Ted Koppel will be the guest speaker at the already sold-out Evy Lipp People of the Book Cultural event on Feb. 21.
The event will take place at Temple Shalom and will feature a patrons’ dinner which in years past was used to defray the cost of the speaker. However, this year, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous has donated the speaker’s fee in its entirety in honor of event founder Evy Lipp.
Lipp started the program through the Collier County Jewish Federation to bring in a famous Jewish author or journalist each year to speak at a free event for members of the Collier County Jewish Federation, or anyone who joins the Federation after paying a $36 fee.
“Evy recruited patrons who would pay $1,000 per couple to have dinner with the speaker that same evening prior to the speech and she facilitated such luminaries as Anita Diamant, Rabbi Harold Kushner twice, Dennis Prager, Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and Professor Alan Dershowitz,” said Lipp’s husband Stan Lipp. “Evy did it all from hand-writing all the thank you notes to the patrons to invitations, publicity, money raising, arranging the dinner to transporting the speakers.”
Normally, the money raised from the patrons’ dinner would fund the appearance of the speaker and defray the cost of the dinner. But this year, only a small part of the $1,000 will defray the cost of the dinner and the balance will benefit the Collier County Jewish Federation.
Stan Lipp says when his wife passed away last year, the Collier County Jewish Federation renamed the event in perpetuity the Evy Lipp People of the Book Cultural Event. He says when the reservations were opened up, the Federation had an oversold position of 850 reservations within three weeks. It is largest attendance the Federation has even had.
Koppel is a widely respected journalist who recently joined “Rock Center with Brian Williams” late last year. For more than 50 years, Koppel’s distinctive voice has reverberated throughout the telling of some of the world’s top stories. Having been honored with every major professional recognition, he is likely best known from his post as anchor and managing editor of ABC News’ “Nightline” for more than 25 years earning him the record for longest-serving news anchor in network history.
Koppel is from Lancashire, England, but came to America at age 13 when his family relocated to the United States.
While the Koppel speaker’s event is sold out, organizers wanted the community to know about the donation and to raise awareness about the Evy Lipp People of the Book event.
“The Evy Lipp People of the Book event is a cultural event of the Federation and is also a membership event of the Jewish Federation of Collier County, established eight years ago, to thank our members for their support and a patron dinner will be held with Mr. Koppel at an exclusive country club in the community prior to the event,” said Federation Executive Director David Willens.
Evy Lipp’s event is aligned with the Jewish Federation of Collier County’s mission statement which includes enhancing and enriching the quality of Jewish life in Collier County, strengthen Jewish identity and continuity and maximize the involvement of Jews in communal life among other ideals.
“You do not have to be Jewish in order to be a member of the Federation and many non-Jews are attending, including sponsors, who all have ‘membership’ with the Jewish Federation, and made a reservation to attend this special event, in support of all of the activities of the Jewish Federation of Collier County,” Willens said.