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Youth Services Names March RAY of Hope Recipients

Trio nominated for their work assembling a swim-a-thon to help in Haiti.

Submitted by Needham Youth Services

Penny Gordon nominated Samantha Distler, Aliza Bloostein and Beth Gordon for the RAY of Hope award for their work in assembling a swim-a-thon in 2010 to raise funds to help disaster relief work in Haiti after a very powerful and devastating earthquake struck Haiti.  

In 2011, the girls also participated in a second swim-a-thon to benefit a Japanese relief fund to aid victims of the tsunami. They met six years ago on their swim team and have been friends ever since. 

Distler, Bloostein and Gordon are long-time members of the Karishim Swim Club, a competitive swim team at the Jewish Community Center in Newton that is devoted to developing strong values, building self esteem and enabling swimmers ages 8-17 to meet their competitive potential.

Distler and Gordon attend ; Distler is in the eighth grade and Gordon is in the seventh grade. Bloostein is a seventh grader at Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton.

Distler loves swimming, cooking and spending time with friends and family. She has done other volunteering working in a soup kitchen in Cambridge and reading to children in Roxbury.

Bloostein adores swimming, hanging out with friends and spending time with her family. 

Gordon enjoys swimming, dancing, playing basketball and spending time with friends and family. She has also volunteered at homeless shelters on various occasions.

Watch ’s piece on the March RAY ceremony on YouTube.

The RAY of Hope (Recognize A Youth) award was created by Needham Youth Services in partnership with the Needham Business Association to identify young people who have performed outstanding service to the Needham community or who by their actions are excellent role models for their peers.

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