[St. Petersburg, FL – 1 May 2023] – 78 years after surviving three concentration camps and a death march, Helen Kahan will celebrate her 100th birthday by throwing out the first pitch at Tropicana Field as the Tampa Bay Rays host the rival New York Yankees.
Friday, May 5 is The Florida Holocaust Museum’s annual Rays Up! campaign, with ticket proceeds benefiting the Museum. This year’s event honors Ms. Kahan, who has generously and passionately shared her incredible life story with generations of Museum visitors. At the game, the Rays Baseball Foundation will present the Florida Holocaust Museum with a $10,000 partnership grant.
“I never could have imagined celebrating a birthday like this, let alone my 100th!” said Kahan. “I’m so grateful that I am here to tell my story and help the world remember why kindness and empathy are so important for us all.”
Born as Hani Sabo in 1923 in Rozavlea, Romania, Helen remembers a happy childhood. As a young adult, she moved to Budapest to work as a seamstress, returning to her family in 1944 when Nazis occupied Hungary. There, she was forced into a ghetto before being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, then Bergen-Belsen and Lippstadt.
As the end of the war approached, Helen escaped from a death march before being liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945. In 1967, Helen fulfilled a lifelong dream when she and her family immigrated to the United States. She now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida and has volunteered at the Museum for decades.
“As we wish her a happy 100th, Helen’s remarkable story remains a stunning example of strength and courage for us all,” said Museum President & CEO Carl Goodman. “Her willingness to share that story with generations of learners, most recently through Dimensions in Testimony, ensures that the power of her example will continue to endure and inspire.”
A national project of the USC Shoah Foundation, Dimensions in Testimony combines extensive survivor interviews with advanced live language analysis that allows viewers to ask questions of survivors in real time.
For more information on the Florida Holocaust Museum, please visit https://www.thefhm.org/. To purchase tickets for the game, please contact our Museum shop at (727) 820-0100 x226 or email Welcometeam@TheFHM.org.
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
One of the largest Holocaust Museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of men, women, and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org