2019: 80’s Casino night
Our Cause: Drug poisoning deaths in Duval county nearly tripled between 2015 and 2016, largely due to the opioid crisis. Following this spike, the drug poisoning death rate in Duval County was 35% to 88% higher than the state average from 2016 to 2018 .
Proceeds from this 80’s Casino Charity Fundraiser provided counseling and support for families of those addicted to opioids. Additionally, the proceeds funded the purchase and distribution of the handbook, “Smart Recovery: Family & Friends Handbook.” The annual benefit event featured professional casino gaming tables and a silent auction, as well as valuable guest speakers: parents who lost a son to an opioid overdose.
2018: Free Seminar on Early Recognition and Intervention for Youth Depression and Suicide
This seminar was a well-attended event at UNF University Center that provided valuable information and resources on youth bullying, depression and suicide.
Guest speakers included Dr. Madeline Joseph (pediatrician), Dr. Elise Falluco (psychiatrist), and Dr. Allison Ventura (youth psychologist). Role playing scenarios helped participants gain helpful insights into what to do in situations where the subject of suicide may arise.
This seminar was made possible by our 2017 benefit event: The Diamonds & Denim Casino Night Fund Raiser.
2017: Diamonds & Denim Casino Night Fundraiser
Our Cause: Suicide was the 8th leading cause of death in Duval County in 2017. Additionally, the suicide death rate has steadily increased since 2016 and the rate of hospitalizations for mood and depressive disorders has steadily increased since 2015.
Proceeds from this fun night of professional casino games supported the educational seminar on suicide and depression.
In addition, a free USB with resources and information on suicide and depression was distributed to guidance counselors, teachers, healthcare professionals, and students within our community.
2016: Annual Benefit to Support Rethreaded
Our Cause: In 2016, Duval County ranked fifth in Florida for the number of positively identified sex trafficking cases.
With the goal of addressing sex trade and human trafficking in our community, the non-profit organization that we supported in 2016 was Rethreaded. Rethreaded is a social entrepreneurship that is breaking the cycle of the sex trade by offering viable and creative work to those affected by the sex trade (ie. prostitution, drug addiction, and human trafficking).
We hosted a fundraiser at the Comedy Zone featuring the comedian, Carl Strong. A survivor also shared her experience with human trafficking and how Rethreaded impacted her life. For our additional project that year, we collected gently used and new t-shirts to donate to Rethreaded for the creation of products for resale.
2015: Purses & PUmps With A Purpose
Our Cause: The rate of domestic violence offenses in Duval County has been significantly and consistently higher than the Florida average since 1996. In 2015 alone, there were a total of 6,914 domestic violence offenses. This only includes the number of reported crimes, a staggering number considering the vast majority of these instances go unreported.
In 2015 our focus was to raise awareness about domestic violence and help support Hubbard House with our charity fundraiser. Serving Duval and Baker Counties, Hubbard House is a full-service certified domestic violence center. We collected a storage room full of clothing, shoes and personal items from the community. The donated clothes and items were used in a unique fashion show competition. There was also a catwalk competition for the men to demonstrate what it is like to “walk in a women’s shoes” by walking in high heels. Our guest speaker was a domestic violence survivor whose words were poignant and impactful.