IN THE NEWS: Award Winning Actress, Linda Evans Keynotes 3rd Annual JFS Reflections of Hope Luncheon

Randall P. Lieberman

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Mar 17, 2015

[Submitted Photo] From left, JFS “Reflections of Hope” Luncheon Chair Nancy Schiller, Grand Benefactor Marilyn Weinberg, Chair Judi Donoff, Grand Benefactor Jay Weinberg, speaker Linda Evans, and Vice Chairs Robin Rubin and Talia Klein.

Boca Raton, FL…February 27, 2015 -- Award winning actress Linda Evans, best known for her role as Krystle Carrington in the hit television series Dynasty discussed her life story, her romances and her experience with depression, during her keynote address at the 3rd Annual “Reflections of Hope” Luncheon. Reflections of Hope is an event whose goal is to publicize and help break the stigma of mental illness, a critical issue affecting one in four adults, and benefits the Welcome Home Program and mental health services of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS). This year’s Luncheon, with close to 500 people in attendance, took place February 26th at the Boca West Country Club.

During her 30 minute address, Evans praised the work of JFS in regards to its work with mental health services and especially the Welcome Home Program, a free drop in center, which provides a supportive, caring and therapeutic environment where adults suffering from long-term mental illness can improve their independent functioning. “I didn’t have access to the types of resources that are offered through JFS. But I wish I had,” stated Evans. Depression set in when Evans had to face the major illnesses that befell her sister and best friend. Evans remained positive through her ordeal. She told the audience how depression had changed her life. “Depression caused me to have more compassion” Evans said ”I was able to look at my life from a different perspective and realized that my suffering didn’t change the suffering of the people I loved.”

“We are extremely grateful to those whose generosity has enabled this opportunity to raise awareness and vital funds in order to break the stigma associated with mental illness,” said Judi Donoff who chaired the luncheon with Nancy Schiller and Vice Chairs Robin Rubin & Talia Klein. “They are led by Grand Benefactors Marilyn and Jay Weinberg who truly understand the importance of this event that will help so many throughout our community. We hope that many others will follow in the Weinberg’s footsteps by supporting the incredible programs and services that JFS provides.”

“This powerful event provides hope and inspiration and opens the door to a world of possibilities,” said Nancy Schiller, “As the daughter of a schizophrenic mother and the mother of a schizophrenic daughter, I felt early and learned deeply the stigma and challenges of mental illness.” “Mental illness can affect us all as it doesn’t have socioeconomic or demographic barriers,” said Rubin. ”As a social worker, I was thrilled to be a part of this event as putting an end to the stigma of mental illness is of great importance to me.”

Added Klein, “Based upon the incredible attendance of this year’s event, the community continues to provide overwhelming support of our efforts to raise awareness of mental illness which in turn helps us provide much needed services.” Grand Benefactors of “Reflections of Hope” are Marilyn and Jay Weinberg. Event sponsors include Meryl & Ron Gallatin, Anne & Norman Jacobson, Shirley & Barton Weisman, Greenspoon Marder, PA, Ticho Foundation, Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton Observer and Sun Sentinel.

For more information about JFS, volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, visit ralesjfs.org or call 561.852.3333.

Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) provides help, hope and humanity through a comprehensive range of programs and services which support people of all ages and beliefs. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, vocational training, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. Funding is provided by private and corporate support, grants, special events and individuals who reach thousands in need each year. For more information about JFS volunteer opportunities and services for seniors, contact 561-852-3333. Learn more at www.ralesjfs.org.

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