Five Questions for Yolanda Berkowitz

Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz

Voices For Children raises funds to ensure that every abused, abandoned and neglected child in Miami-Dade County has a court appointed Guardian ad Litem and that financial assistance and other resources are available for their accompanying health, educational, and social needs.

Yolanda Berkowitz serves as a guardian and is the heart and soul behind the organization’s annual gala. This year’s “Be A Voice” gala happens on February 15 at the Mandarin Oriental. In anticipation of the affair, SocialMiami had five questions for Yolanda.

How did you get involved with Voices for Children?

A 1995 article in the Miami Herald brought to my attention the need of guardians for kids in foster care. I was curious and attended the training session and took my first case shortly thereafter. I then saw the impact I could make by speaking up in court for abused and neglected children. I never turned back.

I have been involved with the guardian program since then, and later became involved with the program’s fundraising arm, Voices for Children.

You have chaired the Voices for Children “Be A Voice” gala in the past and always take a leadership role in the production of the event. This year’s chairs are Rhonda Rose-Drecksler and Alan Drecksler. What are some of the key elements to being a good gala chair?

Leading by example and inspiring your team to excel in producing the event for both the organization’s fundraising goals and in creating a meaningful guest experience.

How important was the “Be A Voice” host committee?

Voices has some of the most dedicated, committed supporters and our host committee was no exception.

In addition to Voices, what other Miami organizations do you support?

I sit on United Way and Jackson Memorial Hospital boards. Additionally, Jeff and I support Miami Children’s Museum, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapman Partnership, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, The Seed Foundation, Arsht Center, among others.

And lastly, who will you be wearing to the 2014 “Be A Voice” gala?

Now what fun would it be if I told you? But I can tell you that I’ll be wearing something from a designer who supports Voices for Children and who creates beautiful clothing so I can focus on more important things.

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