On February 24, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County (JFCS) held their 2nd virtual annual fundraiser. The event, Trivia Night with JFCS, welcomed 525 guests to participate in a team trivia competition via Zoom. Bristol Myers Squibb was honored for their dedication to the mission of JFCS, and agency programs were highlighted with a special focus on mental health services.
“Last year, with our first virtual event, we were very impressed with the turnout,” said Michelle Napell, JFCS Executive Director. “We never could have imagined we’d welcome over 500 guests at our 2nd virtual event. The accessibility has proven a big draw to our local community members.”
The event, JFCS’ single largest annual fundraiser and significant source of unrestricted funds, raised over $211,000 through sponsorships, tickets sales and a live Text-to-Give appeal during the event. Two private donors agreed to match the first $10,000 raised for Text-to-Give; along with donations from guests, the total amount raised for the live appeal was $27,522.
“In recent years, we have continued to increase our Text-to-Give goals. With over 500 guests this year, we knew we could raise significant funds,” says Napell. “It was humbling to see the level of support, especially from so many guests who were unfamiliar with our agency until that night. The benefit of the virtual event was being able to welcome our community members’ friends and family from across the country.”
Guests were able to join from anywhere and participants tuned in from across New Jersey as well as across the country, from California, to Florida, to Massachusetts and more. Attendees were able to create their own teams which allowed family and friends to connect whether they gathered together in person or over Zoom from different locations.
“While we had hoped this year’s event might bring us all together, it was amazing to see so many people supporting JFCS. It was fun to see so many Zoom rooms filled with lots of people who were able to be together, I was able to gather with 25 friends at our local synagogue as we broke into multiple teams to compete in the trivia event,” added Scott Sussman, JFCS Board Vice President and Event Chair.
Funds raised from the event will support all agency programs, several of which have grown with demand in the past two challenging years. JFCS maintains a counseling department which is seeing rising demand as everyone navigates the next stage of the pandemic, particularly youth who are experiencing ongoing emotional stress.
Additionally, JFCS maintains several food relief programs including an on-site food pantry, available 5 days/week, two Mobile Food Pantry vehicles that bring the pantry directly into areas of greater Mercer County with the greatest obstacles to accessing available resources, as well as meal and grocery delivery to homebound seniors.
JFCS also boasts a senior service department which provides geriatric care management available to the broader community. Seniors have continued to rely on the support of the JFCS senior service team throughout the past year for resources, information, and the comfort and understanding of our staff.
“Our agency has successfully navigated the past two of challenges thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate supporters; however, we have learned that to be prepared for anything, our agency needs to remain adaptable to any challenge, and to do so, we will continue to rely on the incredible support of this community. The success of this event helps us continue to move forward, together,” said Napell.
JFCS thanks all event sponsors including Champion Sponsors Abrams Foundation/Nati Kushner; Bristol Myers Squibb, Personal Home Care of New Jersey, Roundview Capital, Dina & Michael Shaw, Elaine & Barry Sussman, and Troutman Pepper; Patron Sponsors Access Property Management, Matt & Holli Elias, Homewatch Caregivers, JZA+D, Lennar, Mercer Bucks Pickleball Club, and the Schwalbe Family; Partner Sponsors; Partner Sponsors The Gershen Group LLC, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, Newman Paperboard, NJM Insurance, and Stark & Stark; and Supporter Sposnors Dundon Advisers LLC, Faegre Drinker, First Bank, the Gordon Family, Hill Wallack LLP, Jill & Gregg Jaclin, Mercadien, Northfield Bank, Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Sheryl & Joseph Punia, Heidi & Marc Shegoski, Szaferman Lakind, Stacey Wasserman & Ian Zimmerman and Audrey & Marc Wisotsky.