Havinagala Returns In-Person at BAR{n}

February 01, 2022

Havinagala Returns In-Person at BAR{n}

Havinagala Returns In-Person at BAR{n} Benefit for the PAL Program Planned for March

ATLANTA, GA. — Jan 30, 2022 —Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) will hold its annual Havinagala fundraiser in-person this year on Saturday, March 5, 2022, 7:30 – 10 PM at BAR{n} Dunwoody Village, (5521 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.), a new eatery and bar in Dunwoody.

Havinagala is in its 32nd year and raises essential funds for the PAL Program of JF&CS. Due to COVID-19, the event was reimagined in 2021 as a socially-distanced family event — Havinawalk. This year, Havinagala will be held in BAR{n}, an indoor/outdoor venue to encourage fun but responsible behavior during the pandemic.

The PAL Program is Atlanta’s only Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister Program for children ages 5-17 who are being raised in a variety of family situations — often by single parents, grandparents, legal guardians, or they may have siblings with developmental disabilities. Many families can benefit from a positive role model and friend to help their children. Big and Little PALs get together twice a month to do what Little PALs find fun and interesting — whether that is arts and crafts or throwing a football at the park. Part-role model, part-friend, Big PALs are there to support kids on life’s most important journey — growing up.

Owner and manager of the new event venue, BAR{n}, and JF&CS supporter, David Abes, was happy to help event organizers pivot to their new location.

"Julie & I are excited to bring Havinagala to BAR{n}. We are amazed how this event has evolved and have attended many Havinagalas over the years. At The Village, we want to support the community and work with the youth to help them grow. The PAL Program is rewarding for both children and their Big PALs, and the most important thing is putting a smile on everyone's face,” said Abes.

The Abes family are no strangers to JF&CS as they are longtime volunteers: Abes' father, Marshall Abes, is a dentist and served as a volunteer at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic. His sister, Lauren, has also supported the Clinic. His mother, Stephanie, is a former JF&CS board member. In addition, David and Julie have always supported the Tasting event.

This year's Havinagala co-chairs are Jamie Asman and Max Miller, both of whom are Big PALs in the program. Miller became a Big PAL a year ago, and already feels like it has brought fulfillment into his life.

“The PAL Program is important to me, and I am grateful I get to participate in it,” Miller said. "I love to see the excitement in my PAL’s face when we see each other, and it feels good knowing that I have a significant impact on my PAL’s life.”

“You should come to Havinagala because it is going to be a fantastic fundraiser and party for a great cause. We have a talented group of volunteers on the committees, so come and support your friends too who have helped to make this happen," he added.

About The Event

Tickets are $80 in advance — $100 at the door — and can be purchased at www.havinagala.org. To promote responsible social distancing, there will be limited capacity at the venue, and it is expected to sell out. Admission includes food, beer, wine, and signature drinks, plus life-sized games. In addition, there will be a sober mixologist crafting non-alcoholic beverages provided by the HAMSA (Helping Atlantans Manage Substance Abuse) Program of JF&CS.

Fantastic silent auction and raffle items are still coming in, but prizes include vacations, fitness memberships, sports tickets, and restaurant gift cards. The event will also include music from Atlanta Fever Entertainment, and a photo booth from Button It Up.

Big PAL of The Year Award

The 3rd Annual Joel Libowsky Big PAL of the Year award will be presented to Jason Zutty who has been a Big PAL to Little PAL, Austin, for eight years. This award honors a Big PAL who has made a “superlative influence” on their Little PAL’s life; helping their Little PAL navigate through challenging times in their lives and acting as a support for the family as well. Big PALs were nominated by families of Little PALs and fellow Big PALs.

Austin’s mother, Janet Simmerman, enthusiastically nominated Jason through a glowing letter about how much it has meant to have Jason in Austin's life.

“Jason was a perfect fit for Austin from the first moment they met in 2013. With Austin’s Asperger’s, it takes a special type of person to handle and relate to him. Dealing with a person with Asperger's can often be frustrating and exhausting, as they need more reassurance, react more to situations, and have reduced social skills,” she said.

The award is named in honor of former Big PAL, Joel Libowsky. Libowsky was a previous Big PAL to two Little PALs for more than 13 years — including Scott Tenenbaum, who spoke at the JF&CS Community of Caring event in 2018. Libowsky, co-owner of Jeckil Promotions, continues to be an advocate for the program, and is actively involved in JF&CS and the Jewish community.

“Being part of the PAL Program has made me who I am today: it has made me a better person. It is an honor to present this award to an exemplary Big PAL, and there were so many touching nominations,” said Libowsky.

Perennial Properties returned as a Platinum Sponsor for the fourth year. The Gold Sponsor is Jeckil Promotions, and the Joyce and Ramie Tritt Family Foundation is the Silver Sponsor. Repro Products and The Color Spot, Classic Tents & Events, and Londe Productions are Bronze Sponsors. (As of 1/27/22)

Please contact Allison Holmes for sponsorship opportunities at 770.677.9378. Visit havinagala.org for more information or to purchase tickets.

Covid Policy

All guests who attend the event must show proof of vaccination via card, photo, or app, or provide a negative PCR or rapid test from the last 48 hours. Masks are encouraged but not required and will be available as needed. We encourage guests to be safe and do what makes them feel comfortable. JF&CS is not liable if a guest should contract COVID-19.