By COLlive reporter
A group of students of Oholei Torah school in Crown Heights has succeeded in raising $60,000 to fund a project in memory of their friend who recently passed away.
The Shiur Gimmel class of Oholei Torah Mesivta resolved to purchase and dedicate a Mitzvah Tank in the memory of their friend, Shmuel Karnowsky obm, who passed away this summer at the age of 15.
Spearheaded by their classmate Rafi Brusowankin, a group of bochurim worked tirelessly for the duration of the 48-hour campaign, making phone calls and rallying friends, family and acquaintances to donate towards the cost of the mobile home, which will be used to spread the light of Torah and Mitzvos to thousands.
The new Mitzvah Tank will be ready around Pesach time, the boys told COLlive, but the class Chanukah Mivtzoim, to be done with a rental mobile home, will be dedicated in Shmuel’s memory as well.
Late Tuesday, with 6 hours to go, the campaign reached the goal of $60K, but donations kept coming in until the 48 hours ran out.
As the timer on the campaign page hit zero, the total amount raised was $63,382.64, donated by 845 people.
Rivka Karnowsky, Shmuel’s mother, expressed how grateful she is to her son’s classmates for their efforts to create a memorial for her son, especially one which will bring light to so many, and which personifies her son’s giving, loving and warm nature. She said she is amazed that a group of young boys achieved this all by themselves.
“The boys worked tirelessly night and day to get this done,” she told COLlive. “I am so proud of them! It’s amazing that they have pulled this off by gathering individual donations, without any major funding matchers,” she said.
Mrs. Karnowsky noted that it is especially significant that the campaign was done this week, the week of Parshas Chayei Sara.
“Parshas Chayei Sara refers to the eternal influence of Sara Imeinu,” Mrs. Karnowsky said. “Through this campaign, and ultimately through the Mitzvah Tank, Shmuel’s spiritual influence lasts and stays alive in the hearts of our community and the world at large.”
The bochurim who organized the campaign thanked all the donors from around the world who made it a success.
“I would like to thank the community for such an amazing response. We had over 850 donors! Thank you for helping us ensure that our friend will live on with us, and in his merit, Mitzvos and good deeds will spread across New York City,” Rafi Brusowankin said.
“We would also like to thank Oholei Torah for showing amazing support, including our Principal Rabbi Moshe Silman, our Rebbes, Rabbi Nosson Blumes and Rabbi Mendel Duchman.
“Also thanks to Kehos Herz and Shua Wuensch for working tirelessly on the fundraising, Mendel Laine and Sroly Goldstein for running the campaign alongside me, and all of the fundraisers, especially Ari Karnowsky,” he said.
VIDEO: Campaign reaches $60K
VIDEO: Ari Karnowsky wins headphones for the top fundraiser prize