Connections Gala Brings in 8 Partners for the Future and raises $223,000+
Gabriel Rodriguez (from left) of Evanston, John Pellouchoud and Krystina Pellouchoud-Driehaus, both of Glenview | Photo courtesy of Karen Kring/Kring Lerner Group
EVENT: “Partners for the Future” Spring Gala
BENEFITING: Connections for the Homeless
DATE: March 15, 2012
LOCATION: Architectural Artifacts, Chicago
On March 15, eight guests became “Partners for the Future” at the spring gala of Connections for the Homeless. These major donors all made gifts of $5,000 or more, each of which qualifies for a $5,000 match from the Evanston Community Foundation. Through its Partners for the Future challenge grant, awarded to Connections earlier this year, the Foundation will provide a $5,000 match for up to 20 donations of $5,000 or more. With these eight gifts plus several received before the gala, Connections is over half way to meeting the challenge.
The spring gala, entitled “There’s No Place Like A Home,” highlighted the issue of family homelessness on the North Shore. With over 200 children homeless in Evanston’s School District 65 alone, Connections is continuing its homelessness prevention and long-term housing programs for families, as well as starting up new programs to help parents increase their employability and earning potential. “Yes, we are trying to raise money tonight,” Executive Director Paul Selden said of the gala. “But we’re also trying to bring the problem of family homelessness home to the families who support our agency. The placemats tonight have pictures of home on them, drawn by the kids in our Family Housing Program. The family featured in the video we are showing has kids who probably go to school with the kids of some of our guests. Our job is to bring these families together to solve the problem.”
Three hundred guests attended the gala, held at Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, and raised over $213,000 for Connections through tickets, paddle raise, live auction, silent auction. Of this, $40,000 will be matched through the Partners for the Future program. The proceeds will be used to house 100 homeless people on the North Shore, and to help 100 people find jobs.
Highlights of the gala included entertainment by the Ken Arlen Orchestra; a “homestyle” dinner including a gourmet chicken pot pie, cookies, and milk; silent and live auctions and dancing both by guests and by the 20 volunteers from a University of Georgia Alternative Spring Break group who helped with the event.
Part of the event’s success was due to long-time gold sponsor, Brown, Kaplan & Liss, LLC of Evanston; Pierce & Associates, who was a gold sponsor for the second time this year and the agency’s new gold sponsors, Aon and Walgreens. Catherine Leonard, the Gala Chair, said, “This is about pulling all parts of the community together. Not only did we have great corporate and individual support, but we also had a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church buy a table for church representation, we had a Chiaravalle School table, we had a Harper School table, we had Rotary members—basically all sectors participated. Connections really does connect all the pieces of the community to help those most in need.”
Connections’ goal is to end homelessness in Evanston and along the North Shore. For more information on Connections for the Homeless, please call (847) 475-7070 x101 or see cfthinc.org.