Goodwill South Florida Raises More Than $1M at Inaugural ‘Craft Your Look’ Gala in Celebration of 60th Anniversary

Miami, FL – November 18, 2019 – In celebration of its 60th Anniversary, Goodwill South Florida recently celebrated its sold-out inaugural “Craft Your Look” fundraising gala, an evening of Good Music, Good Fashion and Goodwill held on Saturday, November 16th at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The gala helped raise more than $1M for Goodwill South Florida.

Approximately 600 guests felt like they stepped into a designer’s studio, filled with color, whimsy and creativity. The gala also promoted sustainability by featuring a repurposed fashion show with clothing pieces found at Goodwill stores, curated by renowned fashion designer Rene Ruiz, along with the work of Miami Fashion Institute students and local stylists. Guests were entertained by the Spirit of Goodwill Band, an unforgettable award-winning group of musicians with significant disabilities. The inaugural gala was chaired by Rachel Sapoznik and vice chaired by Tony Argiz.

“Goodwill South Florida has provided hope and opportunity to people with disabilities for 60 years. Our inaugural gala was a great way to showcase what Goodwill is about because we’re so much more than our stores. We’re an innovative social enterprise that not only vocationally trains our participants, but also employs them in a variety of businesses. The gala also served to raise funds to help with our programs and services. We are thankful to all the supporters who helped us raise more than $1M through this first-time event,” stated David Landsberg, CEO of Goodwill Industries of South Florida.

The “Craft Your Look Gala” was attended by a multitude of elected officials, community and civic leaders, as well as supporters of Goodwill South Florida. Some of the guests included U.S. Congresswoman Donna Shalala, former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, pop artist Romero Britto, Jorge M. Perez, CEO of The Related Group, as well as Leonard and Jayne Abess from one of the Goodwill South Florida founding families, among others. 

“What started as a promise, came true like a dream. The gala was the culmination of 12 weeks of intense focus and determination to raise money for those most in need. A great number of the individuals that benefit from the training provided by Goodwill South Florida are disabled, yet they become able with the guidance received at Goodwill. The $1 million dollar goal seemed to be something that most people never thought would happen, but we are so grateful for everyone who donated and supported this key community organization,” stated Rachel Sapoznik, Chair of the Craft Your Look Gala and CEO of Sapoznik Insurance.

Goodwill South Florida also worked with the UpCycle Project to raise awareness of the benefits of purchasing second-hand clothing from Goodwill stores as a sustainable fashion alternative. As part of this program, Miami-based stylists collaborated with Goodwill Ambassadors to curate the looks displayed at the gala. The organization, having served South Florida community for 60 years, presented the “Craft Your Look Gala” to help build relationships and raise funds to continue the mission of training, employment and job placement for the more than 400,000 unemployed people with disabilities in the region. Known as an ultimate recycler, Goodwill keeps 38 million pounds of waste out of the landfills each year. For more information on Goodwill South Florida, visit

About Goodwill South Florida

Goodwill South Florida, serving Miami, Broward, and Monroe counties, is the 17th largest employer in South Florida. The nonprofit’s mission is training, employment and job placement for people with disabilities and other barriers to work, helping individuals increase productivity and achieve greater independence. Last year, the agency provided services to 6,800 South Floridians. Goodwill South Florida is one of the most cost-effective non-profits in the U.S with 95 percent of its budget going directly to programs that are aimed at people with disabilities and other barriers to work. For more information, please visit or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.