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2018-04-06 digital edition
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April 6, 2018  RSS feed
Social Services

Text: T T T

Trifecta to feature food, drink, auction and creator of Mensch on a Bench

Neal Hoffman with a 5-foot version of his Mensch on a Bench. You can purchase the life-size character off the company’s website for $149.99. Neal Hoffman with a 5-foot version of his Mensch on a Bench. You can purchase the life-size character off the company’s website for $149.99. Tampa Jewish Family Services (TJFS) will hold its annual Trifecta fundraiser on Sunday, April 15, and at a party just before the main event, the feature attraction will be entrepreneur Neal Hoffman, creator of the Mensch on a Bench who was featured on Shark Tank.

The festivities will take place at Congregation Schaarai Zedek, 3303 W. Swann Ave., Tampa, with the Patron Party at 5 p.m. and the main event at 6 p.m. Tickets are $54 for the main event and $180 for the patron party.

Jan Stern, chair for the Trifecta, noted that having Hoffman at the party, “just adds an extra element of special to what is always a terrific evening.”

The Trifecta will include offerings of food and drinks from a variety of local restaurants and a silent auction. Auction items include tickets to various adventure parks or other attractions, jewelry, wine and other items.

One of the fun fundraising highlights will be a wine pull. For $20, attendees can purchase a bottle of wine, choosing from several unmarked bottles that vary in value.

Another side fundraiser will be the mitzvah board, which encourages donations based on the cost of various services TJFS provides. For instance, folks can “buy” a bag of food for a needy family.

The Trifecta’s special guest Neal Hoffman of Cincinnati has been in the toy industry for more than a decade and is known as an “idea guy.” After his Jewish son asked for the popular Christmas toy, Elf on a Shelf, Hoffman developed the Mensch on a Bench. In 2014, he made a deal with Sharks Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec and since then Mensch has become one of the most wellknown Shark Tank brands ever. It is also the largest IP (intellectual property) Jewish brand with more then 100,000 Jewish families having a Mensch product in their home. Since the launch of Mensch on a Bench, the toy line has added Hannah the Hanukkah Hero, Dreidel Dog and an Ask Bubbe doll, voiced by Hoffman’s Aunt Sue, plus there is a hit app and a potential TV movie in the future.

“Trifecta is a wonderful evening where the community can join together to socialize, eat delectable food, enjoy delicious cocktails and drinks, and support an important cause,” said Beth Gemunder, TJFS board president. “We decided we would dedicate this year’s Trifecta to our clients. Our mission is to support and serve people in our community in their time of need. This year, we salute them and their strength and ability to rise above and move through rough times.”

For auction item information, go to To purchase tickets, go to

Tampa Jewish Family Services helps more than 14,000 people every year, including families of all faiths.

“We look forward to having a full house at this year’s event,” said Michael Barnett, TJFS CEO. “It’s a great event that supports all the wonderful work we do throughout the year through our community food bank, financial assistance and our psychological and social wellness center. It’s really an exciting year to support Tampa Jewish Family Services.”

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