Despite the unpredictable Colorado weather, we sure did CELEBRATE!

Let’s start out by stating the obvious: Due to the wintry weather bestowed upon us last Tuesday, October 29, we were forced to cancel our 2019 JCC Annual Celebration.

Sort of a bummer, right? Initially, that’s what we thought! Our staff had spent several months preparing for this festive night, whether it was booking the venue, hiring the caterers, designing signage, sending out invitations, or simply spreading the word, every member of this community had worked their tuckus off to prepare for this celebratory evening. Most importantly, this much-anticipated event was intended to honor Gary Levine with the Robert E. Loup Hineni Award, and Brooke Jacobson Stern and Cassie Kirschbaum Weinstock with the Gerald S. Gray Service & Leadership Award. On top of that, we were looking to raise money for our JCC! We were ambitious, hopeful, dedicated––but most of all, we were EXCITED!

Unfortunately, the unexpected reared its mischievous little head and here we were canceling our beloved event at 10:00 am on the morning of October 29. We’d already accumulated 6+ inches of snow, temperatures were below freezing, and the storm was far from over. What choice did we have?

What we didn’t know at the time was the overwhelming amount of support we’d receive from our JCC Annual Celebration sponsors, donors, honorees, staff, and ultimately, our community. In record time, our J Denver team was able to organize a virtual paddle raise to help us raise money! To make things even better, our Annual Celebration Committee Co-Chair, Peter Kudla, announced a $100,000 match to all gifts received within 24 hours. With great humility, we are thankful to announce that we hit that match and ultimately raised $950,000 (so far) through our virtual paddle raise! In addition to the overwhelming amount of support we received, we were also able to have a TON of fun having our “dinner” in the snow (see video below for reference).