Edited Press Release
Wellington, Florida – The 19th Annual JustWorld Gala, held Friday, March 11, surpassed all expectations, as the event returned to its traditional in-person setting at Belle Herbe Farm. With tremendous support from the equestrian community, new records were set for attendance, auction proceeds, and funding raised to support JustWorld’s life-changing projects for impoverished children in Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras, and the United States.
Caryl Philips and Frank Zeiss generously returned as Presenting Sponsors of the gala and were joined this year by Jenny Oz LeRoy and her new Wellington restaurant, Maxwell’s Plum. Gala guests walked down the Yellow Brick Road into an Emerald City where The Wizard of Oz theme was ever-present. The Voltaire Design-sponsored wall encouraged attendees to use their brains, heart, and courage to support JustWorld’s work, while the cupcake tower provided by Christy’s Bakery was surrounded by lollipops, a hot air balloon, and giant ruby red slippers. Jewelry sponsor Karina Brez Jewelry contributed a “huggable hooves” bracelet to the silent auction and dressed JustWorld Founder, Jessica Newman, in a rainbow gemstone horseshoe necklace. Generous monetary and in-kind donations to support the gala’s success were made by ProElite, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Entertainment for the evening was provided by Tom Blake, DJ Adam Lipson, and Ki-Juan Minors, whose incredible rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was one of the evening’s highlights, while equestrian events announcer Steve Wilde served as emcee for the ninth consecutive year.
The JustWorld live auction was another major fundraising element, and showcased several once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Live auction featured packages included a chance to dine with Olympians Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton at Maxwell Plum’s, a fabulous three night stay in Costa Rica at the Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, a one-week stay in Aspen presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, and a one of a kind, hand-painted Wizard of Oz themed jump. The Longines Global Champions Tour was proud to donate a VIP table for up to six guests in the exclusive hospitality lounge at their spectacular event in the iconic destination of Miami Beach, which will take place April 14th – 16th, 2022.
“We are grateful to have been able to host our Nineteenth Annual JustWorld Gala in person this year, with our amazing supporters and friends,” said Founder Jessica Newman. “Providing vulnerable children with the opportunity to build bright futures for themselves and their communities through education has engaged the equestrian community for many years now, and I am overwhelmed by everyone’s commitment and generosity. Thanks to equestrians, JustWorld will directly help nearly 10,000 children this year alone.”
The date for the 20th Annual JustWorld Gala has been set for Friday, January 27, 2023.