Hoboken shelter Civic Champion award to Erica Seitzman: presentation by Phil Cohen

This week, USH member Erica Seitzman was honored by the Hoboken Shelter. The following is the text of the speech delivered by USH member Phil Cohen to present the award (also presented on behalf of USH member and Shelter board member Rebecca Kramnick who was unable to attend)

Erica Seitzman Introduction
Presented by Phil Cohen at the Hoboken Shelter’s 35 Anniversary Gala
June 13, 2017

It’s my privilege to introduce you to Erica Seitzman.

This weekend, our family watched the movie Wonder Woman.  In Wonder Woman, the heroine has amazing powers given by the God Zeus, which she uses to save civilization and bring peace to the world.

Erica is the Hoboken Shelter’s Wonder Woman.  

Erica’s parents, who must have given Erica her amazing powers, are here with us tonight.  Can we please recognize Erica’s parents?

Erica is our wonder woman of event planning – since she started seriously volunteering for the shelter more than 8 years ago (serving as the Shelter’s unofficial “CVO”) not a single Shelter event has happened without Erica’s help.    She makes sure that every detail is in place, and that everyone has a good time.   Of course, despite the fact that she is a celebrated honoree this evening, Erica has been closely involved in the countless details that went into tonight’s event, so Erica is one of the reasons this 35th Anniversary Gala is so special.   
Now, let’s do some math:  The shelter conducts 5 events a year.  That means our Wonder Woman has contributed to the success of over 42 events!!  Wow.   5 years ago, at the celebration for the 30th anniversary gala, Erica was so successful soliciting wine and beer contributions, that after the event was over, she organized ANOTHER event --  turning the Gala’s leftover beer and wine into another $2,000 raised at a pizza party.

Erica is our wonder woman of Face Book.  For more than 4 years, Erica has served as the volunteer administrator of the Shelter’s Face Book page.  Because of her hard work, the shelter has a fantastic, vibrant social media presence.   Erica has tripled the Shelter’s number of followers.  Now a plug:  If you haven’t liked us on Face Book, please do.  

Erica is our wonder woman of spoons.  About 4 years ago, Erica heard the Shelter was running low on plastic spoons. So, Wonder Woman to the rescue!  She started the Shelter’s annual “Spoontember” program, collecting thousands of spoons,  including running an annual spoon collection from the United Synagogue of Hoboken during the Jewish New Year.  This September, the United Synagogue of Hoboken will donate 5778 spoons for the New Year of 5778.  And remember!:  We can always use your plastic cutlery donations!  
Finally, Erica is our wonder woman of toilet paper.  Yes, toilet paper.  About 7 years ago, Erica heard that the Shelter was running low.  So, Wonder Woman to the rescue!  Erica started an annual event “Can you spare a square?”  Because of the success of this event sprung from Erica’s vision, the Shelter has been able to eliminate a $5,000 T.P. expense line item from the Shelter’s annual budget.  

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating Erica Seitzman, our very own Wonder Woman, on her well-deserved recognition as the Hoboken Shelter’s Civic Champion.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Many many congratulations and happy returns of the day to Erica Seitzman. Its wonderful that she won the award for her hardwork. The speech was good and thanks for sharing it.


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