Shining Bright

Little Lighthouse Foundation’s new Executive Director, Jonahtan Babicka, is shining new light on the organization’s mission to inspire caring, passionate locals to take action in the community to benefit children.
Text by Cecilia Dubon Slesnick | May 16, 2018 | People

When Jonathan Babicka moved to Miami in 2002, he didn’t mean to devote his professional life to philanthropic initiatives, but it happened. After he and his wife, Missy, opened their salon on Miami Beach, “Primp”, they soon began hosting events for charity on-site and taking their special touch to local charities around the community. His passion to give back lead him to meeting other like-minded people with whom he eventually began a philanthropic endeavor called “MOM.” Together with his friends, Babicka would provide event and marketing support for local charities that were too small to do so on their own. This philanthropic lifestyle initiative eventually led him to his current role as Executive Director of Little Lighthouse Foundation.
Founded in 2010 by Rob Sena, Aaron Resnick and Charlie Venturi, the mission of Little Lighthouse Foundation is to assist children and their families in South Florida who struggle with educational, financial and medical hardships. They do this through 15 highly impactful programs which they provide at various partner sites around the county including Chapman Partnership, Lotus House, Children’s Home Society, YWCA and Miami Bridge, to name a few.
As one of the organization’s early supporters and as a father of a young daughter, Babicka understands how critical a role the foundation is playing in the lives of those students and families impacted by their programs. At the end of his first year at the helm, he hopes to continue to enhance and strengthen the menu of offerings for the participants like the new “Tiny Toons” program at YWCA and a “Fit Club” for Miami Bridge.
Though small in numbers, the impact of the Little Lighthouse is big. Babicka works tirelessly everyday along side his Director Of Programs, Shavon Whitehead, and their board, which is made up of the founders. Additional muscle power comes through Chapter Leaders and a team of volunteers at each partner site who help with the programs. Little Lighthouse offers all their programs for free, which means that they have to raise money and awareness in order to make the programs viable and sustainable. As such, they host two major fundraising events each year: The Hearts & Stars Gala, a 3-day extravaganza in March; and their annual Nightmare On The Beach Halloween Bash this month which includes a costume parade down Ocean Drive, followed by a progressive trick-or-treat experience at Lummus Park and culminating with a costume party with this year’s “Dia De Los Muertos” theme;