Recently at the Lutheran Social Services of New York 13th Annual Award Celebration, the Bethlehem Fund announced its generous support of $1.8M to the programs and services of LSSNY. Chris Jones and Emma Porter of the Bethlehem Fund made the surprise announcement of the fund’s new financial commitment at the annual LSSNY gala held at New York Athletic Club on April 23, 2018.

The sold-out event, with over 300 guests in attendance, was emceed by Cathy Hobbs, five-time Emmy award-winning television personality and host, followed by an invocation by Bishop David Benke, Former President of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The most successful fundraising event in the more than 130-year history of Lutheran Social Services of New York honored Ms. Marlene Lund and Mrs. Roxanne Oellrich for their dedication and service. Passionate about Christian education and committed to the principle that every child has a right to an excellent education, Ms. Marlene Lund received the Servant Leadership Award. LSSNY recognized Ms. Lund for her leadership as Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education Ministries, and for more than 45 years of dedication to Lutheran ministry having served as a teacher, counselor, principal and Director of Lutheran Schools Association.

A tireless advocate for children and families locally and abroad, Mrs. Roxanne Oellrich received the Honorable Daniel W. Joy Dedicated Service Award for her unwavering service to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Garden City, NY, its church plant; The LIFE Lutheran Church, Old Westbury, NY; and Lutheran Social Services of New York’s New LIFE Center in Uniondale, NY.  LSSNY also recognized Mrs. Oellrich’s exemplary work in empowering women, communities and families, including ministering to the people of Haiti via “Chances4Children,” and children without families around the world through “Both Ends Believing.”

“We welcome and are grateful for the generous contribution from the Bethlehem Fund, which helps us continue to serve 7,000 of our neighbors with the care and dignity they deserve, said Damyn Kelly, President and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of New York. “We are also grateful for the work of both Marlene Lund and Roxanne Oellrich, who have dedicated their lives to helping those less fortunate, particularly women and children in need,” said Kelly. “They continue to serve as an example of Christ’s love in action and are an inspiration to countless of individuals.”

Founded in 1886, Lutheran Social Services of New York is a nonprofit social service organization devoted to strengthening lives, families and communities. Lutheran Social Services of New York has developed a wide range of educational and community programs to assist people across New York to reach their full potential. To learn more about their programs, visit