Monday, December 19, 2011

JFCS Gala - Le Grand Cabaret

Jewish Family & Children's Service's Gala, Le Grand Cabaret, was certainly a grand evening!  From the beautiful people, to the luscious sounds of the Sarasota Orchestra, to the vivacious singing of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, to the elegant Ritz Carlton setting, everything was superb.  With a sold-out crowd of over 500 - all at the Patron or above level - before any invitations even went out, co-chairs Judy Cahn and Marie Monsky can be proud of their accomplishment.

Dirk Meyer, Associate Conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra did a marvelous job of not only conducting, but also of connecting with the audience with his witty repartee.  (By the way, his wife Jennifer looked stunning.  I have never seen her look so beautiful.)  How fortunate we are that Bea Friedman underwrites the orchestra's performance every year.  Speaking of Miss Bea, I didn't get her photo because I couldn't get close enough!  She was always surrounded by so many people trying to get an audience with her.  That's what happens when you are one of the town's biggest philanthropists!

I have seen the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe perform at numerous events this season and their performances never get old - in fact, I think they keep getting better and better.  Nate Jacobs, Artistic Director, has put together a terrific group.  They were divine.  Especially Chris Eisenberg, whose mother, Josephine, is now on staff at JFCS. 

The JFCS agency video made its debut at the gala.  JFCS does so much good for our entire community, not only the Jewish community.  They have served almost 22,000 clients in the past year alone.  The stories told of the people they have helped were quite amazing and brought tears to my eyes.  I must say, several videos at different organizations' events this year have been really well done. 

One of the ways guests could help immediately, was to buy the Boxes of Hope centerpieces, which were filled with toys and gifts for 53 families served by the Building Strong Families Homelessness Prevention Program.  What a fabulous idea for centerpieces!

Lots of Sarasota swells attended.  In addition to those photographed below or already mentioned, others attending were Nate Benderson and Anne Virag, Ilene Friedman, Alisa and Ernest Kretzmer, Betty Schoenbaum, Teri Hansen and Steve Wilberding, Sydney and Jerome Goldstein, Florence Katz, Steve Miles, Lynn and Dr. Arthur Guilford, Doris Kaplan, Diana Lager, Fran and David Lambert, Renee Sheade, Barbara Zdravecky, Greg Band, Gary and Kathy Heard and JFCS VP of Development, Andria Bilan.   

Co-chair Marie and Donald Monsky

Co-chair Judy Cahn and Scott Anderson

JFCS President and CEO Rose Chapman

Flora Major and Vivian Kouvant 

Dottie and Bob Garner

Alan and Vivienne Smith

Mickey Fine, Arnold Hoffman, and Marsha Panuce

Paula Leu and Nicci Kobritz

Sally Yanowitz, Peggy Abt, and Lois Stulberg

Marjorie North, Skip and Gail Sacks

Dr. Cucho and Melba Jimenez

Elaine Margolis, Judy Cuppy, and Noel Sams

David Band and Christine Jennings

Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Grace Carlson

Martha Honey, Donald Monsky, and Bob Dudley

Bill and Audrey Coleman

Marie Wirries and Jewel Ash

Marty and Rabbi Jonathan Katz

Tom and Marjorie Peter, Marv Albert and Gerri Aaron

Lisa Walsh and Molly Schechter

Malcolm Candlish and Judy Cahn

Lee Levine, Ron Good, and Hannah Honeyman

Dr. Arthur Ancowitz and Ina Schnell

Ian Webb and Margaret Barbieri

Joseph Gianguzzo and Brian Lipton

Christine and Bruce Cassidy, Jr.

Phil King, Julie Milton, and Dennis Stover

Rev. Jim and Nikki Nilon

Susan Burns and Larry Eger

Jocelyn Stevens and Roxie Jerde

Wendy and Jerry Finestein and Veronica Brady

Patricia Caswell and Margaret Callihan

Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy

Joan Lyon and Sue Jacobson

George Allison and Flori Roberts

Leigh and Dr. Michael Gordon

The centerpiece

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