Several years ago I was at a Friday evening Shabat meal at the home of Henry and Claudia Cusnir in Miami. As we, together with Sharon Gottfried, were laughing at some of the more humorous adventures of our time at the Colegio Colombo Hebreo in Bogota during the 1980’s, a petite but rather spry grandmother (from Caracas I found out later) walked over and said: “You should write a book!” “But don’t charge for it,” she continued. “[People] won’t want to pay for it. Start a foundation and people will make donations!”
I was staring at this pleasant little lady, wondering where this directive was coming from. Then, a week later, when I returned to Bogota, I was looking through some old school papers and found this, a Final Exam from 1985!
FINAL EXAM: Composition: Write your own advertisement for a product or a cause.
The following was written by Jessica Grossman:
“The Daniel Vall Foundation.”
“In this special time of the year, thousands of children do not have a present for Christmas or even they don’t have nothing to eat for Christmas. With a little help from each citizen of our city, 250 boys and girls will be happy and will remember Christmas as it is: a very special occasion for everyone. Contact to:
Send your contribution to: “The Daniel Vall Foundation”
1015 Raspberry Road
Peppermint, Strawberry Shortcake
(Strawberry Shortcake?) Oh my! I think I am supposed to do this!
I needed to write the book. And start a foundation as well. The Daniel Vall Foundation? Well, let’s just say, The “Danny Voll Foundation”. After all, the kids from the Hebreo had baptized me “Danny” from Day One. My birth certificate says I am Daniel. My family always called me Dan. But as soon as I stepped on the premises of the Colegio Colombo Hebreo, it was “Danny”. Not Mister, not Sir, but simply, “Danny”. There was nothing I could do about it.
So now it is official! You are starting to read the book (not finished yet, to give you time to send in your pictures and anecdotes). And I have just presented my papers to the Camara de Comercio de Bogota (in Chia), so that “The Danny Voll Foundation” is now official as well! If you want to check that out, you can go to http://www.gofundme.com/children-of-colombia
But let’s not get distracted…. On with the story!