITELY NOT look like this during bentching!
What I liked about the Dinner:
The Dinner was well timed and the program flowed and moved.
I liked the presentation to Rabbi A. Farber - a well deserved honor.
I liked the quote from a Yeshiva science teacher recounted by the Guest of Honor, KAJ President, Avram Cahn, who said at a parent's orientation, "If the children don't come out of this year saying Asher Yotzar with more kavanah, I have failed as their teacher". THAT'S Torah Im Derech Eretz!
There was a very nice presentation honoring the PTA.
A lot of people worked very hard on the event and deserve much gratitude.