By Bob Charendoff.
On Sunday, April 14 at the Out of the Cold Volunteers’ Appreciation Brunch, a tribute was held for Bob Smolkin. Following is what was said during the presentation of a plaque to his wife Sheila in his honour.
This past January, as most if not all of you know, we very suddenly and very sadly lost a dear friend. We would be remiss to not pay tribute to that friend, considered by many to be the soul of HBT’s Out of the Cold. Bob Smolkin was an early Chair of the program… but when his tenure as Chair ended, he never left. Like so many of us, it was in his blood – part of his being. So he continued to play an active role.
Bob’s dedication was unsurpassed. His boundless commitment to the program, and to our guests was second to none. As Emily (Rayson, OOTC Volunteer Coordinator) put it: Bob was the epitome of a humanitarian. He never had to tell us that the homeless deserved to be treated with respect and dignity because his actions said it all. He truly will be missed.
Today Bob would have been 70 years old… so you’ll forgive Sheila for being particularly emotional, but very apropos that we honour him this morning. Sheila also indicated to me some weeks ago that, as she will soon be sorting through his belongings, she will be donating items of his clothing for distribution to our guests. Again, how appropriate… and I’m sure Bob would absolutely want it no other way.
On behalf of all of us at OOTC, we want to present this plaque in Bob’s memory. We are so thrilled to have Sheila here with her family… Sheila, if you would please come up and accept this… and we hope you’ll find a prominent place for it in your home.
In Honour and Appreciation
Holy Blossom Temple Out of the Cold
for his leadership, tireless dedication and deep compassion for those in need,
and for his ever-present respect, kindness, and wisdom.
May Bob’s memory and shining example continue as an enduring blessing for his family and for our congregation.