Tuesday, March 2, 2010


(click Women Who Make a Difference Luncheon)

9th Annual Junior League of Miami Fundraiser Honors Women Who Make a Difference

Miami, FL (March 1, 2010) – Junior League of Miami (JLM) is rolling out the red carpet for its Women Who Make a Difference Luncheon with the Stars at noon on Sunday, March 14th at the Four Seasons Hotel. The 9th annual event honors remarkable women who, in line with JLM’s mission, have made a significant impact in the areas of women and children through their volunteerism. The lively affair will feature a savory lunch, star-worthy silent auction, a special presentation of awards, and an exclusive VIP reception. Proceeds benefit projects of JLM, an organization of approximately 1,000 women dedicated to the empowerment of Miami’s women, children and families.

“We are excited to honor such impressive women who strive to make a difference in the lives of women and children through their dedication to community service,” says Erin Knight, JLM President. “The celebratory luncheon will be an unforgettable afternoon filled with fun, friends, and fundraising.”

This year’s honorees are philanthropist Lourdes Castillo de la Peña, stem cell research activist Sabrina Cohen, public service advocate Claudia Kitchens, and legal pioneer Edith Osman.

Lourdes Castillo de la Peña has devoted herself to local and international charities as a champion for causes affecting women and children. She is the Florida Commissioner for the Status of Women where, after conducting comprehensive surveys, she gives women a voice as she reports her findings to Governor Crist. In addition, she has served on the board of the Mercy Hospital Foundation, Miami Children’s Hospital XOXO group, and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos.

After a tragic car accident that left her with a spinal cord injury and confined to a wheelchair, Sabrina Cohen has dedicated her life to youth mentoring, disability advocacy, and stem cell research fundraising. She launched the Sabrina Cohen Foundation for Stem Cell Research, aimed at leading the fight against disease by funding stem cell research. Last year, WebMD magazine nominated her as an “American Health Hero.”

With more than 30 years of experience advocating for issues and inspiring young leaders to reach their full potential, Claudia Kitchens has been recognized for her success in creating strategic solutions for issues including homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault, foster care, and many others. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade where she led the organization to become the premier advocacy group for women and girls in the county. She also served as President of the Junior League of Miami.

Understanding the importance of women taking leadership roles in order to open the legal system to other women, Edith Osman has forged new paths for the gender. She was only the second woman to be elected as President of The Florida Bar, where she created the Commission on the Legal Needs of Children after recognizing how children were negatively impacted by existing laws. She also served statewide as president Florida Association of Women Lawyers, was elected to the Florida Bar Board of Governors, and was the first woman to become President of the Council of the Council of Voluntary Bar Presidents.

The purpose and mission of the Junior League of Miami is exclusively educational and charitable. JLM sponsors community programs and grants that empower Miami’s women, children, and families to conquer tomorrow’s challenges. Most recently, JLM has supported community programs such as the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Sundari Foundation - Lotus House women’s shelter, WINGS (Women in Need of Greater Strength for Life) of South Florida, and YMCA reading center preschool, in addition to many others. Fundraisers like the Women Who Make a Difference Luncheon with the Stars help to endow these instrumental community programs.

Ticket prices for the luncheon are $85/seat or $800/table. An exclusive VIP reception will be held prior to the luncheon with tickets priced at $125/seat or $1,150/table. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.jlmiami.org.

The Junior League of Miami, founded in 1926, is an organization of approximately 1,000 women sharing a common vision to empower Miami's women, children, and families to conquer tomorrow's challenges and to build a united community. The mission of the Junior League of Miami is to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women and improve communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League concentrates its resources to make a significant impact on our community within the areas of homelessness, family violence, early childhood education, children’s & women’s health and foster care. This year, in addition to providing $100,000 in direct funding, another $600,000 in volunteer hours will be dedicated to the community for projects that address our five focus areas. For more information, visit www.jlmiami.org.

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