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Sarah Martinez-Helfman to step down from Eagles charity

Longtime executive director of the Eagles Youth Partnership is leaving for post at the Fels Fund.

SARAH Martinez-Helfman, the longtime executive director of the Eagles Youth Partnership, will step down from her post to take over as president of the Samuel S. Fels Fund, the Eagles announced yesterday.

Martinez-Helfman has been in charge of the Eagles charity since its inception in 1995. Among its programs for children in the Philadelphia area are the Eye Mobile, Book Mobile and annual playground building.

"There was nothing she wanted more than to see the smile of the child who could see better or the child who was able to play on a newly constructed playground," Eagles president Don Smolenski said in a statement. "We know she will continue her great work with the Samuel S. Fels Fund beginning this fall."

Martinez-Helfman, who will leave the Eagles at the end of August, will succeed outgoing president Helen Cunningham, who served for 23 years.

The Fels Fund offer grants and programs with the aim of lessening or resolving social problems in the city, including areas of the arts and humanities, education and community programs.

"I am deeply grateful for having had the privilege of serving children through such a powerful platform for social change, and to serve alongside such an extraordinary team of staff and partners," Helfman-Martinez said in the team statement. "Over the past 20 years, this organization has become like family to me, and I have grown immeasurably from this experience. The Eagles will forever be in my heart."