Members of the Greater Columbus community are expected to bust a move to a DJ, sample kosher food and drinks and win big in casino games during the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus’ annual Gala Feb. 8.

This fundraising event, held at 1125 College Ave. in Columbus and billed as “the biggest party of the year,” supports JCC-wide programming for children and adults – from preschool and summer camp to recreation and wellness, senior program activities and cultural arts.

The gala was first started in 1980, said JCC Chief Operating Officer Ronnie Conn.

"We are excited to present this dynamic event and the money raised be beneficial as the J continues to grow and create new and innovative programming," Conn wrote in an email. 

This year, the gala features food stations, a DJ, open bar, prizes and casino games like blackjack, roulette and poker. The event is open to both JCC members and nonmembers.

“The gala not only provides that fundraising aspect for us here, but we find it is a really great centering time for us to be excited about this year’s theme, ‘The Future Starts Here,’” said Rachel Flenner, marketing manager at the JCC. “ ... We get to honor and celebrate not only the J itself, but the people that make the J so special.”

Conn estimates over 400 people will attend this year's event co-chaired by Lauren and Jared Rubin.

“By having this really great party that J supporters can all come and enjoy, that’s why it’s such an impactful thing for us here and why we do it every year,” Flenner said. “They’re giving to us by buying a ticket, but we’re giving back to them by throwing this event and showing them what the future will look like and what their impact is by partying with us at the J.”

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