The Lopez Lens: Amanda Altman

This week, Marile Lopez zooms in on Kristi House CEO Amanda Altman

David Efron, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, Amanda Altman, & Alberto Carvalho at the Kristi House's Silver Lining Gala

In Miami’s philanthropic community, there are many great individuals supporting incredible charitable organizations but at the moment, I am applauding Kristi House CEO Amanda Altman. She not only advocates for several causes here in our South Florida community – yes, while unstoppably directing Kristi House she volunteers with the American Red Cross – but she’s also an accomplished litigator. To take her current position, she left a successful and lucrative career.

Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez at the Kristi House's Silver Lining Gala

“I am an advocate for those that need me,” she says. “Kristi House is where I am needed to help fight for those who — like me — once couldn’t fight for themselves.”

Yes, a victim-turned-advocate made her as host of the Kristi House Silver Lining Gala’s theme — from trauma to triumph — all the more meaningful. The occasion also happened to mark the organization’s 25-year anniversary.

There, my husband Jorge Luis Lopez and I gathered with 350 of our “closest friends” (we do know a lot of people…..) at the Four Seasons Hotel on Brickell Avenue. Altman was beaming as she greeted us. But in addition to being a guest, I am also Altman’s friend, so I can attest to her sense of wanting to help others, to make them feel cared for and mostly to fight for them. Altman believes in doing the right thing, the first time around.

That is precisely what she is doing every day at Kristi House. She is fighting for those victims of child abuse, neglect and abandonment. Bringing child-victims and their families hope, compassion and much needed support. Altman is raising awareness in our community of the many issues they face. 

She’s also raising money. Funds are needed to support ongoing, high quality, restorative services for child-victims and their families. That’s because they’re offered free of charge at six Miami-Dade locations. Moving this mission means actively fundraising. Making an impact means making contributions. And giving was what my husband and I witnessed at the gala, which raised over $560,000 for Kristi House programs for child sexual abuse and trafficking victims. 

For that, we commend chairs Barbara Havenick and Lizzie Schaul, and committee members Raquel Catalano, Bianca Gabay, Elizabeth Kagan, Loryn Panahpour, Jennifer Rockwood, Lauren Schwartz, Kara Zeder Rosen and Tina van der Ven. We were also delighted to see community leaders such as Miami-Dade Commissioners Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson, Esteban Bovo, Joe Martinez and Jean Monestime, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, MDCPS Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, and Judges Kristy Nunez and Nushin Sayfie. Former Miami Heat start-player, Shane Battier, surprised the guests during the live auction with an exclusive “back-stage” Miami Heat experience!

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