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First Koby Mandell Humanitarian Award Announced

Bethesda, Maryland, November 7, 2005 – On November 8, 2005, The Koby Mandell Foundation will honor Cal Ripken, Jr. with the first Koby Mandell Humanitarian Award for his outstanding work on behalf of disadvantaged children and their families. The Koby Mandell Humanitarian Award honors individuals who have helped others in a meaningful way and exemplify the value closest to Koby's heart: helping less fortunate kids and adults feel better about themselves.

"Of all the influential people living in our area who are devoted to helping others, no one is better loved than Cal Ripken," said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, Chair of the award dinner and a member of The Koby Mandell Foundation Board of Directors.

In addition to his long-standing commitment to numerous philanthropic efforts, including the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Because We Care program, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Mr. Ripken was the personal hero of Koby Mandell himself.

Koby was an American boy, from Silver Spring, MD, who was stoned to death by terrorists in Israel at the age of thirteen. After Koby's death, Mr. Ripken learned from an article in the Baltimore Jewish Times that he was Koby's hero, that Koby wore only #8 on the baseball field, and that he prized the Cal Ripken, Jr. picture which hung over his bed. With characteristic humility, Mr. Ripken agreed to accept the award from The Koby Mandell Foundation. "I was touched to learn that I was Koby's hero and I am honored to accept this award that bears his name," Ripken said.

After Koby's murder, his parents, Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell, established The Koby Mandell Foundation to help others bereaved by terrorists learn to cope with their pain, heal from their grief, and use the experience of tragedy as a catalyst for a deeper more meaningful life.

"The Mandells are extraordinary people who have used their own tragedy as a means to help thousands of people around the world," said Todd J. Sukol, executive director of The Koby Mandell Foundation. "It is a fitting tribute to their life's work to have someone as inspirational as Cal Ripken accepting this award."

With both a smile and a tear, Rabbi Seth Mandell said simply, "Koby loved Cal, and I know he would like to be there with me when we meet."

The Koby Mandell Humanitarian Award will be presented to Cal Ripken, Jr. at a gala dinner for 500 people on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 at the new North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

For more information about The Koby Mandell Foundation, please contact Todd Sukol by phone at 301-654-7045 or by email at

BACKGROUND: The Koby Mandell Foundation was established by Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell after their 13 year old son Koby was murdered by terrorists in Israel. The Foundation runs therapeutic healing programs for individuals who have lost an immediate family member to terror. Programs are designed to teach participants the lessons Seth and Sherri learned -- to cope with their pain, heal from their grief, and use the power hidden within tragedy to grow beyond previous limitations. Programs combine formal, informal, and recreational therapeutic techniques to foster an environment of emotional support. Participants draw strength from each other and their shared experiences, creating long-lasting bonds of friendship and a community of survivors.

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