A Miracle of Chanukah – JAFCO Raises Record Breaking $200,000

The story of Chanukah reminds those who celebrate that miracles do exist. So, it was no surprise that the JAFCO Chanukah Miracles Luncheon proved the theory once again when they raised a record breaking $200,000 to fulfill holiday wishes for children at their annual holiday celebration luncheon.

An unprecedented 475 guests attended the Aventura/North Miami Dade JAFCO chapter luncheon at Turnberry Isle Miami in Aventura before the holidays. The luncheon featured a shopping boutique, models showcasing designer fashions from Jessie Boutique and a silent auction, as well as Channel 10’s Lisa Petrillo who was the emcee.

The luncheon honored Barbara Amoils, a long-time JAFCO supporter who has spent many years as co-chair of the event and is currently the Chapter President.

During the luncheon program, JAFCO Alumni Becky Saka got behind the podium to speak about her life and how it changed since she came to JAFCO. Becky spent most of her teen years growing up in the Children’s Village. She spoke about her many milestones including learning to drive, dating, going to Israel and discovering her love for acting.

“JAFCO gave me the opportunity to be a kid again,” said Becky. “They gave me the chance to focus on me and discover my hopes and dreams, as opposed to worrying about my younger siblings and being a parent to them.”

The luncheon program also included the Godparent pinning ceremony to acknowledge 17 new members of the Godparent Circle, a group of donors who pledge to spiritually adopt all the children JAFCO serves in its group home, emergency shelter, family preservation and developmental disability programs.

“It’s amazing to see such an outpouring of love from the community,” said Sarah Franco, JAFCO Executive Director. “The Aventura/North Miami chapter has grown so much over the years. The generosity expressed by the chapter at the Chanukah Miracles Luncheon always puts smiles on the faces of our precious children during the holidays. That is a priceless gift.”

Becky’s story brought an outpouring of support from the community who brought along Target, Best Buy and Visa gift cards to help fulfill the holiday wishes of the 500 children JAFCO serves.

JAFCO is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization established in 1992 to provide services to abused and neglected children and those with developmental disabilities in South Florida. For more information about JAFCO or the Chanukah Miracles Luncheon, please contact JAFCO Director of Development Operations Shelli Gold at 954-315-8671 or email shelli@jafco.org.

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