“Children At Heart” Gala and Celebrity Fantasy Auction

Chabad’s Children’s of Chernobyl hosts Annual “Children At Heart” Gala and Celebrity Fantasy Auction that will be hosted by Jon Voight and honoring Liev Schreiber on Monday, November 25th.

New York, NY, November 20, 2013 --(PR.com)-- On Monday, November 25th, Children of Chernobyl (CCOC) will mark the Chernobyl disaster’s 27th anniversary where legendary actor Jon Voight will host the Children At Heart Gala, a star studded benefit and celebrity fantasy auction honoring Liev Schreiber at Chelsea Piers supporting the group’s rescue missions and outreach. Additional celebrity attendees include Elie Tahari, Dmitriy Salita, Yuri Foreman and Josh Sussman. Bridget O’Brien PR and Events is helping to promote this event.

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Bridget O’Brien

As the world marks the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion, Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl (CCOC) continues the work of saving the disaster’s youngest victims, preparing to airlift more children to safety on CCOC’s next rescue mission.

“On this significant anniversary, thousands of children every day are still feeling the tragic consequences of the Chernobyl disaster,” said Producer Nancy Spielberg, Founding Board Member of CCOC and sister of famed director Steven Spielberg. “They are facing devastating illnesses from radiation contamination -- radiation that will be with us for thousands of years. As we’ve seen from the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the impact from this kind of radioactivity is as devastating today as it was 27 years ago.”

According to the World Health Organization:

• Rate of thyroid cancer in the contaminated areas surrounding Chernobyl is more than 400 times the world norm. In some of those areas the rate is even higher.
• CCOC brings at risk children to Israel, providing housing, clothing, education, and medical treatment.
• Cost of evacuating a flight of children is approximately $360,000 and expenses per child for one year are $18,000.
• CCOC also helps those who cannot leave by airlifting medicine, medical equipment, therapeutic aids, and other needed items into the contaminated areas to help those who remain there.
• CCOC has trained local physicians to specialize in radiation-induced illnesses and has built a mammography clinic to help combat the artificially high rates of breast cancer in the area.

On April 26, 1986, Chernobyl nuclear reactor four exploded, the result of a test gone dreadfully wrong. As the children of the Chernobyl region began to mature, the radiations harmful effects became increasingly apparent. To this day, thousands of children living in range of the reactor show signs of health issues including thyroid cancer, leukemia and heart maladies. 14-year-old Sergei of Kiev developed a life-threatening condition known as “Chernobyl Heart” because of radiation exposure. His father died after the explosion while his mother was institutionalized. Over the course of the past year, Sergei required several emergency surgeries. CCOC obtained guardianship and quickly organized a fundraiser, securing support from various philanthropists to cover the costs of these procedures.

“Sergei was born more than a decade after the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor explosion and he still became gravely ill because of it,” said CCOC Executive Director Esti Herman. “Children living within 75 miles of where the disaster happened will either get sick or pass it on. People have to be aware it doesn’t go away, and that these children need to be relocated so they are no longer exposed to Chernobyl’s life-threatening conditions.”

CCOC’s rescue flights and programs are fully funded by donations. For more information about the organization and its programs, visit www.ccoc.net or call (212) 681-7800.

About Chabad's Children of Chernobyl (CCOC)

Chabad's Children of Chernobyl (CCOC) is a not-for-profit organization that evacuates children who suffer from many medical maladies as a result of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl. CCOC provides them with critical medical care, new homes, and an excellent education. To date, 2,863 children have been evacuated on 99 rescue missions.

Media Contact:

Nicole DeFosset
Account Executive

Rachel Fertel Director of Special Events
Chabad's Children of Chernobyl (CCOC)

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