Holiday Sale (Fundraiser) 2023… That’s a Wrap!

If you walked into the Pozez JCC this past week, you probably saw tables with merchandise for sale that took up most of the lobby. This year’s Chanukah/Holiday sale included work by several artists with disabilities as well as select members and staff. The purpose of the sale was to highlight the talent of these artists in addition to fundraising for Inclusion and Disability Services programming (and of course to give members, staff, and others an opportunity to buy some lovely items). The sale was a success, exceeding sales from 2022! Thank you to everyone who stopped by and made purchases.

If you are thinking, darn I missed it; you actually have another chance to accomplish these goals. Throughout the month of December, you can buy from some of the artists online, including one artist that was not able to be at the J in person. Below are the artists who have shared their websites.

Let the artists know that you are buying through the JCC sale.

Emily Kim’s journey as an artist started at the age of 3, when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Even after several years of treatments, her cancer returned when she was 7.  She underwent a successful life-saving cord blood stem cell transplant but suffered complications resulting in permanent and progressive neurological damage. Despite many setbacks and obstacles over the years, her love for drawing and creating cheerful prints has continued to grow.  According to Emily, “The themes of my art are positivity, hope, whimsy, and imagination. I like to create drawings with bright colors that bring joyful and happy thoughts.”

The Avery Oerth Company was started so Avery could share his talents and spread kindness. He makes buttons (pins) and magnets. In addition to his art, Avery has an extensive knowledge of rocks, minerals, and gemstones, and is an expert Lego builder. Avery offers over 200 different words or phrases on his buttons and magnets. All of them are positive affirmations. Avery enjoys his work and takes great pride in the quality of his buttons. Like most people, Avery wants to have meaningful work at a job he likes. Avery just happens to have autism.

Instagram @hellolove_cards 

Michael loves drawing animals and characters.  He finds drawing animals to be calming, and that the sensory overload and anxiety that can accompany being autistic seem to go away when he is focused on a picture. Hello Love Cards was born of Michael’s dream to make a difference. In 2020 he began sending notes of encouragement to healthcare workers and elders in facilities. Now with every purchase, a card with Michael’s artwork is sent anonymously to someone who may need that hello. Michael hopes that his art will make people feel uplifted when they see it.

Sophiola by Sophia Pineda sells prints and notecards bearing art created by Sophia, a young artist who happens to have Down Syndrome. As a baby, Sophia faced life-threatening medical conditions, then later, many learning challenges. Sophia enjoys many activities, including ballet, horseback riding, modeling, and swimming. But it is really art that has Sophia’s imagination and her heart. Today she is vibrant, healthy, and loves to paint, sketch, and help run her business. 

*Please use code “JCCHF” when you check out to indicate participation in the JCC Holiday Fundraiser. 

Ian Gwinn is a fine art and commercial photographer, specializing in still life, landscapes, and portraits. He loves animals… so you will see lots of animal photos, including images of his favorite subject, Milo, his aging beagle, as well as wildlife and other animals around the farm including frogs, chickens, ducks, geese, and a chameleon.  Ian graduated magna cum laude in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. 

Jessica Tischler was the originator of this Holiday Sale seven years ago, and the long-time Director of the Inclusion and Disability Services department at the JCC. She has Tourette’s Syndrome and OCD.  Jessica wrote two childrens’ books in the hopes that she can educate children on learning important life lessons at a young age so that they grow up as healthy, open-minded individuals…with great senses of humor! Jessica, along with her husband Shy Ashkenazi, are the creators of delicious homemade chocolate clusters. Jessica loves to experiment with different ingredients and fun names for the clusters. Mother Clusters are customizable to your favorite flavors and mix-ins.

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