Pillars of strength
Sandy DiVivo, a Head Start teacher, works with a Head Start student at Pillars’ Child and Family Development Center.
(708) PILLARS (745-5277)
333 N. La Grange Road, Suite 1, LaGrange Park
Updated: June 22, 2012 8:37AM
In any given town, there are pillars of the community who give of their time, talent and treasure. These pillars — and in this case, Pillars — come together to make a difference in the lives of many.
Pillars, a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive social services to people in need, serves 36 local communities. Through its network, Pillars offers programs for every age group, along with 24-hour hot lines for people facing domestic violence or other types of assault.
Hundreds of people in the western suburbs and greater Chicago area volunteer in a variety of ways for Pillars, which has a main administrative office in LaGrange Park and other service sites in Western Springs, Hodgkins, Berwyn, Hickory Hills and Summit.
These volunteers provide services ranging from working as organizational ambassadors to helping grieving children through Buddy’s Place to becoming life-skills mentors. The organization is supported by an even greater base of local residents who help raise funds for its mission.
“Pillars is extremely fortunate to have tremendous community support,” said longtime Pillars volunteer and board member Margie Thomas Morris of Hinsdale.
As Morris noted, that support is key in the organization’s ongoing work and, from a larger perspective, its long-term success.
“The services that Pillars provides are critical core services that keep the community healthy. And with the economy tighter than ever, the need for our services is greater than ever,” she said.
As evidenced by a visible number of yard signs, fliers and banners around the western suburbs, June is a decidedly big month for Pillars and its fundraising efforts. This year’s summer fundraising drive, Party for Pillars, is based on the tagline, 30 Days, 20 Parties, One Cause.
Instead of the previous format of a three-day run of fundraisers, Pillars’ staff and board of directors opted for a more diverse and flexible fundraiser lineup this year.
“We had a fabulous time of it last year, but we did get some feedback from people that they would have gone or hosted parties but were out of town or unavailable that weekend. So we went with this new tack for the whole month,” explained Ann Schreiner, president and CEO of Pillars.
The 30 days of parties culminates in three events on June 29, starting with a Blow-Out to Go Cut at Salon Hype in La Grange. A concert by the all-male collegiate a cappella group from Indiana University, Another Round, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Reber Center at Lyons Township High School’s La Grange campus. Also that evening is a splashy Mad Men Martini Party set for 7:30 p.m. to midnight at a Western Springs home. Guests are encouraged to dress in 1960s attire inspired by the AMC TV show “Mad Men.”
Earlier this month, several other events benefited Pillars, including a Pet Parade Porch Party, Pilates for Pillars, a Mini House Tour, Cocktails and a Movie, a Date Night Wine Tasting, a Cheeseburger in Paradise Buffet Bash, a chamber concert and a roller skating party, among others.
As Schreiner pointed out, while these events put the fun in fundraising, they are also crucial to the mission of the organization.
“Equally important to fundraising is getting the word out to people about who we are and our services. This is a terrific way for us to connect with folks who may not attend our annual gala in January or who have a limited understanding of Pillars — it helps us build awareness,” she said.
For a complete list of Party for Pillars events and ticket information, visit
pillarscommunity.org or call (708) 995-3518.