JA instituted a program in 2003, in which members could donate to JFC by checking off an additional box when they renewed their annual memberships. The check-off program is voluntary, and members are encouraged to contribute any amount.
“We’re proud of our members for reaching this milestone,” says Matthew A. Runci, JA president and chief executive officer. “Their individual dedication to Jewelers For Children speaks of jewelers’ natural generosity. Most jewelers are already committed to their local charities, yet they also recognize that the causes for which JFC works so diligently are still worthy of their support.”
JFC was founded in 1999 by the U.S. jewelry industry with the mission of helping children in need. Since its inception, the organization has donated nearly $28 million to programs benefiting children whose lives have been affected by illness, abuse, or neglect through charity partners St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the National CASA Association.
JFC also provides support to the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, the Jason Program, the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, Autism Speaks and the Santa-America Fund.
The voluntary donations of Jewelers of America members are significant, because JFC’s success is widely attributed to the continuing generosity of jewelry trade organizations, jewelry and watch manufacturing companies, jewelry retail stores, individual jewelry professionals and jewelry consumers.
JFC’s fundraising effort for 2008 officially began in January. Allen Brill, president and CEO of Rolex Watch USA, and Peter M. Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, Inc., have taken on the responsibility for assisting JFC in raising funds to benefit children who are the victims of catastrophic illness or life-threatening abuse and neglect.
They will be honored at JFC’s annual Facets of Hope dinner on Sunday, June 1, 2008, at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, during the Las Vegas Show Las Vegas 2008. For ticket information or to make a donation to Jewelers For Children, go to www.jewelersforchildren.org, or call 212-687-2949.