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Jewish Family Service to “Ignite the Moment” at 2017 Heart & Soul Gala – San Diego Nonprofit Celebrates Supporters and Accomplishments at Annual Fundraiser

2017 Heart & Soul Gala Honorees

Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) will hold its annual Heart & Soul Gala at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine on Saturday, April 1 at 6 p.m. At its signature benefit gala, JFS will share its recent success as a community resource for individuals and families working to overcome challenges and achieve life-changing goals. The event also celebrates the contributions of the 2017 Mitzvah Honorees: Edward Carnot and Louis Vener, Barbara and Mathew Loonin, and the National Charity League – San Dieguito Chapter.

Edward Carnot and Louis Vener
Edward Carnot and Louis Vener are native San Diegans who share a passion for JFS and a lifelong commitment to the Jewish community. They have enjoyed an exceptional partnership forged by almost 15 years of friendship and service on the JFS Board of Directors. Together, they envisioned and led the effort to significantly expand JFS’s Kearny Mesa headquarters into a community campus that would enable the agency to reach its full potential. Opened in January 2016, the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus is a collaborative, uplifting space where staff, volunteers, supporters, and clients come together to achieve life-changing goals.

Barbara and Mathew Loonin
Barbara and Mat came to San Diego from Brooklyn, New York as newlyweds more than 60 years ago. In 2004, they established The Loonin Family Fund to provide support to charitable organizations. While the fund supports several JFS programs, Barbara and Mat are particularly gratified to be involved with the kitchen, the heart and soul of nutrition services at JFS. The kitchen produces more than 84,000 healthy, kosher, hot meals for older adults each year. The Loonins are deeply appreciative of the hardworking staff who prepare these meals and the volunteers who deliver them directly to JFS clients and to JFS’s Social & Wellness Centers for older adults.

National Charity League – San Dieguito Chapter
National Charity League, Inc. is the nation’s premier mother-daughter volunteer organization of women and their daughters in grades 7-12 committed to community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences. The San Dieguito Chapter’s 8th grade class concentrates its philanthropic efforts towards JFS as their “Focus Philanthropy.” Their members, and the current 8th graders comprising the Class of 2021 have dedicated hundreds of hours volunteering in the JFS Hand Up Youth Food Pantry. This remarkable commitment enables JFS to provide more than 258,000 bags of food annually to people in need throughout our community, including many military families served through our monthly food distributions at Murphy Canyon and Camp Pendleton.

“We are thrilled to recognize the contributions of these extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives and careers giving back to the community in such impactful ways,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins, who will preside over the ceremony.

Together with Honorary Chairs Evelyn and Ernest Rady, Gala Chairs Loretta H. Adams, Kira Finkenberg, and Danielle Sicklick hope the “Ignite the Moment” theme will encourage ongoing awareness and philanthropy throughout the year. The evening will include dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. Underwriting packages are available and tickets are $360; both can be purchased at or by contacting Dana Levin, Director of Signature Advancement Events at [email protected] or (858) 637-3013.

More than 95 underwriters generously support the event, including Charitable Adult Rides & Services, Inc. (CARS) and a longtime anonymous JFS donor as Presenting Underwriters. Dinner Underwriters included Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Marie G. Raftery and Dr. Robert A. Rubenstein, and U.S. Bank. Heart of the Family underwriters included Barbara Barsky; Jamie, Bryce, and Tyler Carr; Pamela and Edward Carnot; Cohn Family Foundation; Lisa and Gary Levine; Arthur J. Gallagher & Co; Barbara and Mathew Loonin; Sarah z”l and Nessim Tiano; UC San Diego; Erna z”l and Andrew Viterbi.

All proceeds from the event will benefit JFS’s ongoing programs to empower individuals and families, support aging with dignity, and foster community connection and engagement across San Diego.

Sandy Young / Ashley Weaver
J. Walcher Communications, (619) 295-7140