The Women’s Board of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital (NLFH) felt a genuine call to action to be an early and strong supporter of the construction of the new hospital, breaking ground in 2014. This December 14, the powerhouse group will hold their annual Gift of Giving Gala, where 100 percent of the proceeds will go on to NLFH’s new building, marking a big moment in the hospital’s history. Here, Sheridan Road sat down with Gala co-chairs Amy Davidson and Susan Loiacano to get the details on the upcoming affair.
Sheridan Road: How long you been on the Women’s Board? Why did you become involved?
Susan Loiacano: I joined the Women’s Board in 2011, shortly after taking time off from my fundraising career to spend more time with my children. As a fundraiser, I learned how vital private support is to hospitals, allowing institutions to recruit and retain talented doctors and grow programs. My dad, Forrest Whittaker, served as chairman of Lake Forest Hospital during its merger with Northwestern, so one could say this is something of a family project.
Amy Davidson: I was asked to join the Women’s Board in 2008. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to not only work with a diverse group of women with one mission, but also to impact a mission that affects so many lives. Our community has a strong, reputable hospital, and it deserves our full support.
If I bought a ticket to the December 14 gala, what would I expect?
SL: The event is going to be an elegant, black-tie holiday party, a chance to enjoy a night out with friends during the holidays and reaffirm commitments to the hospital and its future. The evening will include a fantastic silent auction, formal seated dinner, and dancing with the Rich Daniels and the City Lights Orchestra.
The Benefit has typically been held in the fall. Why the change this year?
AD: We think the construction of the new hospital is so exciting that it warrants a new format, a more formal and intimate atmosphere to generate buzz among our community. Given the excitement of the new hospital, we thought this was a perfect time
to give the night a fresh look and feel.
This event is such a big endeavor. What challenges do you face each year to make it unique and exciting for those who attend?
SL: We are lucky to be a part of a Board that is so creative and hardworking. We love tradition, but in a community like ours, it’s important to keep things fresh. Some years, it’s the entertainment that generates excitement, and other years, it’s the venue. This year, we are thrilled to host a party in December and take advantage of the festive time of year. Our silent auction is truly a highlight this year, offering items that no other event in Chicago will have including tickets to Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark in New York City and lunch with the original producer of the show, as well as a luxury stay at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.
For information about the Gift of Giving Gala, call 847-535-6111, or visit lfh.org/womensboard.