JFCS celebrates 25 years

 

JFCS celebrates 25 years

 

Date: February 3, 2011
by: Maria Amodio | Staff Writer

 
 

Many are suffering from depression or abuse, others are facing unemployment, and some are struggling to provide for their families. They simply cannot do it alone, and that is when they turn to Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Sarsasota-Manatee.

Since 1986, JFCS has helped individuals overcome life’s challenges through counseling, education, intervention and outreach programs.

This year marks the agency’s 25th anniversary and a major milestone in its mission of empowering the community. What started out as a small, two-room office with only two programs and a handful of staff members has become a $4 million agency that touches the lives of 30,000 people each year. JFCS now has 26 programs and 450 volunteers, with a 14,000-square-foot main campus and 16 satellite locations throughout Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.

“The agency is constantly growing and evolving,” says JFCS CEO Rose Chapman.

JFCS kicked off its silver anniversary with its annual Grace Rosen Magill luncheon, which focused on the importance of raising charitable children, in October. In December, the organization held its 25th anniversary gala, and Feb. 28, it will honor 25 outstanding women in the community at the Women of Valor Luncheon.

“Following our theme of hope and healing came the idea of honoring the people who follow our mission and embrace the ideals of volunteerism, philanthropy and community involvement,” says Marie Monsky, chairwoman of the board of directors.

One of the honorees is Marilyn Harwell, who served two terms on the JFCS Board of Directors and is also involved with other area non-profits, including the Selby Foundation Scholarship Panel, the Sarasota County Human Services Advisory Board and Forum Truth for Change.

“I am part of a wonderful group of women,” said Harwell of being named an honoree. “It’s sort of like the Oscars, where you feel honored just to be among your peers, who are so marvelous.”

WOMEN OF VALOR
• Jewel Ash
• Lee Berkowitz
• Carol Poteat Buchanan
• Margaret Callihan
• Audrey Coleman
• Bea Friedman
• Carol B. Green
• Marilyn Harwell
• Dr. Mona Jain
• Florence Katz
• Lee Levine
• Gwen MacKenzie
• Helen McBean
• Diane McFarlin
• Graci McGillicuddy
• Carolyn Michel
• Nikki Nilon
• Nora Patterson
• Lee Peterson
• Flori Roberts
• Mary Ann
Robinson
• Carol Siegler
• Barbara Siemer
• Lisa Walsh
• Sally Yanowitz

IF YOU GO
What: Women of Valor Luncheon
When: Monday Feb. 28
Where: Michael’s On East, 1212 S. East Ave.
Tickets: Tickets are $75, and limited seating is available. Call 366-2224, Ext. 138, or e-mail abilan@jfcs-cares.org.

Contact Maria Amodio at mamodio@yourobserver.com

 

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