Save The Date

Save The Date The 20th Annual JustWorld International Gala Will Be Held Jan. 27 In Wellington

By Marina Callahan

“JustWorld International is a family,” said Jessica Newman, founder and vice chair of the Wellington-based nonprofit, which provides education, nutrition and healthcare programs for children in impoverished communities around the world.

As the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) official charity partner, equestrians and philanthropy are the core of JustWorld. Finding common ground in the arena comes easily. The organization challenges equestrians to take it a stride further, to work together to change the lives of children in need.

Like any close-knit family, JustWorld knows that gatherings are essential in developing the strength and unity needed to bring positive change. At the beginning of the winter equestrian season, the annual JustWorld Gala offers a beautiful evening where the global equestrian community can unite and rally around the nonprofit’s mission.

The JustWorld Gala is the organization’s annual keystone fundraising effort, securing a large part of the donations needed to support nearly 10,000. children in Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras and the United States. It is also one of the first social events of the equestrian season, eagerly reuniting those who flock to the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Guests look forward to this evening each time they flip the calendars to January, and this year will be remarkable because it honors the organization’s 20th anniversary.

In celebrating an inspiring 20-year global campaign against poverty, JustWorld cordially invites the community to join the festivities on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., held at Belle Herbe Farm (3206 Old Hampton Drive, Wellington).

This event will feature a catered dinner to which guests can purchase open seating or reserve a group table. It is a limited-capacity event, so tables will sell fast.

A signature welcome cocktail will greet guests as they enter. The expansive silent auction table, brimming with a selection of unique items, will catch the eye. Presenters will lead into one of the evening’s highlights, the live auction, where one-of-a-kind items and experiences will be up for grabs. Guests will bid on several custom-curated, unforgettable experiences, and the proceeds from both auctions will go directly to the JustWorld projects. After dinner, guests will dance the night away to live music to cap a memorable evening.

Supporters can also join as a valued volunteer and play a fundamental role in ensuring the event goes off without a hitch and makes the maximum impact.

JustWorld projects have flourished for 20 years thanks to equestrians and the Wellington community. Newman reflected on the first JustWorld Gala at Belle Herbe Farm in Grand Prix Village in 2003. Held in a humble, little tent around the fountain beside the jump field, the intentions that evening were big. The equestrian community showed its generous spirit and embarked on a journey to change the lives of thousands of children. Today, everyone can see the full scale of its impact.

“The JustWorld Gala is truly a family and generational event. So, you see kids, parents, grandparents, everyone getting involved. The JustWorld Gala is also an opportunity to introduce new people to the organization and our programs, so they can learn about our mission and get involved,” Newman said.

JustWorld Executive Director Eszter Kiss agreed. “What makes JustWorld unique is that everyone who chooses to be involved, either comes to the organization with or very quickly develops a deep passion for creating a better world,” Kiss said. “The close-knit, family feel is what strengthens us. It is a large part of why JustWorld has grown to be a successful organization, and it is how we will continue to change lives for children who need our support.”

Just as the gala is generational, the projects reflect the same sentiment. The Cambodia project has seen children who have graduated from the programs return as teachers or enter into different roles and professions once they complete university. Olympic show jumper Juan Andrés Rodriguez has supported the JustWorld Guatemala program since 2008. He now employs a graduate to run his equestrian equipment store.

The heart of JustWorld’s model is adopting a “whole child approach,” which ensures each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged in a way that fosters all children’s long-term development and success. While education is the primary focus, children need access to essential health and nutrition to support a sustainable learning experience. Studies show that poor health is the primary reason children cannot attend school, and lack of education directly correlates with poverty.

JustWorld is eager to celebrate 20 years of action and the subsequent successes of the program’s nearly 10,000 children on Friday, Jan. 27. Yet, while a special anniversary brings about reflection, it evokes new goals. The JustWorld team, partners, ambassadors and donors are motivated to help make even more children’s dreams come true.

For information about the 20th annual JustWorld Gala, sponsorship opportunities or auction donations, e-mail Learn more about JustWorld by visiting or following them on social media @justworldinternational.