Thank you to everyone who attended our 2016 Youthlinc Annual Benefit. It was a major success! We were completely sold out with more than 360 attendees, and we cleared over $70,000, which will go toward sponsorship and financial aid.

This benefit was extra special, as it commemorated the retirement of our Founder, Judy Zone, and welcomed our new Executive Director, Justin Powell.

In honor of Judy’s retirement, she wanted to extend a special thank you to a handful of individuals who were instrumental in the founding of Youthlinc. For this reason, we held a special Founders Award event before the Annual Benefit officially began.


Legacy Sponsors and Sustaining Members, as well as award recipients and families, were invited to attend our Founders Award event at 5:30pm. Recipients socialized until our program began. During the Youthlinc Retrospective, each person was recognized for his or her contribution. Awards were distributed as individuals were called up to the podium to say a few words of appreciation.



After the Founders Award event, the Annual Benefit social hour was in full-force. Guests were encouraged to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and bid on silent auction items from around the world. Event volunteers promoted opportunity-drawing tickets for the Koloa Landing Resort (donated by Bill Child) and citrine necklace and earrings (donated by Williams Jewelers).


At 7:45pm, Burundi Drummers marched through the crowd and into the dining room, signaling the beginning of our program at the end of the silent auction. After an incredible performance, Justin Powell introduced Beri Nibizi, who delivered the invocation.

Beri is a Youthlinc Service Year participant and was born in Burundi. He spoke about his experiences living in a refugee camp in Tanzania, and how through hard work he has been able to quickly adapt to American culture and customs.


We then recognized our wonderful Benefit Committee volunteers who worked tirelessly to make everything go smoothly on Saturday night. The infinite number of details would have been impossible to keep track of without their help.

Judy Zone was recognized as our 2016 Lifetime Humanitarian for her wonderful gift of Youthlinc, a gift that will truly keep giving. Judy’s friends and mentors offered high praise of her vision, work ethic and accomplishments.


Historically, we set out to raise $20,000 in 15 minutes at every Youthlinc Benefit during the Sponsorship Appeal. Student alumni are recruited to sit at every table and give a testimonial about their Service Year experience. Individuals at the table are then asked to make a donation to support financial aid for students in future years. This year, we exceeded our goal with $21,250 in 15 minutes!

Jerika Mays introduced the top 10 finalists of our Utah Young Humanitarian Award, a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by the George S. Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. One $3,000, three $1,000 and five $500 runner-up awards were also distributed.


Our 2016 Utah Young Humanitarian is Carter Woolf! He was recognized for his profound involvement in the refugee and immigrant community here in Salt Lake. Michaela Kowalewski was our first runner-up. She created the Warrior Food Pack Program, which provides 89 elementary students with a pack of food to sustain them over the weekend every week.

Again, thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Benefit. And of course, a special thank you to our benefit sponsors: Nate Wade Subaru, US Bank, Sundance Catalog, and Adobe. They made it possible for 100% of the evening’s donations to go directly to Youthlinc programming.