Spending a Friday evening in December watching the snow fall, enjoying a delicious meal, and listening to holiday music sounds like an ideal way to savor the spirit of the season. Yet when doing so on Friday, December 2, what you experience will be much more than a nice evening out.
When you attend “An Evening of Holiday Music,” Trinity Services Inc.’s annual dinner and concert gala, you will be making a substantial difference in the lives of the 3,500 active members of Trinity Services, a non-profit, non-sectarian organization that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness. “It’s a nice way to show everyone what Trinity Services is about,” says Barb McGoldrick, co-chairperson for the concert gala.
Since its inception in 1950, Trinity Services has expanded to several areas in Illinois including Peoria, Chicago, Naperville, Joliet, Belleville, Lombard, Villa Park, and more. Trinity has also expanded to Reno, Nevada.
Committee members have been working diligently to ensure a beautiful evening for their guests. The committee members include Pat and Walt Kelly and Barb and Joe McGoldrick as co-chairs. Other members include Barbara Nasharr, Barb Finn, Carol Scinto, Janet Mark, Cyndi Mendrick, Deanna Wilkens, Ken and Chris Boeshen, Ron and Marita Stricklin, Tom and Mimi Caveney, and Donna Reed.
Trinity Services, headquartered in New Lenox, offers an array of programs including a school for students pre-K to grade 12, adult learning options on 16 sites, vocational services, therapeutic horseback-riding, an autism center, respite services, in-home supports, drop-in center, wood shop, horticulture program, and more. Trinity’s Behavioral Health Program includes counseling for children, adults, groups, couples and families; psychosocial rehabilitation programs and residential options.
More recently, Trinity Services has expanded its services in DuPage County which has prompted the annual gala at Butterfield Country Club.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails in the library accompanied by Stephanie Tonnemacher of Christ Church of Oak Brook playing guitar and Pauline Angelini on piano in the bar area. “As guests progress though Butterfield, different musicians will be playing in different locations,” says Sherry Ladislas, Director of Development for Trinity Services. “We have a variety of young performers.”
The Allegra Violin Ensemble from the Western Spring School of Talent Education, which includes fourteen Suzuki violinists and a keyboard player, will provide the background music for dinner. During dessert, the Hinsdale Central Chamber Choir will entertain guests with cheerful holiday music. “It’s becoming a tradition for families,” says Ladislas. “It’s so beautiful that time of year and it’s a nice way to kick off the holiday season.”
Prior to the final choir performance, guests will watch a video about Trinity Services and what the foundation provides. “Last year we showed a video on Trinity Services’ technology,” says Ladislas.
As in the past years, the concert gala raises funds for the Trinity Foundation. This year, some of those funds will be allocated towards building a boutique in New Lenox that sells gently used clothes for Trinity members. “We only accept clothes that are currently in style (nothing more than three years old), just like a regular high-end consignment shop,” says Ladislas. A Christmas Tree will be displayed with ornaments that can be purchased by guests. All funds from ornamental sales will go directly to the new boutique. “If one of our Trinity participants is going out to a competitive job interview or to a dance and they need some clothes, this is a somewhere they can go,” says McGoldrick.
Adjacent to the boutique is Trinity Services’ new Social Club where participants can attend all sorts of parties and activities. “We will show some video about the social club as well,” says Ladislas.
And as beautiful an evening it’s sure to be, much of this would not be possible today if not for the leadership of Art Dykstra, Executive Director at Trinity Services. Dykstra has worked in the disability field for more than 40 years, beginning at the state level as a regional superintendent of several state-operated developmental centers. “Art is a true visionary,” says Ladislas. “He’s an innovative thinker. He’s created a very unique culture at Trinity that positively impacts the lives of people we serve.” At the time Dykstra started at Trinity, there were only 34 employees. Since then, it has grown to 1100 employees. “The people we serve has gone from 35 to 3,500 under Art’s leadership,” says McGoldrick.
In the end, it is the members and their families at Trinity who will benefit from the concert gala. “Many families ask themselves as they get older ‘What’s going to happen to my child?,’” says McGoldrick. “At Trinity Services, they know that their child will be cared for. I call Trinity ‘my dream come true.’”
Tickets are $125.00 each. To purchase, visit trinity-services.org or call Sherry Ladislas at 815-717-3750.