Look what we did together!

On November 8, we were able to host a spectacularly re-imagined JCC Annual Dinner and Celebration with equally spectacular company. This fun-filled soiree included surprise drum lines, s’mores, and our very own Linda Marshall playing the piano (who knew?)! Most importantly, however, it included selfless donors and community members who continue to make the J’s mission possible year after year.

As soon as the clock hit 5:00 pm, the Annual Dinner and Celebration had begun as hundreds of guests showed up to honor the 34 transformation donors who funded the historical transaction back in June. These special donors, our honorees for evening, stepped up and led our community through a transitional time and we felt that this sort of event was the least we could do to commemorate their transformational giving.

In order to create a celebratory atmosphere, our Development Team, headed by Linda Haley, implemented new, party-like elements throughout the Annual Dinner. These elements included program-based activities (health screenings, virtual reality stations, and camp memory circles), a two-hour cocktail hour (!!!), and specialized appetizers for each represented department. In other words, the traditional Dinner received a rejuvenating makeover that both enhanced and maintained the beautiful energy of this yearly event.

To show our appreciation to those who helped fund the historical transaction, all 34 benefactors were honored throughout the night via visual representation and highlights of the sentimental reasons why they decided to step up at this pivotal moment in the J’s history.

After two hours of schmoozing, playing pop-a-shot, and dining on delicious food, a fabulous drum line (thank you, Montbello High School) played their way through the crowd. This lively group of talented musicians led our attendees to the Aspen Ballroom to honor and recognize our Robert E. Loup Hineni Award recipients (the transformational donors) and Gary Wagner, the recipient of the Gerald S. Gray Service and Leadership Award.

We’d like to say that we made it out of the Aspen Ballroom without shedding a few tears but…that’d be a lie. Each and every speaker spoke to the tremendous legacy of those who gifted before them, and those who continue to make the J a special place for our community.

The best part about the evening? Together, we raised over $787,000 that will go directly to support our JCC and the spectacular programs we share with the community. Isn’t that incredible?

Words don’t seem adequate to express our gratitude for our donors’ amazing generosity and inspired participation in the 2018 JCC Annual Dinner and Celebration. The energy in each room was exceptional––the flow of love between our JCC family members was palpable. The chance to offer thanks to those who helped save our J AND to be asked by those whose lives have been touched by it offered us all a wonderful reminder that, at the JCC, community is the thing. It’s what bonds us together. It’s what lifts us up. It’s what makes us grateful––and we are grateful for each of you.


Thank you to those who attended our 2018 JCC Annual Dinner and Celebration. We had a glorious night to remember and we couldn’t have done it without YOU.