One. Some kids are left as one. One without a family. One without a home.
The Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club hopes to change that through its event, “ONE: One Community, One Cause, One Night,” held February 22 to benefit Hephzibah Children’s Association and its group and foster homes.
“Sadly, many of these kids come to Hephzibah in the wee hours of the night, holding only a garbage bag of their belongings,” says Kristi Gilbert, one of event’s co-chairs. “We are fortunate that as a community we have the ability to change the outlook for these kids. By coming together for one evening (that is sure to be fabulous), we truly can make a difference.”
The community involvement is apparent in the local sponsorships for the event. Mira Albert of Brush Pediatric Dentistry, also a Juniors member, donated dental health services to Hephzibah in addition to being a sponsor of the event. As a mother of two and dentist to many, she feels that the well-being of underprivileged children is one of her responsibilities.
“I can’t think of a better organization to support that takes in children who are in the most dire straits, so as a sponsor, it was a no-brainer to support this cause,” Mira says.
Anna Fiascone, first vice president/president-elect of HJWC, is also sponsoring the event with Tina Porterfield, her partner at Prudential Rubloff. Through her time volunteering and chairing last year’s event, which also aided Hephzibah, Anna built a lasting relationship with the agency.
“I’m sure a lot of members will continue to volunteer there—I know I will,” adds Anna.
This will be the second event benefiting Hephzibah before the Juniors vote on a new beneficiary. Last year, they presented the organization with a check for $150,000, which was used toward educational programs. “We believe that for our children, education is the best answer,” says Molly Philosophos, Hephzibah director of development, adding, “We’re always trying to provide our kids with those activities that most parents provide their children with.”
The Juniors have aided in that mission of preparing them for family life through monthly volunteer projects, one of them being a mock restaurant to instill manners and etiquette. The women have also thrown a Halloween party, fitness party at Lifetime, and a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal with craft activities.
“What’s really magical about this partnership is that not only do they donate money, but also this incredible wealth of energy, organization, and creativity; we usually get one or the other,” continues Molly. “We’re already thinking about how we’re going to fill this hole, but we’ll use what we learned from them and encourage our other volunteer groups to use some of the creative activities they’ve come up with for us.”
“The best thing about the benefit is that there is no set format; you will experience an entirely new event from one year to the next,” says Juniors President Tracey Zoberis.
Kristi and her co-chairs, Kate Marnell and Lyn Beatch, are for the first time ever taking the benefit to the city, the gorgeous Skyline Loft. Guests will enjoy food stations of contemporary cuisine, cocktails, dancing to DJs, and speed painting while Eric Ferguson, Ben Bradley, and Mike Schimmel emcee the night with humor. Luxurious vacation and spa packages will be auctioned off by international auctioneer and Hinsdale resident Laurien Schroeder, whose résumé boasts Christie’s Auction House in the Netherlands as she continues to travel the globe using her enthusiastic presenting skills.
The club invites the community to join members in supporting this special cause. Tickets and other information can be found at hjwc.us.
“When all is said and done with ONE: The Benefit,” concludes Kate, “it will just be so great to know that all the women of Juniors and our community have contributed to such a worthy cause and made a difference in these kids’ lives.”
-Angelika Labno // Photography by Joel Lerner