Havinagala Lands at PDK
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Havinagala Lands at PDK

The fundraising aims to bring in $60,000 for the PAL Program on Jan. 27.

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

The PAL Program pairs children with adult mentors.
The PAL Program pairs children with adult mentors.

Jewish Family & Career Services’ annual fundraiser for the PAL Program, Havinagala, is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 27, inside DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

The Hangar at Peachtree at PDK is expected to welcome more than 600 people to support PAL, Atlanta’s only Jewish big brother/big sister program.

“The PAL Program has been around more than 30 years in the Jewish community,” program manager Carly Sonenshine said. “Havinagala has always been the event that benefits the program and allows us to continue the great work. So the success of the event has always helped PAL, and it also helps us recruit big pals to match with little pals in need.”

PAL supports families by offering one-on-one mentor relationships for children who could use extra time with a trusted adult. Havinagala has been the main fundraiser for the program for more than 20 years, and last year’s event at Ponce City Market raised more than $56,000.

Sonenshine said the fundraising goal this year is $60,000.

Hosted by the JF&CS young professional group Volunteers in Action, this year’s edition of Havinagala will feature an open bar, desserts, a photo booth and a silent auction set against the backdrop of the airport.

“The airport has this beautiful hangar that’s really a blank slate,” Sonenshine said. “If the weather is nice, we’ll open up the hangar up to the runway. If the weather is cold, we’re ready for that too, and we have more than enough space inside.”

Event sponsors include Perennial Properties, Mudpie, Jeckil Promotions, Atlanta Fever Entertainment, Atlanta Pipe and Drape, Button It up, Celebrated Experiences, Classic Tents & Events, Lyft and Great American Cookies.

The Havinagala co-chairs are Marni and Daniel Bekerman, Ilissa Paulen, and Allison Thurschwell.

“When you come to Havinagala, you’re not only coming for an awesome party,” Sonenshine said. “But you’re also coming to benefit a really important program for families in our community.”

What: Havinagala
Where: Hangar at Peachtree, 2007 Flightway Drive, Chamblee
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27
Tickets: $60 in advance, $70 at the door, $100 VIP (includes a special bar, a special entrance and free valet parking); Havinagala.org

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