Through education, training, research and vision enhancement, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides hope, confidence, and independence to people of all ages
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Virtual SEE THE LIGHT Lunch
October 29th 2020

Sponsored by PNC Bank logo

2020 See The Light Lunch Video

Miami Lighthouse’s annual signature event, our “SEE THE LIGHT” Luncheon, is one of our most important fundraising opportunities during the year. In past years, we’ve welcomed over 250 guests from our philanthropic family to a luncheon with music, entertainment and heartfelt remarks from program participants.

In keeping with the times of social distancing we are going virtual, so instead of 250 guests in a ballroom, we can now have unlimited attendees. Visit this web page on October 29th we will have a 30 minute program at 12:00pm featuring an exclusive performance by Latin superstar Willy Chirino and Chirino Sisters. We will also feature students in our Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™, Miami Lighthouse client Marin Baumer and a few more surprises!

Virginia Jacko

Virginia Jacko


My name is Virginia Jacko and I am humbled to be President & CEO of our venerable institution, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired. My involvement began in 2000 after being diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that would lead to blindness. My daughter who at the time was teaching at FIU and researching digital readability for the visually impaired, encouraged me to relocate to Miami and become a client. Over the next five years, I moved from Client to Volunteer; was invited to serve on the Board; and when the CEO left in 2005, I became Miami Lighthouse’s first Blind President and CEO.

In the fifteen years since, Miami Lighthouse has blossomed into a world renowned resource while our programs and services have grown fiftyfold; the campus has grown almost five times and we’ve gone from 45 employees to over 100. Our Heiken Children’s Vision Program is preventing blindness using five mobile eye clinics visiting schools throughout the State providing dilated eye exams and glasses when prescribed at no cost to the family. Our Miami Lighthouse Learning Center opened in 2016 with 15 pre-K students and now we have a pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade for 60 early learners; but, we are out of classroom space.

We will keep on growing to meet the needs of our program participants from Blind Babies to Seniors and will continue to address the unmet need within our community. To do this I am appealing to you to help us make this happen.

Today, we are asking for your support of our Light the Way campaign, a one-for-one matching challenge to raise $9 million to expand our Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™. An anonymous donor has created a Capstone Matching Challenge to help us reach our goal.  Your gift will now in essence be tripled!

Please join us. Support us. Grow with us. We can’t do it without you. You may make a donation by clicking the DONATE NOW button below or donating on November 19th Give Miami Logo by visiting


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Miami Lighthouse is honored by the following



Miami Lighthouse is AER accredited distinguishing that an agency or school operates at the highest level of quality and is positioned to generate the outcomes needed by the clients.

PR Week

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2020 award for "Best in Nonprofit" campaign by PRWeek referred to as the "Oscars of the PR industry".

Charity Navigator

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 13 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

GuideStar Exchange's Gold Participant

Miami Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.

The Children's Trust

Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.



Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ is a Florida gold seal and nationally Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)

Florida Blue Foundation

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

The Beacon Council

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

Marlins Charity Partner

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

Health Foundation of South Florida

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.


Miami Today

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

Miami New Times - Best of Miami 2017

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

United Homecare

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare's 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

South Florida Business Journal

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.


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