“Surrogate mothers” star at annual southwest Brooklyn Mother’s Day Toys for Tots fundraiser

Seven women, dubbed “surrogate mothers” for their efforts nurturing their neighborhood’s children, were in the spotlight at the annual Shorefront Toys for Tots Pre-Mother’s Day Brunch on April 27.

Besides paying homage to the women, the event provides an early start to the organization’s toy collection efforts, with attendees bring new and unwrapped playthings to the brunch held at Sirico’s Caterers, 8023 Thirteenth Avenue.

Founder Brian Gotlieb was motivated to begin the effort two years after his mother Myrna died at the age of 52. Designed to distribute gifts to underprivileged children during Hanukkah Christmas, and Kwanzaa, the program has touched the lives of over 38,000 children.

Among the women honored were three local principals: Rina Horne from P.S. 212, Donna Neglia from P.S. 216 and Karen Ditolla from I.S. 239.

Also honored was certified midwife Aleyamma Philipose from Coney Island Hospital, Executive Director of the Brighton Ballet Theater Irina Roizin, Coney Island Gospel Assembly Church Director of Children’s Education Judie Fraser, and Assemblymember Maritza Davila.

On behalf of himself and the children the organization reached out to, Gotlieb thanked those who donated for their  support. For more information on the effort, email Gotlieb at shorefronttoysfortots@gmail.com.

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