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Society / The Seen

Record $1.7 Million Raised in One Celebratory Houston Night

Jewish Family Services' Lauded Mental Health Programs Get the Spotlight

BY // 06.07.19
photography Daniel Ortiz

What: Jewish Family Services (JFS) Houston 106th anniversary JFS LiVE! gala

Where: Westin Galleria Hotel

PC Moment: Applause, applause for chairs Sue and Greg Lewis and Silvia and Todd Riff who led “The Art of Celebration” themed gala to a most colorful and exceptional record-breaking success with $1.7 million raised in support of JFS Houston’s community programing and services.

The ballroom virtually exploded in swaths of colorful decor and artwork. “Paintings” came to life. Paintjam’s Dan Dunn completed a painting in record time. And a life-sized recreation of the JFS’s Celebration Company bus provided selfie inspiration.

The exuberance of support was most powerfully witnessed with the “paddles up” program that alone raised more than $400,000 for the organization’s nationally recognized mental health program, which focuses on education related to substance abuse and suicide prevention.

JFS client stories brought home the significance of the nonprofit’s work with testimonials from a five time flood victim who received financial support after Hurricane Harvey, from a young professional with hearing loss who received support and case management, from a family receiving rent support when one of the members lost her job and other impactful stories.

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The evening honored Ellen and Steve Robinson with the evening’s prestigious Joan Alexander Chesed Award for their long-time support and hours of volunteering with JFS.

PC Seen: Mayor Sylvester Turner, JFS board president Joy Kaplan and Joe Kaplan, Joan Alexander, Julie and Drew Alexander, Carl Josehart and Sam Jacobson, Esther Freedman, Caroline Rosen Funk, Stacy Soefer Gomar and Luis Gomar, Steven and Sandy Helfman Wolf, Karen and Jay Harberg, Alan Helfman, and Chris Kase.

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