Brooklynites were encouraged to be proud at the 5th anniversary celebration of the Be Proud Foundation at Borough Hall.
BPF primarily serves the borough's Russian community, but aims to help a wide variety of people, including young children, veterans and current servicemen, and grandmothers who participate in its annual “Your Highness Grandmother” contest.
The celebration was a chance for the organization to recognize community leaders which it feels also share a similar mission of peace and acceptance, including Borough President Marty Markowitz, Senator Martin Golden, Councilmembers Dominic Recchia and Michael Nelson, and WABC's “Good Morning America” news correspondent Bianna Golodryga, a Russian immigrant, among others.
The highlight of the ceremony came when the foundation awarded funds to two young Brooklynites overcoming their own struggles with illness – 7-year-old Rachel Rodin, who has leukemia, and 1-year-old Jack Rubin, who has Langerhans' Cell Histiocytosis, which is treated similarly to leukemia.
At the ceremony, Courier-Life Publications was among BPF's honorees in the media for its coverage of these two courageous children.