The Secret To Our Success Is You & Making Protective Factors A RealityThere’s really nothing like Informed Families’ Annual Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant. Joe’s is a Miami institution known throughout the world as the place to see and be seen! During stone crab season (October-May), customers wait in line for hours just to experience their amazing stone crabs, cole slaw, hash browns and famous key lime pie.
Our first stone crab dinner was the idea of Informed Families’ Board member Dorothy Shula, the late wife of Don Shula, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Jo Anne Sawitz Bass and her son Steve Sawitz hosted our first Joe’s dinner 32 years ago, which was the beginning of a wonderful friendship and partnership. The restaurant closes to the public at the very end of stone crab season and opens its doors to friends of Informed Families for one night to help Florida’s children grow up safe, healthy and drug free.Risk & Protective Factors Are The Key To Raising Drug-Free Kids!
When we deliver our programs in schools and communities, our aim is to increase protective factors (conditions in a community that protect our kids from getting into trouble) and reduce risk factors (conditions that make our kids more likely to get into trouble). Living in a supportive community is a protective factor. Joe’s is an amazing example of a supportive community. Kids need a sense of connection and community. Joe’s is a great example of community protective factors that have spanned 32 years. Everyone is doing their part. Joe’s is a protective factor event!
Our wonderful event Co-chairs, Pam Giganti-Bunge & Alfred Bunge and Dr. Linda Neider & Dr. Paul Sugrue set the tone and turned out their friends to support Florida’s kids. Brian Johnson and the Joe’s staff are consummate professionals who make serving 400 people, all at the same time, seem easy. “Bring back the street party” was a major request and we could not have made the Street Party possible without the Miami Beach Police Department as our biggest advocate. Thanks to Graham Winick and City Manager Jimmy Morales for pushing the request forward. Surprise of surprises, the Rent My Wedding team called us up and donated a fun photo booth. Ron Magill and Roxy Vargas, our celebrity Maître ’Ds, made getting to your table fun. Commissioner Sally Heyman, Celebrity Maître ‘D extraordinaire, we missed you! Thanks to all our wonderful sponsors and guests, Joe’s reminds us of the enormous power and value of people and communities working together. This year’s theme was “Communities That Care” – and the level of caring exhibited that night was truly inspiring – protective factors in action.
I am tremendously grateful for the generous support of our Joe’s community – and I’m grateful for you, our readers who are creating PROTECTIVE FACTORS in your own homes, schools, workplaces and communities to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.