Easter Seals clients get the royal treatment
Jim and Kathy Harris with past gala chairman Margaret Milkint and husband Craig all of Hinsdale. | Lee Litas~Sun-Times Media
Event: A Royal Affair Gala | Benefiting: Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region | Attending: 400 | Raised: $490,000
T he Event: Fêted by nearly 400 regally-clad attendees inside the grand ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, the 34th annual Easter Seals benefit gala on April 14 was A Royal Affair to remember.
The stately theme was chosen specifically to highlight the high esteem in which members of the Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region are held by those called to provide their daily care.
Cause Célèbre: “We line the walls of our hallways with photos of our very own royalty,” said Theresa Forthofer, president/CEO. “These precious faces are constant reminders of the accomplishments that happen every day.”
Each year Easter Seals serves some 3,200 families, providing individuals with disabilities — from infants to adults — with care in areas ranging from audiology, speech and language therapy to autism services, orthopedics and even vision care.
“It’s a wonderful organization that helps young kids/adults with all kinds of disabilities. (Easter Seals) is very efficient in terms of services and the dollars spent, and really providing community services in the local areas to people who need the help,” said James E. Williams Jr., president/CEO of Easter Seals International.
The annual gala is a celebration of the previous year’s accomplishments as well as an opportunity for ES DFVR to raise money via a live auction for specific services. Last year organizers created a top bid of $5,000 hoping to accrue the start-up costs to create a new autism diagnostic clinic.
“One of the things I get to announce this evening is that with that money we were able to open that clinic last month and we have already started serving children,” said Forthofer, highlighting the fact that donors are able to return each year and actually see how their money was spent.
Bottom Line: The evening grossed nearly $490,000 for Easter Seals DFVR.