Advocacy & Awareness

The Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation

By Marla Horn Lazarus

“Since we started the Fancy Jeans Party, we have raised over $552,000 to help South Florida families fighting childhood cancer.”

Imagine you’re told that your child has cancer. What would you do? Sandra Muvdi, the founder of the Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF), discovered that: “Your entire life turns upside down and you’re thrown into a downward spiral leading to various types of situational crisis.” It’s heartbreaking to deal with the trauma of your child battling a life threatening illness while unable to pay the rent to keep your family off the streets. Even worse, what if you’re unable to pay for medical tests and treatments that are critical to your child’s survival? That’s why JJCCF is committed to providing emergency financial relief to help families pay for everyday necessities such as medical, utility, rent, mortgage, car, and groceries. This direct and tangible assistance for access to basic necessities is vital to the survival of these children while they’re receiving treatment.

In 2004 Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF) was created shortly after President / Founder Sandra Muvdi lost her only child to cancer. Since then, the Foundation has assisted nearly 4,000 children and family members impacted by pediatric cancer through its Emergency Financial Assistance Program. JJCCF also advocates for and raises awareness of childhood cancer.

Fancy Jeans Party sponsored by Steve Savor, presented by Breakthru Beverage and Vertical Bridge Charitable Network benefitting JJCCF will be held Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. The Fancy Jeans Party is JJCCF’s signature event and a major source of funding for its Emergency Financial Assistance Program for children fighting cancer Florida, which includes patients from all seven pediatric oncology hospitals in the tri-county area of South Florida.

Sandra says, “It is critical to provide these families in crisis with assistance to cover their basic necessities such as food, shelter, utilities and medical bills so they can focus on their child’s survival.”

This year’s Child Honoree is Veronica Avila, an 11-year-old survivor of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). JJCCF assisted Veronica’s family with necessary financial aid while she was receiving her treatment in 2013. Her special wish is for her idol, Ellen DeGeneres, to be her date at the 6th Annual Fancy Jeans Party and to help support other families battling childhood cancer.

During the party, guests will dance the night away while enjoying an open bar and tasty delights from some of South Florida’s most popular restaurants. Chaired by Gustavo Carvajal, First Vice President of Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch, Fancy Jeans Party will feature a variety of interactive entertainment and surprise appearances. Guests can also participate in a “Best Dressed Fancy Jeans” Contest, Crazy Hour, an extraordinary raffle and a silent auction. Raffle tickets are available for purchase online or at the event and include a 7-night Old Havana Cuba Vacation Adventure, Holland America Line Cruise for Two, and an Atlantis Paradise Island Resort Bahamas Escape.

General admission tickets are $100 prepay ($125 at the door if available) and VIP tickets are $200 prepay ($250 at the door if available). For additional information, sponsorship opportunities or to purchase event and/or raffle tickets, please visit, call 954-712-6322 or email


Photo courtesy of Ginny Fujino of Blacktie South Florida