Anixter Center’s Inaugural Benefit for Ability, Raises More Than $420,000
Rickey and Joan Freeman of Highland Park | Photo courtesy of Laura Cantwell
EVENT: “Soaring to Success”, Anixter Center’s inaugural Benefit for Ability
BENEFITING: Anixter Center
DATE: April 26, 2012
LOCATION: Winter Garden, Harold Washington Library Center
Updated: June 11, 2012 11:57AM
A sold-out crowd of more than 400 gathered in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center on Thursday, April 26, for “Soaring to Success”, Anixter Center’s inaugural Benefit for Ability.
The evening kicked off with an exclusive VIP reception where guests had an opportunity to meet and mingle with the event’s honoree, Diane Swonk, Chief Economist and Senior Managing Director at Mesirow Financial, and the event’s founding chair, Richard Price, Mesirow Financial Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
After the reception, guests were seated for the formal program, which was emceed by Rob Johnson, principal anchor at CBS 2 Chicago. Johnson welcomed guests and invited them to learn more about Anixter Center through a poignant video presentation that highlighted Anixter Center’s many programs for individuals with disabilities. Guests then enjoyed a dinner courtesy of Limelight Catering and music by the Dave Brandwein Trio.
After dinner, Swonk took the stage to share her unique story and the challenges she faces living with dyslexia. Her compelling remarks served as an introduction to the fundraising portion of the evening, which featured a live auction and pledge to support the mission of Anixter Center, which is to provide an array of services and supports for people with disabilities to live, learn, work and play in the community. Thanks to the support of Soaring to Success sponsors – including the Lester and Edward Anixter Family Foundation, Mesirow Financial, American Airlines and the Chicago Tribune – and the generosity of the evening’s guests, Anixter Center’s inaugural Benefit for Ability raised more than $420,000.
“We are humbled and incredibly grateful to the team at Mesirow Financial and all of you for making tonight’s initial event such a success,” said Kevin Limbeck, president and CEO of Anixter Center. “The impact of tonight’s event will be felt by the more than 7,400 adults and children with disabilities who rely on Anixter Center to live, learn, work and play in the community.”
For more information about Anixter Center and ways to support the organization, please visit www.anixter.org.
About Anixter Center
Anixter Center provides an array of services to help people with disabilities and related challenges live, learn, work and play in the community. Through 37 programs and services at 28 primary locations across greater Chicago, Anixter Center serves more than 7,400 children and adults with all types of disabilities and advocates for their rights to participate fully and equally in society. Anixter Center was founded in 1919 as an orphanage to care for children who had lost their parents
to Chicago’s great influenza epidemic. As the agency acquired new programs and sites and changed names throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, its focus broadened to meeting the needs of all people with disabilities in greater Chicago. Having merged with three independent agencies (CALOR, Chicago Hearing Society, and the National Lekotek Center) since 1997 and expanded to dozens of locations from Chicago to Zion, Anixter Center is among Chicago’s largest nonprofit organizations and is one of the largest nonprofit community rehabilitation agencies in Illinois.