R Baby Heroes

Marcel Herbst

R Baby Honors Inspiring and Dedicated Volunteers Who Are Helping Us Save Babies' Lives

Andrew and I will never forget first meeting Marcel. We were in a van on the way to a dinner at a hedge fund conference, when a refreshingly upbeat, friendly conference participant started chatting with us about 20 different, interesting topics within minutes. By the end of the 15-minute van ride, we knew for sure that Marcel was a well-rounded, intelligent, witty person. We knew that his kind and genuine demeanor ensured that he meant what he said and did what he meant. As our conversations continued after this first night, we both knew he would be a great addition to R Baby Foundation.

During our conversation, we shared our story with him. We discovered that Marcel has a similarly harrowing tale in his past. Before our ride was over, he committed “on the spot” to helping us in any way that he could. And that is exactly what he has done ever since! He immediately and effectively started connecting us to other philanthropic sources, donors, many business contacts, and volunteers. As a truly kindred spirit to our cause, he set out to help in any way he could so that other families could benefit from improved healthcare for infants.

Gratefully, he agreed to join our Executive Board. He gave, and continues to give, valuable advice at every meeting and whenever we need it. Marcel not only comes up with strategic ideas throughout the year, he is also willing to roll up his sleeves and do the work to make it happen. A great example of this was in 2010 when Marcel decided to throw a holiday party in honor of R Baby. The “Jingle Ball 2010” brought hundreds of new and current R Baby supporters together, and created many advocates and long term relationships. As the driving force, he sought to push the event through efficiently and effectively. And that he did! The event was sold-out with more than 500 people gathered to support us, raising a significant sum. A testament to Marcel’s value to our organization is that event happened less than 10 days after he brought up the idea.

More recently, in 2012, he was one of our event chairs for R Baby’s 5 Year Anniversary Gala at the Plaza Hotel, and he supported it with dozens of participants and many unique auction items and sponsorships. His wife Ilona also committed her passion and energy to the cause and invited many participants, while his son Nate asked his teacher to do a mail-shot throughout the Greenwich school system.

Currently, Marcel is helping us mentor a new Swiss baby charity, Foundation Marisa Sophie showing again how willing he is to put his expertise and amazing hard work toward our cause when unique opportunities present themselves.

Promoting R Baby is never far from his mind as he meets new people, and he quickly converts them to support our cause. Marcel is a generous, self-less person, a valuable, productive Board Member, and we are honored to call him our friend.

— Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz