Miami Lighthouse’s 80th Ruby Jubilee Dinner Concert
Benefiting Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Jose Feliciano receives honorary Miami Senior High School diploma presented by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho's Chief of Staff Daniel Tosado and School Board member Raquel Regalado

Representative Dennis Baxley, Board Chairman Michael Silva, Representative Matt Hudson, Ellen Navarro, Senator Nan Rich and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Board Director Jose Abrante and Chairman of the Board Michael Silva

CEO Virginia Jacko with Dan and Trish Bell

The legendary Jose Feliciano dazzled the crowd at a sold-out dinner concert in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Miami Lighthouse, Florida's oldest and largest private agency serving the blind and visually impaired. The event was presented by Northern Trust Bank, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Florida Power & Light, Verdeja & De Armas, Brown & Brown of Florida and others at the historic Biltmore Hotel with United States Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, co-chair of the Congressional Vision Caucus, as mistress of ceremonies. Visionary state leaders were honored for their support during the 2011 legislative session: Senator Gwen Margolis, Senator Joe Negron, Senator Nan Rich, Representative Dennis Baxley, Representative Matt Hudson, and Ellen Navarro, Legislative Assistant. Also honored at the event were 23 Ruby Jubilarians, donors who made a significant contribution in recognition of the Miami Lighthouse’s 80th anniversary. The sixth Miami Lighthouse album, "See the Light", produced in the program's own Henry Stone Music Production Studio, was released at the event.

A new $1.1 million challenge was announced which will generate over three years a total of $2.2 million to provide additional space in a new fourth floor expansion to house an Educational Empowerment Center. Naming opportunities are available for significant contributors to the incentive match in the new fourth floor facility which will provide an additional 6,000 square feet for Braille and technology literacy, programs for teenagers transitioning to post-secondary education as well as job readiness. The match applies dollar-for-dollar for gifts of $500 up to $1.1 million during the next three years. According to CEO Jacko this expansion will meet the needs of a fourteen-fold increase since the Miami Lighthouse 2006 Diamond Jubilee; now serving 9,500 individuals annually. To participate in this challenge, call Virginia Jacko at 305-856-4176 or click to Donate Now.

Additional sponsors of the event included: KJ Arellano Foundation; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Turner & Associates, LLP; Bacardi USA; Joseph and Jessica DaGrosa; Pamela J. Garrison and Shelley D. Rutherford; Aran Eye Associates; Walter and Terri Shikany; Stamps Family Foundation; Reverend Marta Weeks and Karl Wulf; Underwriting Sponsors included Media Stage, Inc.; Romero Britto; Codina Partners; United HomeCare; Williamson Cadillac; Nüage Designs; Charles Simons and Libby Trainor; Terra Group and Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables/Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay.

Helping to raise funds was an energetic silent auction which featured a wide variety of priceless items such as: roundtrip airfare to Washington DC, two-night stay at the JW Marriott Hotel, a personal tour of the United States capitol with U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, lunch in the Member’s Dining Room and an American flag flown over the Capitol with the winning bidders name on it; American Airlines roundtrip airfare and a three-night stay at Adler Fels Winery in beautiful Sonoma County made possible by International Boutique Wines; a seven-day Norwegian Cruise; and a one-week stay in Kennebunk Beach, Maine.

For more information call Cameron Sisser at 786-362-7515 or visit

Carmen Cason and Mayor Jim Cason

Commissioner Sally Heyman, CEO Virginia Jacko and Senator Nan Rich

Honorary Director Agustin Arellano Sr., CEO Virginia Jacko and Tete Arellano

Standing: Dottie Prevatt, Board Director Ray Casas, Virginia Jacko and Ginger Mead; Seated: Legal Counsel Emeritus Preston Prevatt and Dick Mead

Stanley and Joanne Tate

Phillis Oeters and Beatrice Gonzalez

Board Director Bill Roy and Honorary Director Susan Kelley

Dr. Arnold Blaustein and Board Director Donna Blaustein

Sheila Freed and Board Director Owen Freed

CEO Virginia Jacko and Penny Shaffer

Board Director Ray Casas and Ali Casas

Luci Aran, Dr. Alberto Aran, Dr. Andrew Wiles, Dr. Emilio Balius, Dr. Alan Levitt, Dr. Adam Stelzer and guests

Jose Feliciano sings Para Decir Adiós with Natalie Sulca, a graduate of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Better Chance Music Production Program™

Ruby Jubilee Chairpersons Lisa Pisciotta and Michael Silva

Congressman David Rivera, Doral Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez and Clemente Canabal

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jose Feliciano and Harriet Carter

Board Director Bill Beckham and Julia Beckham

Board Director Kent Benedict and Erika Benedict

Senator Nan Rich and Ellen Navarro

Flynt Griffin, Blaine Lounsbury and Otto Foerster

Mike and Christine Hudson, Representative Matt Hudson and Jennifer Guy

Jeannie Reinoso, Board Director Humberto Gonzalez and Isabel Chica

Inez and Henry Stone

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Staff Members

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Musicians