Ben Jagoe (Chicago), event co-chair with Lauretta Froelich, event committee member (River Forest).

Provided by Catholic Charities

It wasn’t just the “luck of the Irish” that made Catholic Charities’ eighth annual St. Patrick’s Day Party such a big success. A hardworking committee, generous guests and the perfect venue were the magic ingredients. The event, held on March 10 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, attracted over 300 attendees and exceeded last year’s proceeds by netting over $30,000 for homeless families in the western suburbs of Cook County.

The successful fundraiser was chaired by members of Catholic Charities’ West Region Advisory Board, and many residents of Oak Park and River Forest. Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet, live music from the Shannon Rovers and Tributosaurus Trio, a performance by the McNulty Irish dancers, and a silent auction and raffle with prizes donated by local retailers and restaurants.

“Thank you to all who came out to the eighth annual St. Pat’s fundraiser benefiting Catholic Charities Transitional Housing Program. A very special thanks to the committee who did an amazing job in organizing the event that raised over $30,000. Because of your generosity and kindness, we are able to make self-sufficiency a reality for homeless families,” said Esmeralda Zepeda, Director of Catholic Charities West Regional Services.

All proceeds from the party will support Catholic Charities’ West Region New Hope Apartments program. New Hope families pay partial rent on their apartments, gradually increasing the amount they pay while they work with case managers on a plan to become self-sufficient.

The event committee was chaired by John and Renee O’Leary (Elmhurst) with Co-Chairs Ben Jagoe (Chicago)(and Patrick VanDeWalle (Woodridge). This executive team was assisted by a large group of volunteers from eight west suburban communities and Chicago. The following Oak Parkers and River Foresters served on the event committee: Lauretta Froelich (River Forest); Andrew Gagliardo (River Forest); Michelle Latz (River Forest); Jim Hopkinson (River Forest); Carolyn O’Leary (River Forest); Jeanne Hardy (Oak Park); Brian Shields (Oak Park); Anne August (Oak Park)

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Evan O'Brien

Evan O'Brien is the content manager of Soon after Evan was born in Chicago, his family moved to Oak Park for the same reason that attracts people to the "World's Largest Village" today: the...