Friday, February 8, 2013

Table Captain Appreciation Event Generates Buzz for Men’s Event 2013

On Wednesday night, February 6, the Men’s Event table captains were treated to a blast from the past. All 114 table captains from the 2012 Men’s Event were invited to an appreciation dinner at an amazing private auto collection. The thank-you event was generously underwritten by Andy Ratner. Chuck and Amy Spielman, the owners of the collection, kindly opened their doors to show their appreciation to the Federation volunteers.

A 1964 Pontiac GTO, 1959 Bat Wing Chevrolet, a Shelby Cobra, and even an old Good Humor Ice Cream truck were just a few of the automobiles that served as the backdrop for the table captains to enjoy hamburger sliders and fries provided by Felicia G catering and Ballast Point beer donated by the brewery. Happy to be there to show appreciation for the table captains, 2012 co-chair Todd Kirschen said that he was “extremely grateful for the support and dedication of the table captains. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to reach as many people in San Diego.”

Chuck Spielman, owner of the collection, said he recognized how crucial the table captains were to the success of the Men’s Event and when Claire Ellman, Federation Board President, said they needed to thank them, he readily agreed. “I thought it was a great idea,” Spielman commented, “and this is a great place for guys.”

Throughout the night, you heard how crucial the table captains are to the success of Men’s Event. These volunteers work together and individually to recruit their network of family, friends, and colleagues to sign up and, most importantly, show up. As financial supporters of the event, their actions also encourage others to donate and support the great work of the Federation. Thanks to 114 table captains, over 800 men attended the 2012 Men's Event, over half of whom had never been before. Also notable, over 150 new participants were ages 20-40, working towards the goal of reaching out to new and younger Jewish community members. Together, they raised nearly $400,000.

“I thought the Men’s Event was great, and it brought out a lot of people who wouldn’t normally come to Federation events,” noted Andy Ratner, Wednesday evening’s underwriter. “I wanted to continue the enthusiasm, and I think this is a great way to do that and to show our appreciation.”

The table captains seemed to agree, as they took private tours of the main room of 1960s cars and a side room with gleaming vehicles from the 1930s, including an old fire truck. Memorabilia from the decades lined the walls, from Coca-Cola signs to shoe advertisements. A separate room was dedicated to showcasing Spielman’s war memorabilia, which he became interested in after serving our country in Vietnam.

Enthusiasm for the cars mixed with enthusiasm and excitement for Men’s Event 2013. Steve Mizel and the Mizel Family Foundation, who generously underwrote Men’s Event 2012, have agreed once again to underwrite the annual celebration, ensuring that Jewish men of all ages across San Diego County will be able to participate. New co-chairs were also announced; Jack Maizel, Daniel Ellman, and Ron Zollman will join Ira Feinswog in planning the programming and recruitment for what will surely be another incredible Men’s Event in 2013.

Daniel Ellman, Jack Maizel, Ron Zollman, Ira Feinswog and Chuck Spielman
“It’s a great event,” said Jack, “and this year, it’s tremendously important to grow on the achievements of last year. Thanks to the generosity and foresight of the Steve Mizel, the community is coming together and coalescing more than ever before.” Recognizing the increased numbers in men ages 21-40 who attended this last annual event and the ages of the new co-chairs, Mizel recognized that “Our great community is on its way to becoming exceptional, and Men’s Event is a huge stepping stone.”

The planning of Men’s Event 2013 is already underway, and after last night, table captains are sure to sign up once again to volunteer. If you are interested in learning more about Men’s Event and how you can get involved, contact Mandy Danzan at (619) 737-7123 or

A HUGE Federation THANK YOU to Chuck and Amy Spielman for hosting an incredible evening.

For more great pictures of beautiful cars and dashing mensches, click here.


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