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Miami Lighthouse Awardees included the Rotary and Lions Clubs of Miami, Health Foundation of South Florida, Preston Prevatt of Shutts & Bowen, inventor Ted Henter, artist Jose Feliciano, and Dr. Carmen Puliafito of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Cindy and Jim Lockhart with Susan Kelley and Dr. William Roy, chairman-elect of the Miami Lighthouse board.

Philanthropist Gloria Martin, who recently donated more than $1 million to the Miami Lighthouse, with Virginia Jacko and ball chair, Jackie Cabrera.

Miami Lighthouse’s Jubilee Glitters with
Memories of Bygone Days and
Jose Feliciano’s Performance

Recalling the tropical splendor of Miami in the 1930s, the Diamond Jubilee Gala of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired held recently at the Biltmore Hotel captivated attendees. Close to 400 guests enjoyed the magical evening and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the agency.

Mistress of Ceremonies Judge Marilyn Milián of The People’s Court and Grammy Award-winning artist José Feliciano delighted the crowd with a combination of music, moxie, and name-dropping. Mr. Feliciano, a longtime supporter and advocate of the Lighthouse, performed a 45-minute cabaret-style program. He also thanked the organization profusely for translating his lyrics to Braille for many years.

“Our key sponsors, Mellon Financial Corporation and BlueCross BlueShield, helped our extraordinarily hard-working chairs Alvaro and Jacqueline Cabrera and the gala committee create a wonderful evening,” said Lighthouse CEO Virginia Jacko. “It was a fitting celebration of the hope and independence that the Lighthouse has contributed to this community for 75 years.”

The decor featured a dramatic black, silver and white color scheme. Column lighting, silver garlands and crystalline faceted pendants added a moonlit effect. Iridescent fabrics, black organza and white flower arrangements added to the celebratory mood.

The Miami Lighthouse, the oldest agency serving the blind in the state and one of the oldest non-profits in Miami-Dade, also recognized Shutts & Bowen and the Miami Rotary and Lions Clubs for 75 years of support, as members of all three have been continuously active in the Lighthouse since its founding. Inventor Ted Hentor was recognized for masterminding the JAWS for Windows software that reads computer screens aloud.

Health Foundation of South Florida, whose grants to the agency total in excess of $2 million, was lauded for being the Lighthouse’s single largest contributor while Bascom Palmer Eye Institute was honored for its collaboration on health programs.

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is recognized as one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive social support, rehabilitation services and training to blind people of all ages, giving them hope, confidence and independence. Since its founding in 1931, Miami Lighthouse has provided these services and many innovative programs at no cost through the generosity of its supporters.

Humberto and Mary González with Ana and Ramón Oyarzún.

Dr. Stanley and Joan Worton with Ruth and Dr. Steve Marcus of the Health Foundation of South Florida.

Artist Marci Ziv with her husband, Jay Ziv.

Second generation board member Peter Harrison with Dr. Carmen Puliafito, representing the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Dr. Omar Pasalodos of the Health Foundation of South Florida with wife Cindy.

Dr. Julie Jacko, Francois Sainfort and Suellyn Sorensen.

Seidel Cabrera, with Juan and Sonia Delgado.

Carolyn and Wendell Beard with Phillis Oeters of Baptist Health.

Marcia and Dr. Henry Trattler with Jill and Dr. Billy Trattler.

Lighthouse board member Lynn Summers with Horacio Stuart Aguirre.

Mellon's Glenn Huber and Carlos Halley with wives Jay Huber and Maité Halley. Mellon was the evening's Presenting Sponsor.

Robin Reiter-Faragalli with Frank Faragalli, Jr.

Dr. John and Robyn Cassel with Diane and Gary Eidelstein

World-renowned music producer Henry Stone with wife Inez. Mr. Stone is a client of the Lighthouse, and now volunteers as musical coach and producer for the agency's music production and engineering program.

Helga Fernández with her husband Joe Fernández of presenting sponsor, Mellon.