Celebration of Light Gala raised a record $820,000 for Kristi House children


Three hundred guests celebrated healing child trauma at Kristi House’s Celebration of Light Gala on February 2nd at Miami’s Four Seasons. Presented by the law firm of Marin, Eljaiek, Lopez & Martinez, with major support from I Squared Capital, the evening celebrated the light that has been shed on the dark topic of child abuse and sex trafficking.

Guests heralded the growing awareness of sexual abuse and assault, and demonstrated their continued support for the safe haven that Kristi House has been for children since 1995.

With the momentum set by a generous $200,000 Challenge Grant made by Juliana and Alex Krys, guests were inspired to raise a record $820,000 for Kristi House. Funds raised will go toward the emotional, physical and legal advocacy needs for children and their families overcoming childhood abuse trauma.

Four Season’s Chef Aaron Brooks created a scrumptious gourmet dinner with fine wines and spirits generously provided by Republic National Distributing Company.

Lead sponsors of the Celebration of Light Gala were the de Moya Company, Kara & Rick Rosen, Maria & Al Maloof, Phantom Rescue, PowerPlus Tutoring and Judy and Jon Zeder.

Host Committee sponsors included Julee & Sergio Akselrad, Fran & Howard Feinberg, Marta & Rick Hasty MD, Juliana & Alex Krys and Lizzie & Drew Schaul.

Table sponsors included Akerman, Brown Label, Glide Capital, Chair Audrey Edmonson of Miami-Dade County Commission, Greenberg Traurig, Barbara & Alex Havenick, Vicky & Bert Hucks, Lisa & Robert Katzman, Jennifer Love, MassMutual, Mast Capital, Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables and Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, Loryn & Nader Panahpour, Karen & Luis Reiter, Jennifer & Mark Rockwood, Tina & Alex van der Ven MD and Wansley & Cliff Walters.

Funds raised at the Gala will ensure that Kristi House services remain 100% free to families so that child-victims of all types of trauma get the help they need.

Since founding, Kristi House has provided services to nearly 20,000 child abuse victims, and has provided education and training to more than 120,000 adults, children and professionals. Kristi House serves as the State-designated Child Advocacy Center for all of Miami-Dade County, responsible for coordinating a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement, the State Attorney’s Office, Department of Children and Families, Guardian ad Litem and the Child Protection Team. Kristi House’s clinicians, care workers and educators make use of evidence-based treatments and best practices in all their work. Kristi House specialists enable children to overcome the trauma of sexual abuse, physical abuse, trafficking and other childhood trauma, so that they can go on to lead happy, productive lives that are not forever marked by abuse, shame, secrecy, or trauma.


Save the date for 2020 – February 8th!





Event Photos

Step-and-Repeat Photos

Event Photos




Presenting Sponsor




 Major Sponsor

Lead Sponsors

The de Moya Group

Maria & Al Maloof

PowerPlus Tutoring

Kara & Rick Rosen

Phantom Rescue

Judy & Jon Zeder


Host Committee

Julee & Sergio Akselrad

Fran & Howard Feinberg

Marta & Rick Hasty, MD

Juliana & Alex Krys

Lizzie & Drew Schaul


Table Sponsors


Berta & Jim Blecke

Glide Capital

Chairwomen Audrey Edmonson

Cindy & Jeff Gomez

Greenberg Traurig

Baraba & Alex Havenick

Vicky & Bert Hucks

Jennifer Love


Mast Capital

Mercedez-Benz of Coral Gables

Mercedez-Benz of Cutler Bay

Carol & Al Novak

Loryn & Nader Panahpour

Karen & Luis Reiter

Jennifer & Mark Rockwood

Tina & Alex van der Ven, MD

 Abby & Jeff Zanarini


Event Committee

Maria Maloof, Gala Chair

Juliana Krys and Lizzie Schaul, Auction Co-Chairs

Kara Zeder Rosen, Philanthropy Chair


Auction Committee

Valentina Agudo

Raquel Catalano

Barbara Havenick

Loryn Panahpour

Jennifer Rockwood

Tina van der Ven




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