Miami Lighthouse Celebrates 85th Anniversary

At the Historic Biltmore Hotel

85th Celebration Co-chairs Ramón & Ali Casas and Louis & Janet Nostro at Northern Trust pre-gala event

Three hundred of Miami’s leading philanthropists and elected officials spent an extraordinary evening, enjoying cocktails provided by Bacardi and wine by El Carajo. Presenting sponsor for the evening was Northern Trust. The co-chairs of the celebration, Mr. and Mrs. Ramón Casas and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Nostro, were announced this past March at the Northern Trust pre-gala event. Entertainment was provided by Miami Lighthouse’s nationally-recognized student and instructor musicians and vocalists.

The evening, commemorating Miami Lighthouse’s 85th year, highlighted the organization’s beginning in 1931 during an era when Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become “knights for the blind in the crusade against darkness.” In recognition of that important moment, CEO Virginia Jacko referred to an original letter from Helen Keller pertaining to a garden party that Keller had attended. Ms. Jacko explained that funds were raised in those early years by holding garden parties where prominent Miamians would attend such as Mrs. Charles Brickell, Mrs. Freeman Burdine, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Mrs. Charles Deering, Mrs. Harvey Firestone and Mrs. Hugh Matheson. The legacy of those formative years continues today, noted CEO Jacko, recognizing those in attendance as truly “knights for the blind.”

Jorge & Jacquelyn Munilla and Olga & Charles Nielson

The silent auction committee was chaired by Jacquelyn Munilla. Corporate sponsors included Florida Power & Light, Florida Blue, Marlins Foundation, Comcast, Perry Ellis International, Gus Machado Ford, Walgreens, The Miami Herald and others. Laurie Jennings, WPLG-TV co-anchor, served as Mistress of Ceremonies; the keynote speaker was Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

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