An award was created this year in honor of former Big PAL Joel Libowsky, Jewish Family & Career Services Atlanta announced.
The award, to be presented Jan. 25 at the 31st annual Havinagala, will honor a Big PAL who has made a “superlative influence” on their Little PAL’s life; helping their little PAL navigate difficult times in their life; and acting as a support for the family as well. Big PALs were nominated by families of little PALs and fellow Big PALs.
The PAL Program, Atlanta’s only Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister Program, provides one-on-one mentor relationships for children who could benefit from extra time with a trusted adult.
PAL serves a diverse range of families, including single-parent households, LGBTQ+ families, military families, children raised by guardians other than their parents, and siblings of children with developmental disabilities.
Big PALs are Jewish young professionals carefully matched with children to help build confidence, self-esteem and a Jewish identity.
The new award honors Libowsky, who was a Big PAL to two little PALs for more than 13 years, including Scott Tenenbaum, who spoke at the JF&CS Community of Caring event in 2018.
Libowsky, co-owner of Jeckil Promotions, continues to be an advocate for the program, and is actively involved in JF&CS and the Jewish community.
“Being part of the PAL program has made me who I am today; it has made me a better person. It is an honor to present this award to an exemplary Big PAL, and there were so many touching nominations,” Libowsky said.
The award will be given at this year’s Havinagala, the annual benefit for the PAL Program. This year’s event chairs are Sarah and Brian Meyer, Jodi Seligman and Jared Kopelman. This is the second year in a row Meyer and Seligman are co-chairs.
The presenting sponsor this year is Perennial Properties. The gold sponsor is Jeckil Promotions and Aprio is the silver sponsor. Atlanta Fever, Button It Up, Classic Tents & Events, College Hunks, Not As Famous Cookie Company, and Sholight LIVE are in-kind sponsors.
General admission tickets are $75 online at Havinagala.org or $85 at the door, and include dinner, beer, wine, and signature drinks.
In addition, there will be a sober mixologist crafting non-alcoholic beverages provided by the HAMSA (Helping Atlantans Manage Substance Abuse) program of JF&CS. Silent auction and raffle prizes are still coming in, but include vacations, fitness memberships, sports tickets and restaurant gift cards. The event will also include music from Atlanta Fever Entertainment, and a photo booth from Button It Up.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessica Katz Yonatan, 770-677-9364. Visit Havinagala.org for more information or to purchase tickets.
Havinagala takes place 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at SweetWater Brewing Co., 195 Ottley Drive, NE, Atlanta, 30324.