On January 23rd, 2021, JCCA hosted its first-ever virtual A Tree Grows in Pleasantville celebration. The annual celebration of volunteers, staff, and young people had moved online. Despite no canapés or open bar, nearly three hundred wildly enthusiastic attendees logged on to celebrate JCCA’s campus.

It was a brief forty-five-minute event, but it was neither short in heart nor audience generosity.

Event co-chairs Leah Alani, Ali Rosenberg, and Alisa Gershman set the tone of the evening. They called in via Zoom from their living rooms and welcomed the guests with grace and humor.

“We are here for one thing: to celebrate all the wonderful things that happen in Pleasantville. And to make sure we can keep those great things happening,” said Leah. “We are going to show you how magical the campus can be, how important it is, and where your money goes.  We will show you how you make life better for kids who need love and trust and to know someone is looking out for them.” With a glass of champagne in each host’s hand, they toasted the camera and opened the event.

A video program was the centerpiece of the evening. It was impactful and empathetic. Every interview with a volunteer, staff member, or young person, revealed their dedication, spirit, and resilience.

By the time the auction portion of the evening arrived, guests were eager to give. By the end of the night, attendees contributed $77,121, bringing the whole event to more than $400,000 raised!

Organizers and hosts ended the night floating on air. The evening had gone better than expected! They all agreed afterward that A Tree Grows Virtually in Pleasantville was a night to remember.

Watch a recording of the full event here.