On June 1, the Board of Directors of Jewelers for Children (JFC) announced a $100,000 pledge to support the work of Autism Speaks. JFC, the philanthropic arm of the jewelry industry, awards millions of dollars annually to organizations that help children. Jewelry manufacturers and retailers across the country that regularly compete in the marketplace join forces through JFC to raise funds in support of such causes as fighting pediatric cancer, strengthening foster care, giving seriously ill children their dream wishes, and now combating autism.
The partnership between JFC and Autism Speaks began in 2006 when Edith Friedman, a Long Island Walk volunteer, encouraged the Autism Speaks Long Island Chapter to submit a proposal to JFC. Friedman's family owns New York City-based N.S. Friedman Designs, Inc., a designer of specialty jewelry. JFC approved the proposal and awarded a $50,000 grant in support of the Long Island Walk. Dave Rocha, JFC's Executive Director, presented the check at the 2007 Long Island Walk Kick-off.
“Autism Speaks has been embraced by this industry which truly has a heart,” said Rich Brown, Autism Speaks' National Director of Leadership Giving. “We are delighted to be partnering with such a dedicated organization.”
From left, Carole Mirkin, Long Island Walk co-chair, Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks, David Rocha, Executive Director JFC Foundation, Cindy Wittels, Team Tyler W Captain, Michael Giangregorio, LI Walk co-chair, and Craig Allen, Chief Meteorologist WCBS-AM 880 at the Long Island Walk Kick-off in 2007