HomeJune 2014Strike a Pose

Strike a Pose

Nowadays it’s not unusual to hear about our teens running around the community volunteering and doing good work. It really is the norm. In fact, community service is frequently required for high school graduation.
Three local teens, part of the Merage Jewish Community Center’s teen programs, have ventured further than the typical required hours. On May 1, Alexis Elfend, Sophie Gordon and Shaina Maginot, all high school seniors in Orange County, coordinated a fashion show at the Merage Jewish Community Center (JCC) and earned close to $15,000 for a local nonprofit, The Joyful Child Foundation. “ This isn’t a typical bake sale. While we are only 17- and 18-years old, we are incredibly driven to make an impact in our community,“  said Sage Hill senior Sophie Gordon.
“ Our teens truly ran the event,“  said Dan Bernstein, Merage JCC President & CEO. “Giving back is one of the important values exhibited throughout our JCC. It is inspiring to see that our teens are so dedicated to tikkun olam, ‘repairing the world,’ and making a genuine difference.“  Dan continued, “We have become a destination for many of the Jewish teens in our community. Opportunities to make a difference, like executing this event, strengthen our teens not only as better Jews, but as better human beings. We are proud of their accomplishments.“
The team of three teens spread the word by creating collateral, connecting with various retailers, coordinating fittings and soliciting donations, sponsorships and auction items. They even recruited a crew of other teens to serve as “ models“  and event volunteers.
Alexis Elfend of Newport Beach explained, “Doing something fun while making a difference in the community is what this event is all about. We want to engage our community, especially teens and donors, while making a sizable difference.“  Sophie added, “We’re excited to be working with the Joyful Child Foundation: not only is their work of protecting children important, but they are a small, local organization and our fashion show will go a long way to make a difference with their work.“
In addition to their other efforts, the teens recruited Opus Community Foundation, the giving arm of Opus Bank, to support the fashion show and The Joyful Child Foundation with a $10,000 matching grant challenge.“ I can’t imagine making a better investment than in supporting our community’s future leaders and in the safety of our children,“  said Katie Ellis, Executive Director of the Opus Community Foundation.
Retailers showing off their wares in the fashion included LF, Laguna Beach; Hobie, Newport Beach; Social B, Newport Beach; Stella, Newport Beach and No Rest for Bridget, Costa Mesa.
For more information, visit www.thejoyfulchildfoundation.org. And for a head’s-up of great upcoming events, check out www.JCCOC.org.  ✿


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