Recently, my younger son was watching Back to the Future for the umpteenth time and in an attempt to make the most of some family bonding, I sat down to watch with him. I was struck by one of Doc Emmet Brown's lines, "Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one." I let that line sink in for a few minutes and it struck me that at JF&CS, we are working very hard to make our future a good one. We are literally as focused on the present as we are on the future.
Our agency is fiscally sound, thanks to the generosity of our loyal supporters and the wisdom of the leadership of our Board of Directors, Finance and Development Committee members. In fiscal year 2017,we engaged more new donors and volunteers than ever before. Our Corporate Partners Program is flourishing with volunteer engagement and sponsorship from close to a dozen new organizations meaningfully engaged in our work. And our special events not only achieved our fundraising goals, but engaged new committee members and guests. In fact, our Women's Breakfast realized more than 25% new attendees and our CHAI event welcomed 100 new guests!
For more than 150 years, JF&CS has literally been "Caring for Generations," and as we look ahead to the next 150 years, we must be certain to ensure our agency remains fiscally sound, able to provide support, resources, and services to improve the lives of each person who walks through our doors. As we look ahead to the future security of the agency, I am proud to announce the launch of the Tree of Life Society, the JF&CS Legacy Society.
In his book, "Legacy: The Giving of Life's Greatest Treasures," Dr. Barrie Sanford Greiff shares,"… the answer for tomorrow, is to build a legacy today, to bequeath not only what we have earned, but what we have learned." Often, people equate estate planning with one's death, but I believe that Dr. Greiff sheds a new light on the concept of "legacy." How can we ensure that those values and ideals, that the passion of our life continues long after our own lifetimes?
This year, we are eager to debunk some widely held myths about Planned Giving. First, Gift Planning is not complicated. And second, making a Legacy Gift is not only for people over 70. At JF&CS, we are eager to talk about the very simple ways that anyone who cares about our work can easily ensure that your values will enrich our agency for generations to come.
I hope that you will be inspired by the stories of the impact we are making on our clients' lives and our community and that you will be motivated by the stories of how philanthropy is making a difference today and well into our future.
My personal thanks is beyond measure for your generosity, your kindness, and your commitment to improving lives.