And Charity for All
The jewelry industry has always been a generous lot, but its still staggering to report that Jewelers for Children, the charity formerly known as the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children, raised almost $4 million for its various causes this year. The big sum was announced at the charitys annual dinner during the JCK Show-Las Vegas. JFC Chairman Terry Burman, CEO of Sterling Jewelers, says the annual event grew in attendance for the sixth consecutive year while contributing a record sum to benefit children in need around the world.
The dinner also honored Edward A. Dayoob of Fred Meyer Jewelers, Portland, OR, and Susan Jacques of Borsheims Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Omaha, NE. A raffle featured 25 luxury watches donated by watchmakers from the JCK Shows Swiss Watch Gallery. An auction entertained bids for two Diamond Diva portraits, donated by New York City diamond brand Kwiat, from a series on legendary film stars by artist Vik Muniz. Each portrait contains 500 carats of diamonds (an additional portrait was auctioned during the Couture Jewelry Collection and Conference, and those proceeds also went to JFC).
Since JFCs Facets of Hope campaign began six years ago, the charity has raised nearly $14 million to benefit children whose lives have been devastated by catastrophic illness or life-threatening abuse and neglect. JFC also has worked with De Beers to help children suffering from HIV/AIDS in Africa by creating clinics to help HIV-positive mothers and their babies.
In addition to the success of the annual Facets of Hope Dinner, the charity raises money year-round through a variety of special projects dependent on the support of jewelry trade organizations, multistore retailers, independent jewelers and manufacturers. Participants include the American Gem Society, Jewelers of America, the 24 Karat Club of Southern California, the Plumb Club of New York and jewelers who place fund-raising canisters in their stores. JFC also conducts a Hope for the Holidays program, which offers a charitable alternative to commercial holiday cards and gifts.
The charity has thrived despite challenging economic conditions due to the active and equal participation by every facet of our industry, says Burman. This professional diversity has been critical to the success that Jewelers for Children has experienced, and that spirit of collaboration is echoed by our governing board.
Programs to be funded by this years efforts include the Make-A-Wish Foundation,® Make-A-Wish International® (India), the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital® and the National CASA Association, a national network of trained volunteers who represent abused and neglected children.
Bravo to all who helped make this years drive a success, and special thanks to Pattie Light, who also announced at the show she is retiring. Light has been a tireless ambassador for the charity, traveling constantly to jewelers events to oversee auctions and fund-raisers. She has earned a well-deserved rest.
If youre not yet involved in raising money for JFC and would like to become a participant or tie your charity efforts to JFCs goals, call (561) 744-3222 or go to www.jewelersforchildren.org.
Peggy Jo Donahue