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Success of the 2012 StreetWise Gala

Wed, Oct 24, 2012

Jim LoBianco

Over the last few weeks I have been on a hiatus from my article writing. In place of my column we had been promoting the 2012 StreetWise “Empowering People to Work” fundraising Gala, which was held on Thursday, September 27.

This year’s gala was the biggest and most successful yet. StreetWise editor, Suzanne Hanney, provides a detailed snapshot of the Gala on page 8. Suffice to say it was a great evening spent with some of StreetWise’s most loyal supporters as well as a lot of new friends. The beautiful space at Venue610, (housed within Spertus Center at 610 S. Michigan Ave.), was filled to capacity with over 300 tickets sold.

Guests were entertained and enticed: entertained by the dulcet tones of the Paris Swing Band, and enticed by the high energy presentation of the live auction items by Jim Miller, charity auctioneer extraordinaire. Guests were guided through the evening by our gracious host, Rob Elgas of NBC 5 and the evening was topped off with a delicious dinner courtesy of Wolfgang Puck.

As a fundraiser, the event was a stunning success. At the 2011 gala, we raised approximately $75,000 after expenses. For 2012, the StreetWise board set an aggressive goal for itself to raise $100,000. We are still doing a final reconciliation on the accounts; however, it is clear that this year’s gala netted over $120,000! It is an incredible testament to the generosity that Chicagoans have toward helping motivated people in need.

Special thanks and recognition must to go to the events sponsors, who were the anchors of the 2012 fundraising: BMO Harris Bank, Clune Construction Company, DLA Piper, James & Kay Mabie, Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Mesirow Financial, Molex, William A. Rudnick , and the William Blair Co.
We were also proud to acknowledge the work of several of Chicago’s greatest leaders in the areas of philanthropy, public service, and civic engagement. We started the award ceremony by acknowledging recently departed board member Judd R Horwitz, whose family was presented with a special memorial commemorating his years of selfless service to StreetWise. This was followed by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky receiving the newly named “Judd R. Horwitz Service Award,” for her dedication to helping working Americans. This was followed by Michael Clune who was honored with our Champions award for his outstanding philanthropy to men and women in need. Lastly, we honored William A. Rudnick for his work in long career in motivating the business world to get involved in solving social problems, with a specific focus on hunger and food disparity.

Lastly, I must call attention to the key people, without whom the gala would not have occurred. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to board member Karen Pittenger who served as gala chair. Karen’s amazing attention to detail made this year’s event an elegant and enjoyable affair. And StreetWise board vice-chair, Peter Albert Kadens, who was the evening’s top table captain and fundraiser, filling more tables than anyone else.

I cannot wait to do it all again next year!!!

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. You are welcome to contact me at either tipline@streetwise.org or (773) 334-6600 (ext. 22).

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One Response to “Success of the 2012 StreetWise Gala”

  1. Ben Cook says:

    I am so happy to hear about the smash success of this year’s fundraiser! I still check in once a week to see what StreetWise is covering, and it seems that all is going really well. Keep up the good work!

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