Supporters and friends of Hephzibah Children's Association raised over $260,000 at its annual Heart of Gold Ball, held March 8 in the historic Great Hall of Chicago's Union Station. Many individuals and corporate sponsors made significant contributions to the event's fundraising success.
More than 500 people attended this year's gala which featured a live and silent auction, plus musical entertainment provided by two bands. Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a sit-down dinner were catered by Berghoff Catering.
Zoraida Sambolin from NBC-5 News spoke about how Hephzibah's important mission has personally touched her, then served as emcee. At the end of the evening, The Perfect Dinner handed out cookies to guests as they departed-a sweet thank you for supporting Hephzibah.
During dinner, the president of Hephzibah's Board of Directors, Molly Philosophos, presented Elizabeth Foster of Hedge Funds Care with the Heart of Gold Award. The Heart of Gold Award honors those who have exhibited outstanding personal or professional achievement affecting disadvantaged children. Hedge Funds Care is an alliance of hedge fund industry professionals dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. Hedge Funds Care Midwest has made a major contribution to Hephzibah's foster care program. Because of their generosity, Hephzibah has expanded the educational services provided to the children in our foster care program. This includes advocacy, support, crisis intervention and supplemental education for the children and their families, which leads to a stable, positive, successful school experience. Education is the most powerful tool for making a long term difference in the lives of the children.
Mary Anne Brown, Hephzibah's executive director, gave Hephzibah alumnus Keith Elkins the Heart of the Home Award. The Heart of the Home Award honors a volunteer dedicated to Hephzibah's mission with a strong commitment to a particular project or program within the organization. Mr. Elkins lived at Hephzibah Children's Association with his younger sister from 1935 to 1938, leaving before his seventh birthday. Although Keith went on to accomplish much academically and in his professional life, he never forgot his positive experience at Hephzibah, which provided "a safe, stable and secure place" that allowed him to grow.
Seven decades after leaving Hephzibah Home, he spearheaded the first homecoming reunion for all former Hephzibah residents as a way to celebrate a shared, treasured home. Held last October, the event was an emotional and memorable experience for all involved. Because of Mr. Elkin's initiative, former residents can begin looking forward to the second annual Hephzibah homecoming this October.
Hephzibah's Heart of Gold sponsors honored for their dedication, generosity and support were Park National Bank, Harris Bank, MF Global Inc., Water Tower Realty and the Karris Family, plus an anonymous donor.
Hephzibah's Oak Park Auxiliary once again organized the silent and live auctions that included over 150 different packages for guests to bid on. This year's auction raised nearly $70,000 for Hephzibah.
Proceeds from the Heart of Gold Ball helps Hephzibah provide critical services that enhance the lives of children and families through group homes, foster care, family support services and school-age day care programs. Thank you to all who made this event a success.