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December 21, 2011 3:47 pm

Children Celebrate Chanukah with the Israeli Consulate and Miss New York

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Miss New York, Amber Collins, joins Rio Herrara, a Ronald McDonald House resident, and Patrick MelVille who styled wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. Rio preferred "her" crown. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Giving back to the community is a holiday tradition at the Israeli Consulate in New York. In celebration of the Chanukah Holiday, the consular staff joined Amber Collins, Miss New York 2011, and the 2012 Miss New York contestants, a cadre of clowns and HairArt wig stylist Patrick Melville to bring joy and laughter, balloons, bears and bit of beauty, songs and safganiot to the children of Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan.

In a room alive with color and music, children, some fighting for their lives, some wearing medical masks, most with little or no hair came together to laugh and be…just kids –  to forget the reality of cancer and its treatment, join a pair of charming clowns who joked, sang, and danced, and created crowns of balloons and flowered swords to chase away the demons of illness.

Gil Lainer, Consul for Public Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York brought greetings from the consulate to the children and their parents. “In the spirit of giving back during the holiday season, we are delighted to be able to bring a little holiday cheer to the children in our region and those that will be celebrating the holidays in hospitals.” By sharing Israel’s holiday traditions with the children, we hope this will be the beginning of a sweet year for them and their families.”

“Ronald McDonald House New York is honored to host the Consulate General of Israel in celebration of a holiday that means a great deal to us all,” said William T. Sullivan, president & CEO of Ronald McDonald House New York. “With Chanukah’s deep roots in hope and faith, we believe that their visit will bring renewed inspiration to our families.”

Patrick Melville of the Patrick Melville Salon in New York City came to cut and style wigs designed especially for children by HairArt. The wigs provide a cosmetic and a psychological boost. “We hope that this small gesture can relieve some of their worry during such a trying time in their young lives and bring smiles to their little faces,” said HairArt Founder, Jackie Yu.

Miss New York, Amber Collins, who holds a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education, seated one little girl on her lap as Melville customized the specially designed children’s wig for her delicate face. The child’s treatment had caused hair loss. As her bangs were adjusted and her new locks coiffed, her mother’s eyes smiled.

Hopeful predictions: a princess in the making! Little Miss Rio Herrara tries on a crown. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Celebration! Israel's Consul for Public Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York, Gil Lainer, is in the second row, standing, second from the left. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

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