JFS Perspectives

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

15th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon Scored a Touchdown

15th Annual JFS Executive Luncheon Scored a Touchdown

Peyton Manning, football legend, entertained and inspired 800 business and professional leaders attending Jewish Family Service’s (JFS) sold-out 15th annual JFS Executive Luncheon held on April 3 at the Seawell Ballroom.

Mayor Hancock, Linda Foster, Governor PolisRepresentatives from our SHALOM Denver program served as “JFS Ambassadors” and warmly greeted guests as they arrived. Before the program, top-level sponsors attended a brief reception and photo op with Manning. Rabbi Rick Rheins, senior rabbi at Temple Sinai and JFS Board member, kicked off the program with a blessing. Governor Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock thanked JFS for being a valued community partner.

Event co-chairs Sam Zaitz and Vic Sulzer shared their gratitude to the sponsors, community partners, and event committee for making the event a success. JFS president and CEO Linda Foster thanked attendees and talked about the many ways JFS is meeting the needs of people in the community who are facing difficult life challenges.

Leanna, Teresa, Linda, and ScottTo demonstrate the immeasurable impact of Jewish Family Service on one person’s life, we showed a short video entitled “The Power of Potential.” Following the video, Board members Leanna Harris and Scott Stillman introduced Teresa Wickwire, the client featured in the video. Teresa eloquently shared her gratitude for all that JFS did to help her. She told the captivated crowd that she has already had two job promotions in the weeks since the video was filmed and is headed to California this month for a management training program.

Scott and Leanna announced a $75,000 match from an anonymous group of supporters. Attendees rose to the challenge to double their impact and contributed more than $100,000! In total, the event raised more than $675,000 to support the agency’s life-transforming work.

Audience watching Brandon Stokley and Peyton Manning InterviewBrandon Stokley, 104.3 The Fan radio host and former Denver Bronco, took the stage and introduced his former teammate and good friend, Peyton Manning. In a fun, light-hearted manner, Stokley interviewed Manning about his football career, retirement, family, and philanthropy.

Manning related lessons from his career that everyone can apply to their lives, such as the value of having mentors and coaches, no matter what level of success you reach. He said to stand out in your work, you need ability, talent, a strong work ethic, a real passion for what you’re doing, and a feeling of accountability. And he stressed the importance of preparation. “Pressure is what you feel when you aren’t prepared,” he said.

While the interview was sprinkled with funny anecdotes about his family members, teammates, and opponents, his passion for philanthropy shined through. He said we all have an obligation to give back and he commended the audience for helping JFS.

Thank you to our top-level sponsors; to our event co-chairs, Sam Zaitz and Vic Sulzer; to the committee members Jonathan Alpert, Nancy Alterman Michael Asarch, Roxanne Davis, David Goldberg, Leanna Harris, Aaron Hyatt, Julian Izbiky, and Adam Kaplan; and to everyone who supported the event!

If you didn't get to make a gift at the event, there’s still time to donate!

See more event photos