At this year’s Faces of JFS Winter Soiree, Eric Goodman began the paddle raise immediately after a video that focused not only the evening’s two honorees, but also the numerous ways help and support are provided to thousands of deserving people by Jewish Family Service. As the video ended, he said, “Why isn’t it called Jewish Family Services?” The video hit home: JFS covers a spectrum of services that aid people of all faiths.

(L to r): Barry Curtiss-Lusher, President & CEO Linda Foster, Gay Curtiss-Kusher

Like a holiday family reunion with favorite relatives, once again this year’s Faces of JFS Winter Soiree was full of spirit and good cheer. Whether you call it mishpacha or family, a congenial group of 300 Jewish Family Service supporters converged on Infinity Park Event Center to honor their own and raise funds for the organization. The evening began with a cocktail reception at Infinity Park Event Center, with the Jonny Mogambo Band setting the tone for a festive, family-friendly event. The dinner program began with remarks by board chair Leanna Harris, followed by President and CEO Linda Foster. An energetic paddle raise led by Goodman resulted in more than $93,000 in on-the-spot donations.

Aaron Hyatt, 2019 recipient of the Yana Vishnitsky Leadership Award (left); and Scott Stillman, 2019 recipient of the Joyce and Kal Zeff Humanitarian Award

The annual soiree traditionally honors two outstanding people who demonstrate extraordinary leadership, philanthropy and dedication to Jewish Family Service and the community. This year’s honorees were: Scott Stillman, recipient of the Joyce and Kal Zeff Humanitarian Award, introduced by his wife and event co-chair Andrea Stillman; and Aaron Hyatt, recipient of the Yana Vishnitsky Leadership Award, introduced by friend Brad Farber. Hyatt’s wife Niah served as event co-chair. Keeping with the event’s family-focused theme, Scott Stillman and Aaron Hyatt revealed they are not only friends, but cousins.

Jessica Zeidman, chief development officer, concluded the evening with thanks to all attendees. Save the date: She also announced that the upcoming JFS Executive Luncheon on April 29, 2020, will feature golf legend Jack Nicklaus as keynote speaker.

Andrea Hyatt (left) and DeEtta Lessar

Harris and Foster write: “Through your support, you are helping older adults stay supported, connected and engaged as they age. You are ensuring children, adults, immigrants and refugees receive quality mental health counseling and case management. You are helping people with disabilities get training, job placement and community enrichment. And you are providing housing stability, employment support and food security to individuals and families. You are making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people in need. They thank you, and we thank you.”

The people served by Jewish Family Service are as diverse and varied as the metro Denver community. The organization’s services are available to all, regardless of age, race, faith, sexual orientation or economic status. Life’s challenges don’t discriminate—and neither does JFS. With 30 programs, the agency offers essential services for a lifetime of need. Compassionate, highly skilled professional staff and caring volunteers are constantly innovating new services and refining existing programs to meet emerging community needs. For more information, please visit:

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