Written by Anna Hanson from ValpoLife.com
Albert's Diamond Jewelers is more than a place to get gorgeous jewelry, it is also a business that puts a lot into giving back to their community. We recently sat down with Albert's President Joshua Halpern to talk about supporting the community in which they serve, along with the biggest event of their year - their 13th Annual MS Charity Auction.
Albert's Jewelers has a fun presence in the community - many know the "See you at Albert's!" catchphrase from their commercials. What translates on screen is true off screen, with the Halpern family enjoying what they do every day.
"We have one of the best jobs in the world," Halpern stated. "We get to deal with clients who are in love, who are celebrating wonderful occasions, who want to adorn themselves with beautiful things and want to come in to make themselves feel better that day. It's a wonderful thing that we get to share with them. We're having fun, we're in a safe environment and clean environment - it's a fun time for my staff and for my clients that are coming in."
Besides running their business, the Halpern family also makes time to give back to the community. The family has a long history of giving back, with donating to various charities around the region like the Boys & Girls Clubs and the American Cancer Society.
"[Charity] is something that has been instilled in me from my father - that we're in business to give back," Halpern explained. "We're invested in this community, we live in this community and whatever profits we make we invest it back into the community."
After illness struck the family, their charity became more focused by creating an annual Charity Auction to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. For the past 13 years, Albert's has been giving 100% of the proceeds to the charity in order to continue to find a cure for the disease.
"My mother was actually diagnosed [with Multiple Sclerosis] in her late 20's, so it's been almost 40 years now, with MS," Halpern explained. "She was actually diagnosed with a pretty mild case of it, up until the last 10 or 15 years. When we started to see her deteriorate, that's when it really became our passion and our charity of choice. It's our passion to find a cure so that some day young ladies or young gentleman that are getting it today will live normal lives. We're going to find a cure and I really think we're on the verge of it."
This year, the event will take place on October 9th. Starting at noon and located at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, the Charity Auction will host hundreds of items up for bid, all of which have no minimum bids and will sell by the end of the day.
"You know, I'm actually getting really excited talking about it because there are a few days out of the year that are my favorite days about when we're doing something really good in the community. [The charity auction] happens to be one of those days," Halpern stated. "We're going to have 150 to 200 live items, 200 to 300 silent auction items, and well over 300 hundred items in total that day. The event starts at 11 am for auction preview, the live auction starts right at noon, and it goes right until every item is sold. There's no minimum bids, everything is sold that day, and every bit collected goes to Multiple Sclerosis research in order to find a cure."
Over the past thirteen years, the auction has raised over $1 million to date for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and they are now targeting the $2 million mark. With so much support for the event, the Halperns are grateful that the community has embraced their mission to help find a cure for MS.
"The amount of money raised last year was just under $250,000," Halpern stated. "I think when this event started 13 years ago I think the amount of money raised was fourteen or sixteen thousand. Then we moved the event to the Indiana Welcome Center and the money went up to over $100,000. You can see that this event has grown and it's so amazing to see how other people have adopted this as their charity of choice too. They feel that connection with the Halpern family and the Albert's family."
See the full interview below:
Click here to read the article on Valpolife.com.