On June 1, 2018 the Jewish Family Service of Houston, the leading non-profit social service agency providing light, hope and help to individuals struggling with life challenges from all walks of life, brought in a record-breaking amount, nearly $1,700,000, through its 105th Anniversary Celebration last night, May 31, more than double the amount it’s ever raised in a single fundraising event. Chaired by Sandi & Steven Wolf and Rori & Jason Feldman, the event was not only a fundraising success, but exceeded attendance goals, as well, with over 800 Houstonians in attendance.
The anniversary celebration, themed “Grow the Family Tree,” was held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel and included a fantastic program. Guests were treated to two unique performances by iLuminate from America’s Got Talent while enjoying a seated dinner and delectable desserts from Three Brothers Bakery. The event also featured a live auction, that raised over $300,000 alone for the organization, a silent auction and a raffle where one guest walked away with an Alfa Romeo Stelvio car thanks to a generous donation from event sponsor, Helfman Motors.
The event’s program ended with a remarkable surprise, when Sue and Lester Smith took the stage along with the organization’s CEO, Linda Burger, and event chairs, presenting the organization with a $300,000 check to help surpass its original $1,000,000 fundraising goal. The event’s chairs, Sandi & Steven Wolf, who invited their friends, the Smiths, to enjoy the event as guests at their table, were thrilled with the special tribute in their honor.
The funds raised from the 105th Anniversary Celebration support Jewish Family Service’s programming and services that touch the lives of over 18,000 individuals in southwest Houston each year, an area particularly hard hit by five floods in the past three years, and which JFS, a United Way agency open to all, consistently answered the call to help. The organization helps people reach their full potential by providing counseling for children, adolescents, couples and families; senior adult services and community outreach for seniors; disability services and employment services; financial literacy and assistance; specialized assistance for Holocaust survivors; suicide and substance misuse education and prevention; domestic abuse education and prevention; and hospitalized patient visits through Jewish Chaplaincy services; all of which are supported by a committed staff of 63 individuals and a growing network of over 500 volunteers annually.