Jay Fund Wine Gala Raises Record $300,000 for Local Families Battling Childhood Cancer

Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation recently hosted its 13th Annual Wine Tasting Gala to benefit local families tackling childhood cancer. Jacksonville Moms Blog was honored to be an invited guest this year.

The Jay Fund Wine Tasting Gala is a creative way to help courageous families and have a great time doing it. The “dressy casual” event brings together the combined talents and passions of wine enthusiasts, gourmets, philanthropists, celebrities and successful friends, creating an unparalleled experience. Some of our favorite local restaurants included this year were Black Sheep, Orsay, Hawkers, Seasons 52, just to name a few.

A view from the second floor of the Wells Fargo building downtown.

But the most pivotal moment of the event was actually not the wine or food — it was meeting local mom Jennifer Shedlin whose son Jacob is currently battling Medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Most parents will never know what it’s like to care for a sick child. It’s a pain no mom should have to bear, but many do, and organizations like Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund help these families through their hardest times while their children are battling cancer. For every tough kid enduring treatments and missing out on parts of their childhood, there’s a mom staying strong and keeping it all together for her family.

It was such an honor to speak with Jennifer Shedlin about her son, Jacob.

The Jay Fund Wine Tasting Gala is an exclusive event that offers guests the opportunity to taste cuisine from the area’s top restaurants, sample world-class wines, socialize with Jacksonville’s finest and enjoy bidding on auction items including sports memorabilia, rare wines, and exciting trips. Also up for auction were items created by children with cancer, which is what this event is really all about.

Aside from socializing, eating, and drinking attendees had the opportunity to mingle with Coach Tom Coughlin and other celebrity participants.

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, there is nothing as important to the family as caring for the child. The Jay Fund steps in with real and tangible help to lift some of their burdens,” said Coughlin.

Jenn Hopkins Photos at Wolfson March 2011 (5)

Over the last few years, the Wine Tasting Gala has raised over $1.5 million for the Jay Fund to help families in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia tackle childhood cancer. This event is an essential source of revenue for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. This year’s Gala was no different;

“I’m thrilled to announce the annual Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Wine Gala raised a record $300,000 to help families in Jacksonville tackle childhood cancer,” said Keli Coughlin, Executive Director of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation. “The generosity of our community speaks to its heart, and I’m grateful for the continued support for both the foundation and the families we serve.”

There are many ways to give to this amazing foundation, but the Jay Fund Gala is truly an event that brings the community of Jacksonville together. We hope to see you there next year!

Vicky Lane is the co-owner and co-founder of Jacksonville Mom (formerly Jax Moms Blog). Since 2012, she has been overseeing the content and technical side of Jacksonville Mom. In this role, she manages over 30 writers and works closely with the managing editor to provide the most relevant content for the Jacksonville parenting community. In her previous career, Vicky obtained her Masters in Education and served as University Registrar at the University of North Florida. Wife to adoring husband John, her love for all things “Mom” began in 2010 when their son Brendan was born. Vicky chose to put her full-time career in higher education on hold to spend time with her new baby, giving her a new respect for motherhood and parenting. In June 2012, John and Vicky welcomed sweet Audrey to the family. Vicky has created an amazing circle of Moms who are continuously seeking new ways to enrich their children’s lives in and around Jacksonville. Being part of the creation of an online parenting resource and small business that serves the great Jacksonville area has allowed her to flourish in a successful career while remaining present for her family.


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