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Young Professionals of the
Lighthouse (YPOL)

 

  YPOL Co-Chairs Kent Benedict, Ana Maria Rodriguez and Humberto Gonzalez, Jr.  
 

YPOL Co-Chairs Kent Benedict, Ana Maria Rodriguez and Humberto (Bert) Gonzalez, Jr.

 
     
 
Young Professionals of the Lighthouse Committee Members

Kent Benedict, Co-Chair
Humberto (Bert) Gonzalez, Jr., Co-Chair
Ana Maria Rodriguez, Co-Chair

Agustin Arellano, Jr.
Scarlette Carballo
Josh Coller
Alex Dominguez
Lauren Firtel
Otto Foerster
Pablo Gonzalez
Michael Jimenez
Lena Lowell
David New
Rebecca Osorio
Michael Mowatt

 

Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) was established in 2003 to target young professionals between 25-40 years. This volunteer group helps raise awareness and funds through various social activities in the community. Check out the Calendar of Events for more information or to learn more about YPOL membership contact Cameron Sisser at CSisser@MiamiLighthouse.org or 786-362-7515.

Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse and Miami Model Citizens
Happy Hour at HaVen Gastro-Lounge

Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) and Miami Model Citizens recently came together at a happy hour hosted by HaVen Gastro-Lounge in Miami Beach on August 13, 2013. More than 75 young business and community leaders gathered to network and enjoy specialty cocktails. Proceeds from the night benefitted Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. You can become a YPOL member by contacting Cameron Sisser at csisser@miamilighthouse.org or 786-362-7515.

 

 

   
 

 

   

 

   

2013 Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) host the “Miami Lighthouse Legislative Luncheon” Underwritten by All Aboard Florida

The Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse held their annual Legislative Luncheon and networking event at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Tuesday, July 9th. Over seventy young professionals and fifteen elected officials and aides gathered to enjoy the complimentary luncheon and networking underwritten by All Aboard Florida. The lunch honored Senator Denise Grimsley, Senator Gwen Margolis and State Representative Manny Diaz, Jr for their support of Miami Lighthouse and the Heiken Children’s Vision Program.

The luncheon began with Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ student Angel Wallace singing The Star-Spangled Banner. Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano Jr. welcomed attendees and introduced Miami Lighthouse Summer Training and Recreation Program (STAR) student Silvio Plata who gave the invocation.

Virginia A. Jacko, President & CEO, spoke about the inspiring mission of Miami Lighthouse and the importance of leadership and uniting young professionals, elected officials and Miami Lighthouse’s board directors. Attendees were treated to a personal tour of Miami Lighthouse and enjoyed seeing the fun and engaging activities over 150 children participate in on a daily basis. The lunch sponsor, Jose Gonzalez, Vice President of Corporate Development for Florida East Coast Industries at All Aboard Florida, spoke about the new convenient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective intercity passenger rail service being developed between South Florida and Central Florida.

We thank our sponsor, All Aboard Florida, elected officials, aides and all the young professionals who attended the event.

Visionary of the Year State Representative Manny Diaz Jr. with President & CEO Virginia Jacko Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano, Jr.   State Representative David Richardson with Visionary of the Year Senator Gwen Margolis.

Visionary of the Year State Representative Manny Diaz Jr. with
President & CEO Virginia Jacko Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano, Jr.

 

State Representative David Richardson with
Visionary of the Year Senator Gwen Margolis.

     
State Representative David Richardson, Jeannette Nunez, Visionary of the Year State Representative Manny Diaz, Jr. and Holly Raschein.  Nunez and Raschein accepted the Visionary of the Year award of behalf of Senator Denise Grimsley.

State Representative David Richardson, Jeannette Nunez, Visionary of the Year State Representative Manny Diaz, Jr.
and Holly Raschein. Nunez and Raschein accepted the Visionary of the Year award of behalf of Senator Denise Grimsley.

     
Cameron Sisser, Board Director Kent Benedict and Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano, Jr.

Cameron Sisser, Board Director Kent Benedict and Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano, Jr.

     
Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano, Jr. presenting Jose Gonzalez, All Aboard Florida, with a tactile painting made by Social Group Activities   Ali Soule, Maria Byrd, Kadie Black and Commissioner Sally Heyman.

Chairman of the Board Agustin Arellano, Jr. presenting Jose Gonzalez,
All Aboard Florida, with a tactile painting made by Social Group Activities
participants.

 

Ali Soule, Maria Byrd, Kadie Black and Commissioner Sally Heyman.

     
Judge Norma Lindsey with President & CEO Virginia Jacko and Judge Spencer Eig.   Pablo Gonzalez and Shawn Folk.

Judge Norma Lindsey with President & CEO Virginia Jacko and Judge Spencer Eig.

 

Pablo Gonzalez and Shawn Folk.

     
Elizabeth Martinez and Fiorella Lanfranco.

Elizabeth Martinez and Fiorella Lanfranco.

     
Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ instructors provided background music for guests to enjoy.

Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ instructors provided background music for guests to enjoy.

     
     

Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) and Miami Children’s Young Ambassadors (MCYA) Joint Networking Event at The Flat

Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse recently came together with the Miami Children's Young Ambassadors for a joint networker where they could get to know each other and learn about both great causes. Hosted at The Flat in Miami Beach on June 27, 2013, approximately 60 young business and community leaders attended the event. A portion of the night's proceeds were donated to both charities and there were drawings for a VIP table and two $50 tabs at The Flat.

Dr. Chad Perlyn, Michael Mowatt, Brenda Vargas, Zak Mann, Mercy Dorta, Cameron Sisser
Dr. Chad Perlyn, Michael Mowatt, Brenda Vargas, Zak Mann, Mercy Dorta, Cameron Sisser

Ricardo Machado, Gerard Boucaud, Dr. Chad Perlyn, Karen Araque, Dean Neiger, Brenda Vargas
Ricardo Machado, Gerard Boucaud, Dr. Chad Perlyn, Karen Araque, Dean Neiger, Brenda Vargas

Alisaon Andre, Zak Mann & Kadie Black
Alisaon Andre, Zak Mann & Kadie Black

Derek Gonzalez, Marianella Serrano, Diego Sirulnik
Derek Gonzalez, Marianella Serrano, Diego Sirulnik

Anit Makhija, Amanda Bhikhari, Mercy Dorta, Karen Araque
Anit Makhija, Amanda Bhikhari, Mercy Dorta, Karen Araque

Nitun Patel, Karen Araque, Michael Rangel, Jose Laya
Nitun Patel, Karen Araque, Michael Rangel, Jose Laya

Cesar Valencia, Ricardo Machado, Diego Sirulnik
Cesar Valencia, Ricardo Machado, Diego Sirulnik
 

Zen Sai at Essex House Hosts Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse and PetNet

On March 13th the Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) and the Humane Society of Greater Miami met for a happy hour at the beautiful Zen Sai at Essex House on South Beach to benefit both organizations. More than 40 young professionals gathered to enjoy appetizers and specialty cocktails. You can become a YPOL member by contacting Cameron Sisser at csisser@miamilighthouse.org or 786-362-7515. The YPOL Committee thanks PetNet for their partnership and James Butler of Zen Sai at Essex House for his hospitality.

Edward J. Oberle Lopez and Princess   Adam Stelzer, O.D. and Antoine Copty, O.D.

Edward J. Oberle Lopez and Princess.

 

Adam Stelzer, O.D. and Antoine Copty, O.D.

     
Gabrielle Mercadante and Shawn Folk

Gabrielle Mercadante and Shawn Folk.

     
     

The Betsy Hotel celebrates Overture to Overtown benefiting Miami Lighthouse for the Blind by Betty Alvarez

On Wednesday, January 16th, SFG headed to the Betsy Hotel in South Beach to celebrate Overture to Overtown. The celebration is part of a week-long event thrown by the Betsy Hotel to honor the history and culture of this community. This event kicks off their Art Deco Jazz Week celebrations with fantastic musical performances lined up for each night of the celebration.

   
         
   
         
   
         
   
         
   
         
   
         
   
         
   
         

Mayfair Hotel & Spa hosts Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse

On November 7th the Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) met for a relaxing happy hour at the beautiful Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove to toast and celebrate the completion of the Spencer Educational Empowerment Center Challenge, which will allow for the construction of a new fourth floor to expand Braille and technology literacy, job readiness, and transition program for teenagers. You can become a YPOL member by contacting Cameron Sisser at csisser@miamilighthouse.org or 786-362-7515. The YPOL Committee thanks Steven Bumpus and the Mayfair Hotel staff for their gracious hospitality.

Cameron Sisser, Bruce Wiggins, YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict and YPOL Committee Member Michael Jimenez.   Circuit Court Judge Spencer Eig, Salina Jivani and JC Gomez.

Cameron Sisser, Bruce Wiggins, YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict and YPOL Committee Member Michael Jimenez.

 

Circuit Court Judge Spencer Eig, Salina Jivani and JC Gomez.

     
Julie Katz, YPOL Committee Member Lauren Firtel and Neil Patel.   Michael Simmons, Jason Gudaitis, Lucy Toquica and Ali Soule.

Julie Katz, YPOL Committee Member Lauren Firtel and Neil Patel.

 

Michael Simmons, Jason Gudaitis, Lucy Toquica and Ali Soule.

     
     

Learning Express hosts Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse Holiday Toy Drive

The Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) held their holiday toy drive at The Learning Express on November 4th. Children and parents gathered to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of purchasing toys for blind babies and children, and laughs were provided by Ziggy the Clown. Board Director Steven Solomon welcomed everyone who attended the event and explained what Miami Lighthouse does to help visually impaired children and adults. The YPOL Committee would like to thank Learning Express, Board Director Steve Solomon and everyone who purchased toys for blind and visually impaired children.

Staci Solomon, CEO Virginia Jacko, Steven Solomon, Michael Jimenez and Cathy Bartel owner of Learning Express.   Ziggy the Clown performs for the children.

Staci Solomon, CEO Virginia Jacko, Steven Solomon, Michael Jimenez and Cathy Bartel owner of Learning Express.

 

Ziggy the Clown performs for the children.

     
     

Delano hosts Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse

On October 4th the Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) met for a relaxing happy hour at the beautiful Delano on South Beach. Complimentary Bacardi cocktails were provided while members of YPOL networked with each other. You can become a YPOL member by contacting Cameron Sisser at csisser@miamilighthouse.org or 786-362-7515. The YPOL Committee thanks Loni Paige for her gracious hospitality.

Michelle Citrin of Neox Image,  Michael Mowatt and Mercy Dorta of Miami Children’s Hospital and Pablo Gonzalez of Arellano Construction.   David Lancz from the Office of Senator Gwen Margolis, Nury Soler and Daniel Arbueas from the Office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

Michelle Citrin of Neox Image, Michael Mowatt and Mercy Dorta of Miami Children’s Hospital and Pablo Gonzalez of Arellano Construction.

 

David Lancz from the Office of Senator Gwen Margolis, Nury Soler and Daniel Arbueas from the Office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

     
Erica Washington and Eva Williams from Women of Tomorrow   Cameron Sisser and Lena Lowell.

Erica Washington and Eva Williams from Women of Tomorrow.

 

Cameron Sisser and Lena Lowell.

     
     

United Teacher’s of Dade Sponsors YPOL at DOLORES but you can call me LOLITA

The Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) held a happy hour sponsored by United Teacher’s of Dade on Thursday, September 13th. More than 40 young professionals gathered to enjoy an evening of delightful appetizers and wine. YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict welcomed attendees to the event and thanked United Teachers of Dade for their generosity in sponsoring the event. Guests heard from Karen Aronowitz, President United Teachers of Dade, who spoke about the amazing work Miami Lighthouse does for the blind and visually impaired community. To cap off the night, Joanne Messing won the business card raffle for two tickets to the Miami Dolphins home opener against the Oakland Raiders.

YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict and United Teacher’s of Dade President Karen Aronowitz.   Lyon Roth, YPOL Committee Member Michael Jimenez and Stephan Rogers.

YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict and United Teacher’s of
Dade President Karen Aronowitz.

 

Lyon Roth, YPOL Committee Member Michael Jimenez
and Stephan Rogers.

     
YPOL event attendees enjoy networking.

YPOL event attendees enjoy networking.

     

HYDE Beach at The SLS Hotel hosts Young Professionals of the Miami Lighthouse

On August 10th the Young Professionals of the Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) met for a relaxing happy hour at the beautiful SLS Hotel on South Beach. Complimentary cocktails were provided while members of YPOL networked with each other. You can become a YPOL member by contacting Cameron Sisser at csisser@miamilighthouse.org or 786-362-7515. The YPOL Committee thanks Mario Stocco of the SLS Hotel for his gracious hospitality.

Mario Stocco, Alex Dominguez and Michael Jimenez   Lena Lowell and Charlie Coffin

Mario Stocco, Alex Dominguez and Michael Jimenez.

 

Lena Lowell and Charlie Coffin.

     
Martha Lluch and Pablo Gonzalez.   Karen Araque, Michael Mowatt and Mercy Dorta.

Martha Lluch and Pablo Gonzalez.

 

Karen Araque, Michael Mowatt and Mercy Dorta.

     

2012 Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) host the “Miami Lighthouse Legislative Luncheon” Underwritten by Flagler Development Company

The Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse held their Legislative Luncheon and networking event at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Monday, June 18th. The event was generously underwritten by Flagler Development Company. Nineteen elected officials were represented at the luncheon including representatives from U.S. Senator’s Nelson and Rubio’s offices, two U.S. Congressional aides, one State Senator and four State Representatives. Over eighty young professionals gathered to enjoy the complimentary luncheon and networking which were followed by a tour of the Miami Lighthouse.

The event was kicked-off with a musical performance by Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ students Eddy Camacho, Stephanie Camacho, Oman Pedreira and Alexis Velasquez. Chairman of the board of directors Michael Silva and chair-elect Agustin Arellano Jr. welcomed attendees to the luncheon and introduced Miami Lighthouse transition student Joey Chica to give the invocation, after which Juan Pablo Paniagua, a Braille literacy program student, spoke about his journey with Miami Lighthouse.

Virginia A. Jacko, President & CEO of Miami Lighthouse, spoke to the group about the inspiring mission of Miami Lighthouse and the importance of leadership and uniting young professionals, elected officials and Miami Lighthouse’s board directors. Attendees were treated to a personal tour of Miami Lighthouse which included the Low Vision Center and Solutions Store, STAR and Transition summer camp programs and the Better Chance Music Production Program™. We have 150 schoolchildren enrolled in our summer camps. Guests enjoyed seeing the fun and engaging activities children participate in on a daily basis here at Miami Lighthouse. We thank our sponsor, Flagler Development Company, elected officials, aides and all the young professionals who attended the event.

Photos Courtesy of Kathy Fitzpatrick Zirulnick

 

Representative Joe Gibbons, Representative Ron Saunders, Board Director Ray Casas, Representative Luis Garcia, Senator Gwen Margolis, Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Doral Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez, Chairman Michael Silva, CEO Virginia Jacko, Miami- Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Alexander Levy, Board Director Kent Benedict, and Board Director Agustin Arellano Jr.

 
 

Representative Joe Gibbons, Representative Ron Saunders, Board Director Ray Casas, Representative Luis Garcia, Senator Gwen Margolis, Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Doral Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez, Chairman Michael Silva, CEO Virginia Jacko, Miami- Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Alexander Levy, Board Director Kent Benedict, and Board Director Agustin Arellano Jr.

 
     
 

Legislative Lunch sponsors Jack Lowell and Estrella “Star” Manso of Flagler Development with Board Director Agustin Arellano Jr.

 
 

Legislative Lunch sponsors Jack Lowell and Estrella “Star” Manso of Flagler Development
with Board Director Agustin Arellano Jr.

 
     
  Miami Lighthouse transition student Joey Chica gives the invocation   Juan Pablo Paniagua, winner of the South Florida Braille Challenge two years in a row, speaks about his journey with Miami Lighthouse  
 

Miami Lighthouse transition student Joey Chica
gives the invocation.

 

Juan Pablo Paniagua, winner of the South Florida Braille Challenge
two years in a row, speaks about his journey with Miami Lighthouse.

 
         
 

Business card raffle prize winner with prize, a tactile American Flag made by Social Group Activities clients

 
 

Business card raffle prize winner with prize, a tactile American Flag
made by Social Group Activities clients.

 
     

Habify hosts Young Professionals of the Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) fundraiser for student musician’s trip to Universal Studios

On March 7th the Young Professionals of the Miami Lighthouse (YPOL) held a night of networking to help raise funds for the Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ student trip to Universal Studios. Virginia Jacko welcomed everyone who attended the event and Christopher Block, Director of Operations at Habify, explained how to make your home comfortable, healthy, sustainable, safe, efficient and beautiful. The Better Chance Music Production Program™ student musician’s provided musical delights throughout the evening.

 

Kent Benedict, YPOL co-chair, Virginia Jacko, President and CEO Miami Lighthouse, Ana Maria Rodriguez, YPOL co-chair, and Christopher Block, Director of Operations at Habify.

 
 

Kent Benedict, YPOL co-chair, Virginia Jacko, President and CEO Miami Lighthouse,
Ana Maria Rodriguez, YPOL co-chair, and Christopher Block, Director of Operations at Habify.

 
         
         

Learning Express hosts Young Professionals of
the Lighthouse (YPOL) Holiday Toy Drive

The Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) held their holiday toy drive at The Learning Express on December 4th. Children and parents gathered to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of purchasing toys for blind babies and children and laughs were provided by Ziggy the Clown. Virginia Jacko welcomed everyone who attended the event and explained to all the children about Miami Lighthouse and what her guide-dog Kieran does for a living. The YPOL Committee would like to thank Learning Express and all who purchased toys for blind and visually impaired students of Miami Lighthouse generating over 100 gifts and $500 in donations. To read the Miami Herald article on the event click the following link Toy Drive To Help Lighthouse For The Blind’s Baby Program.

 

Matt Caglianone of The Burgundy Room, Kent Benedict Co-Chair of YPOL, Karen Aronowitz President of UTD and Virginia Jacko President Miami Lighthouse.

 
 

Steven and Staci Solomon, Virginia Jacko, Board Director Kent Benedict,
YPOL Committee Member Michael Jimenez and Bryce Jimenez.

 
         
  Matt Caglianone of The Burgundy Room, Kent Benedict Co-Chair of YPOL, Karen Aronowitz President of UTD and Virginia Jacko President Miami Lighthouse.   Janet Acheson, Karen Aronowitz and Karyn Cunningham  
 

Virginia Jacko tells the children about what Miami Lighthouse for the Blind does.

 

Ziggy the Clown performs for the children.

 
         

Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) host the “Miami Lighthouse Legislative Luncheon” Underwritten by Flagler Development Company

The Young Professionals of Miami Lighthouse held their Legislative Luncheon and networking event at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Monday, June 27th. The event was generously underwritten by Flagler Development Company. Sixteen elected officials were represented at the luncheon including three State Senators, four State Representatives and two U.S. Congressional aides. Sixty young professionals gathered to enjoy the complimentary luncheon and networking which were followed by a tour of the Miami Lighthouse.

The event began with elected officials assembled to view the unveiling of a plaque commemorating legislative support for Miami Lighthouse programs. Board member Agustin Arellano Jr. then welcomed attendees to the luncheon and introduced Natalia Sulca, assistant instructor in the acclaimed Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™, who delighted guests with an inspiring vocal performance of “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Virginia A. Jacko, President & CEO of Miami Lighthouse, spoke to the group about the inspiring mission of Miami Lighthouse and described the ways in which the Florida Legislature helps Miami Lighthouse transform the lives of the blind and visually impaired, from babies to seniors. Elected officials and young professionals in attendance were treated to a personal tour of Miami Lighthouse which included one of our Heiken mobile eye care units, Low Vision Center and Solutions Store, STAR and Transition summer camp programs and the Better Chance Music Production Program™, programs in which 125 schoolchildren are enrolled this summer. Attendees enjoyed seeing the fun and engaging activities children participate in on a daily basis here at Miami Lighthouse. We thank our sponsor, Flagler Development Company, elected officials, aides and all the young professionals who attended the event.

Florida Senators and Representatives received plaques in recognition of their support of Miami Lighthouse programs (from left to right) Representative Barbara Watson, Senator Gwen Margolis, Senator Nan Rich, CEO Virginia Jacko, Senator Oscar Braynon, Representative Cynthia Stafford, Representative Jose Felix Diaz, Doral Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez and Representative Dwight Bullard.

Florida Senators and Representatives received plaques in recognition of their support of
Miami Lighthouse programs (from left to right) Representative Barbara Watson,
Senator Gwen Margolis, Senator Nan Rich, CEO Virginia Jacko, Senator Oscar Braynon,
Representative Cynthia Stafford, Representative Jose Felix Diaz,
Doral Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez and Representative Dwight Bullard.

     
Board Director Gloria Martin with CEO Virginia Jacko and Representative Jose Felix Diaz.   Board Director Ray Casas unveils the plaque with (from left to right) Board Director Gloria Martin, CEO Virginia Jacko, Senator Nan Rich, Representative Jose Felix Diaz and Senator Oscar Braynon.

Board Director Gloria Martin with CEO Virginia Jacko
and Representative Jose Felix Diaz.

 

Board Director Ray Casas unveils the plaque with (from left to right)
Board Director Gloria Martin, CEO Virginia Jacko, Senator Nan Rich,
Representative Jose Felix Diaz and Senator Oscar Braynon.

     
MLH expresses appreciation to the 2011 Florida Legislature
     
Senator Nan Rich visits the STAR summer camp program Braille literacy class.   Senator Gwen Margolis tours the Heiken mobile eye care unit with Miami Lighthouse staff member Brenda Williamson and Maria Delgado, aide to Miami-Dade County School board member Dr. Martin Karp.

Senator Nan Rich visits the STAR summer camp
program Braille literacy class.

 

Senator Gwen Margolis tours the Heiken mobile eye care unit with
Miami Lighthouse staff member Brenda Williamson and Maria Delgado,
aide to Miami-Dade County School board member Dr. Martin Karp.

     
Phil Reagan, Patricia Vila Wright and YPOL Committee Member Pablo Gonzalez.   Board Director Agustin Arellano Jr., Carey Kane, Rob Bowlby and Board Director Kent Benedict.

Phil Reagan, Patricia Vila Wright and
YPOL Committee Member Pablo Gonzalez.

 

Board Director Agustin Arellano Jr., Carey Kane,
Rob Bowlby and Board Director Kent Benedict.

     
Legislative aides accept recognition plaques (from left to right) Mary Cowart aide to Representative Cynthia Stafford, Ludie Benel intern to Representative Dwight Bullard, Julie Fishman aide to Senator Nan Rich, Lissette Vasquez aide to Senator Anitere Flores, CEO Virginia Jacko, Raquel Zuniga aide to Representative Ana Rivas Logan, George Fossett aide to Representative Matt Hudson, Holly Merrill Raschein aide to Representative Ron Saunders, Matt Monica aide to Representative Luis Garcia, Tore Ciolino aide to Representative Franklin Sands, Harriet Carter Community Liaison to U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Laurie Flink Deputy District Director to U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Legislative aides accept recognition plaques (from left to right) Mary Cowart aide to
Representative Cynthia Stafford, Ludie Benel intern to Representative Dwight Bullard,
Julie Fishman aide to Senator Nan Rich, Lissette Vasquez aide to Senator Anitere Flores,
CEO Virginia Jacko, Raquel Zuniga aide to Representative Ana Rivas Logan,
George Fossett aide to Representative Matt Hudson, Holly Merrill Raschein aide to Representative Ron Saunders,
Matt Monica aide to Representative Luis Garcia, Tore Ciolino aide to Representative Franklin Sands,
Harriet Carter Community Liaison to U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and
Laurie Flink Deputy District Director to U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz..

     
Attendees enjoy “God Bless the U.S.A” sung by Natalia Sulca.

Attendees enjoy “God Bless the U.S.A” sung by Natalia Sulca.

     
     

YPOL at The Burgundy Room

The Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) held their second social of 2011 at The Burgundy Room on May 17th. More than 50 young professionals gathered to enjoy an evening of delightful appetizers and wine provided by The Burgundy Room. YPOL co-chairs Kent Benedict and Bert Gonzalez, Jr. welcomed attendees to the event and thanked United Teachers of Dade for their generosity in sponsoring the event. Guests heard from Virginia Jacko, President Miami Lighthouse, Karen Aronowitz, President United Teachers of Dade and Linda Weiss Rose, Department Chair Programs for the Visually Impaired MDPS, who spoke about Miami Lighthouse’s collaboration with Miami-Dade Public Schools Programs for the Visually Impaired. At the end of the night a few lucky winners of the business card raffle were awarded with a dinner for two gift certificate to Fogo de Chao and a one year membership to Normandy Gym. Photos courtesy of Caroline Lamarre.

 

Matt Caglianone of The Burgundy Room, Kent Benedict Co-Chair of YPOL, Karen Aronowitz President of UTD and Virginia Jacko President Miami Lighthouse.

  Janet Acheson, Karen Aronowitz and Karyn Cunningham  
 

Matt Caglianone of The Burgundy Room,
Kent Benedict Co-Chair of YPOL,
Karen Aronowitz President of UTD and
Virginia Jacko President Miami Lighthouse.

 

Janet Acheson, Karen Aronowitz and Karyn Cunningham

 
         
  Karen Aronowitz addresses the crowd   Linda Weiss Rose, Department Chair Programs for the Visually Impaired MDPS discusses the Miami Lighthouse collaboration  
 

Karen Aronowitz addresses the crowd

 

Linda Weiss Rose, Department Chair Programs for the
Visually Impaired MDPS discusses the
Miami Lighthouse collaboration

 
         
  Dr. Fernando Duarte and guest   Michael Jimenez, Kent Benedict and Erika Benedict  
 

Dr. Fernando Duarte and guest

 

Michael Jimenez, Kent Benedict and Erika Benedict

 
         
  Isabel Chica, Dr. Suzanne Diamond and Krizia Perez   Cathy Simpson and Sonja Burton  
 

Isabel Chica, Dr. Suzanne Diamond and Krizia Perez

 

Cathy Simpson and Sonja Burton

 
         
  Attendees enjoy networking   Appetizers provided by The Burgundy Room  
 

Attendees enjoy networking

 

Appetizers provided by The Burgundy Room

 
         
         

Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) host Comedy Night in the Garden

The Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) held their first social of 2011 at the Miami Lighthouse on February 1st. More than 50 young professionals gathered to enjoy an evening of delightful paella and wine provided by El Carajo, as well as, live music provided by Miami Lighthouse musicians and comedy hour hosted by Irene Morales, Elvis Anderson, Dan DeCotiis and Jamal Hattar.

YPOL co-chairs Kent Benedict, Ana Maria Rodriguez and Bert Gonzalez, Jr. welcomed attendees to the event and thanked El Carajo and the Comedians for their generosity in providing the wonderful ambiance for the evening’s festivities. At the end of the night a few lucky winners of the business card raffle were awarded with bottle service at UVA donated by Jamal Hattar and original ceramic pieces created and painted by Social Group Activities clients.

 

   
 

Comedian Jamal Hattar tells a funny

 

Committee member Pablo Gonzalez, Shaun Conn and guest

 
         
     
 

Neil Patel and Tina Patel

 

Rick Fonseca, El Carajo, serves paella to Anysia Welsh

 
         
         

Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) Luncheon Underwritten
by Baptist Health South Florida

 

President and CEO Virginia Jacko introducing YPOL visitors
to the children in the STAR summer program

     
 

Young professionals taking a tour of the new Low
Vision Center and Solutions Store led by President
and CEO Virginia Jacko.

 

Cameron Sisser, Legislative Assistant to Senator
Dan Gelber, and Co-Chair Ana Maria
Rodriguez, Baptist Health South Florida

The Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) held a luncheon and networking event at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired on June 29. Generously underwritten by Baptist Health South Florida, more than 35 young professionals gathered to enjoy the luncheon which was followed by a tour of the Miami Lighthouse.

YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict welcomed attendees to the luncheon and introduced Natalia Sulca, member of the acclaimed Miami Lighthouse music instruction program and graduate of the Transition program, who delighted guests with an inspiring vocal performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Humberto Gonzalez, Jr. and YPOL co-chair Ana Maria Rodriguez spoke to the group about the inspiring mission of the Miami Lighthouse and described the ways in which the organization changes lives. One lucky guest won the business card raffle, which included an original ceramic piece created and painted by a Social Group Activities client as well as two music CDs performed and recorded by students in the music program.

Young professionals in attendance at the luncheon were treated to a personal tour of the Miami Lighthouse by President and CEO Virginia Jacko. The tour included a visit to the new Low Vision Center and Solutions Store as well as various summer camp programs. Attendees enjoyed seeing the fun and engaging activities children participate in on a daily basis.

The 2010 Project Goal for the YPOL is to raise $10,000 for the Children’s Program to purchase note takers for blind children which will aid their educational pursuits. We thank all those in attendance for contributing towards this goal.

Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) Networking Event at
Angelique Euro Café

     
  Angelique Euro Café co-owner Yolanda Rossi, YPOL Committee Member Otto Foerster, President and CEO Virginia Jacko, YPOL Co-Chair Agustin Arellano, Jr., Angelique Euro Café co-owner Carlos Rossi, and YPOL Co-Chair Kent Benedict  
 

Angelique Euro Café co-owner Yolanda Rossi, YPOL Committee Member Otto Foerster,
President and CEO Virginia Jacko, YPOL Co-Chair Agustin Arellano, Jr.,
Angelique Euro Café co-owner Carlos Rossi, and YPOL Co-Chair Kent Benedict

 
     
  Carlos J. Smith, Erika Benedict, YPOL Co-Chair Kent Benedict, YPOL Co-Chair Agustin Arellano, Jr. and Nicole Bared  
 

Carlos J. Smith, Erika Benedict, YPOL Co-Chair Kent Benedict,
YPOL Co-Chair Agustin Arellano, Jr. and Nicole Bared

 
     
  YPOL Co-Chair Agustin Arellano, Jr. presenting Angelique Euro Café co-owner Yolanda Rossi with a Lighthouse ceramic made by Miami Lighthouse Social Group Activities clients  
 

YPOL Co-Chair Agustin Arellano, Jr. presenting Angelique Euro Café co-owner Yolanda Rossi with
a Lighthouse ceramic made by Miami Lighthouse Social Group Activities clients

 

The Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) held a networking event at Angelique Euro Café in Coral Gables on September 7. More than 40 young professionals gathered to enjoy an evening of delightful food and drinks, as well as live music provided by Miami Lighthouse musicians.

YPOL co-chair Agustin Arellano, Jr. welcomed attendees to the event and thanked Angelique Euro Café owners Carlos and Yolanda Rossi for their generosity in providing the wonderful venue, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine. Miami Lighthouse instructor Isabel Chica spoke to the group about how blind children are able to take notes in school and brought along a traditional Perkins Brailler and Mountbatten Brailler to demonstrate.

YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict presented one lucky winner of the business card raffle with an original ceramic piece created and painted by a Social Group Activities client. Young professionals in attendance were treated to handmade thank you cards created by children who participated in the Miami Lighthouse Summer Camp 2010.

Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) 2010 Kick-off Event at
Perricone’s Marketplace & Café

On February 24, 2010, the Young Professionals of the Lighthouse (YPOL) kicked off the 2010 year with an exclusive event at Perricone’s Marketplace & Café in downtown Miami. Over 60 young professionals gathered to celebrate the launch of the book The Blind Visionary -- the powerful, true story of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind’s President and CEO, Virginia Jacko.

The evening began with complimentary wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres -- generously provided by Perricone’s – and as the YPOL members socialized with one another, they were treated to the rich sound of jazz, skillfully performed by the talented Miami Lighthouse for the Blind musicians. All attendees received a signed copy of Virginia’s book.

YPOL co-chair Kent Benedict welcomed attendees to the event and spoke about the mission of the Young Professionals of the Lighthouse. YPOL member and father of a visually impaired child Humberto Gonzalez Jr. gave a personal account of his family’s experiences with the Blind Babies Program. Finally, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind CEO, Virginia Jacko, shared with the audience her long journey from her professional career as Director of Financial Affairs at Purdue University to becoming the leader of the Miami Lighthouse – and the lessons she had learned along the way.

The 2010 Project Goal for the YPOL is to raise $10,000 for the Children’s Program to purchase note takers for blind children, which in turn will aid their educational pursuits. We thank all those in attendance for contributing towards this goal.

     
   
 

Emily Heckert, YPOL Co-Chair Kent Benedict, Erika Benedict, and President and CEO Virginia Jacko

 
     
   
 

Sasha Hlozek, Grace Salisbury, and Elvis Anderson enjoying the music of Miami Lighthouse violinist Randy Margitza

 
     
 
 



Donate Now

 
 



Florida Heiken Program
 

 
 



Agustin Arellano, Jr., Vice President, Finance/CFO, OHL Arellano Construction, CEO Virginia Jacko, Agustin Arellano, Sr., President, OHL Arellano Construction at Groundbreaking Ceremony for new 4th Floor,
July 15, 2013.
Click here to read press release and
view additional pictures
.

 

 
 



Miami Marlins check presentation: PJ Loyello
Senior VP of Communications & Broadcasting,
David Samson Miami Marlins President,
Board Chair Agustin Arellano Jr.,
President & CEO Virginia Jacko,
Miami Marlins Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton,
Honorary Board Director Ray Casas and
Alfredo Mesa Executive Director of
Miami Marlins Foundation.

 

 
 



The Blind Visionary
All of Virginia’s royalties and part of the publisher’s
royalty income will be donated to blind services at
the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
Click to read Ability Magazine

 

 
 



Low Vision Center
 

 
 



State of Vision
Sales of the “State of Vision” license plate support services to blind and visually impaired people. Miami Lighthouse is the recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this license plate. The cost is $25.00 in addition to the regular registration fee.

 

 
 
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

Miami Lighthouse first sought and received NAC accreditation in 1978 and has consistently achieved NAC accreditation to the present time having received seven commendations with its five year accreditation renewal.

 

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 3% of U.S. nonprofits having earned a 4-star rating for six consecutive years from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

 

Miami Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse's Heiken Children's Vision Program received the bronze medal for their service to thousands of under-served children in public schools at the 2012 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

                 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

 

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.

   
   
 
 

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