Thank you to everyone who attended the Havens Winter Festival last Friday night.  I enjoyed seeing so many families enter beautifully-decorated Ellen Driscoll with their donations for the Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) Holiday Giving Program; then loved watching them take their gifts to the wrapping table or place their preschool supplies and wrapped presents on the festive and full stage.  Kids were quite busy moving from one arts and crafts station to the next (did you see the adorable photo cut-out booth?) as well as participating in the many SERVES activities benefiting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, Grand Lake Gardens Senior Community, and a Santa Rosa school district affected by the October North Bay fires.  Everyone devoured the yummy treats of freshly popped popcorn, baked goods, and hot chocolate and cider.  Parents socialized; purchased SCRIP gift cards, See’s candy and Havens merchandise; and listened to lovely music performed by third-grade teacher Shauna Revelli’s instrumental music students.  

With almost 300 people registered for the event, it took a village to organize and execute.  Thank you to the amazing planning team of Laura Amen, Natalia Ferretti, Katie Gudiksen, Amy Gurvitz, and Heidi Upton.  Thanks to the SERVES team for their creative and charitable service activities.  For the delicious treats and warm beverages, thank you to Eileen Kwei, Charlene Reis and Summer Kitchen Bake Shop, Natalia Ferretti, Mulberry’s Market, Robert Dorsey, and the many families who donated cookies and other baked goods.  Thanks to Shauna Revelli and her instrumental music students, Rebecca and Jackson Thornborrow, and Jack Sample for providing us with amazing music throughout the night.  Thank you to the following for volunteering their time and energy during and after the event:  Piedmont Middle School student volunteers, SCRIP team, Merchandise team, SERVES team, Julie Fujimoto, Elise Hatchell, Betty Winnacker and daughters, Nancy White, Alissa Welch, Rebecca Thornborrow, Amber Chaudhry, Santhoshi Dumpala, Eileen Kwei, Beshka Vukasin, and Jennifer Poole.  I am very grateful for all of your contributions.      

In addition, I appreciate all of the Havens families and room parent coordinators (led by Heidi Upton) who supported the JFCS Holiday Giving Program this year.  All classrooms in grades Kindergarten through 5th participated in the program and helped to fulfill the wish lists of 17 refugee families in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and numerous underserved preschools in Oakland.  A group of us delivered the hundreds of gifts and supplies to the JFCS office in Walnut Creek yesterday, and the JFCS staff was overwhelmed by the unbelievable generosity of the Havens community.    

Last but not least, please mark your calendars for our next HPC meeting the morning of Thursday, January 11, 2018 (note date change).

Thanks and Enjoy the Last Week Before Break,

Dana Lung, HPC President


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