The Lake County Women’s Board will take the 28th Annual Art of Caring signature event for Catholic Charities on May 13 to new heights when the guests appear on stage at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.
“We’ll have all of the tables on the stage for dinner, as we look out at the entertainment on the main floor,” said Lake Forest’s Jan Zukowski Elwart, president of the Women’s Board. “It’s sort of a twist and we thought it would be fun to have our guests looking out into this magnificent venue.”
Elwart said Genesee has done an impressive job of refurbishing the theater, which opened in 1927 as a deluxe movie palace.
Elwart and her committee have put together a lineup of artists who will perform vignettes with the theme of “Lights, Camera, Caring,” including Anne Burnell, jazz vocalist, and Mark Burnell, pianist and vocals.
“Based on the fact that the Genesee started as a movie house, we’ve looked at various songs from movies over the years and the performance will be a salute to musicals,” she said.
Genesee Theatre gives the event a different spin from previous years, when it was held at country clubs. “The venue lent itself to moving away from artwork and moving to a musical/theatrical performance instead,” she said.
This year Catholic Charities is celebrating its 100th anniversary in Chicago, and the Lake County program was established in 1945. “This is an organization that continues to serve those people who are really in need throughout all of Chicago,” said Elwart.
Catholic Charities has more than 150 programs and services throughout Chicagoland.
Elwart explained that the Women’s Board has raised more than $5 million since the Art of Caring began 28 years ago.
“All of that money has gone toward the programs and services that Catholic Charities makes available in support to residents in Lake County,” she said. “In Lake County, Catholic Charities serves about 56,000 people every year, so we’re glad to see that it’s going to continue to keep these programs and services alive for people who need it.”
Elwart added that 92 cents out of every dollar goes directly to the programs and services of Catholic Charities Lake County Services.
“I’m always amazed at how incredibly passionate and dedicated the volunteers on the Women’s Board are,” said Elwart. “Not only are they involved in fundraising that is part of our mission every year, but they do hands-on volunteering up in Lake County. It’s really impressive to see so many people who want to give back to the community.”
Lake County programs include maternity, adoption, early childhood development programs, helping families in need, a food bank and veterans and senior services including Meals on Wheels.
“It’s an incredible breadth of services that Catholic Charities provides throughout Lake County to young, old and veterans,” she said.
Last year about 260 guests attended the Art of Caring Event, which raised more than $290,000. “We hope to have about the same amount of guests this year and hope that people will register on the Catholic Charities website to join us for this fun evening,” said Elwart.
Raffle tickets for the $5,000 cash raffle may be purchased online. There will also be a live auction in addition to a paddle raise for Catholic Charities programs and services in Lake County.
Elwart said some of the live auction items will include a one-week stay at a beautiful home in Kiawah Island, South Carolina; the ultimate Cubs day experience with on-field batting practice; four first-row seats right behind the on-deck circle; and privileges at the Members Only Audi Club at Wrigley Field. “It’s an all-day ultimate Cubs experience,” she said.
“In addition, we will have cocktails and dinner for up to 30 people at two neighboring homes right on the bluff on Lake Michigan with Cardinal Cupich, so that will be a really exciting item as well,” she said.
People can also help by being a sponsor, underwriter or by making a donation.
The May 13 Art of Caring event will be hosted by Monsignor Michael M. Boland, president of Catholic Charities, along with Honorary Chair-couple Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Stoll. The cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the program and dinner at 7 p.m. Catering will be provided by Froggy’s French Café.
All proceeds from the Art of Caring benefit the specific programs and services of Catholic Charities in Lake County.
Tickets are priced at $250 per adult. The Genesee Theatre is located at 203 W. Genesee Street, Waukegan. For more information visit catholiccharities.net or call Karen Daniels at 847/782-4115.