The coming holidays traditionally provoke two intermingled emotions and goals. One, of course, is to celebrate the season of family warmth with shared generosity. The other is to help neighbors—especially children.
The Infant Welfare Society (IWS) of Chicago’s auxiliary chapter in Oak Brook will enhance both goals in November with a two-day extravaganza of fun, sharing, and elegance. The annual events support Infant Welfare Society’s long history of providing better health and better lives for children in need across Chicago.
The cause and effect are clear. The Oak Brook auxiliary chapter has raised $4,059,563 since its founding in 1972. The chapter raised $142,500 last year alone.
“Every dollar goes to help children and families. There is no overhead, “ explains Oak Brook chapter president Liz Berglund. “We pay for everything. Through our efforts we are able to bring the gifts of medical care and healing to more children and families in need. Everyone involved can see the effect of our efforts in fundraising. Every dollar goes to the clinic. It all supports the children.”
Founded 107 years ago, IWS now serves 11,000 young visitors and their parents annually at the famed downtown Chicago Angel Harvey Family Health Center—with 150 physicians and nurses devoted to every aspect of childhood health. Oak Brook is one of 10 IWS auxiliary chapters spanning the suburbs. They reinforce that every child in the Chicago area is a citizen of a common neighborhood.
This year’s “Célébrez la Saison” preview party on November 27 and “Mistletoe Medley” luncheon and fashion Show on November 28 promise an elegant exclamation mark to launch the season.
“Célébrez la saison” will offer a French-themed “celebration of the season” at the Drury Lane Theater at Oakbrook Terrace. Holiday partiers will gain access to holiday shopping, a silent auction, a pair of $5,000 cash raffle prizes donated by Joe and Nives Riza; preferred raffle packages; plus delectable French martinis, hors d’oeuvres, crepe station, and a dessert bar.
“Mistletoe Medley” at the theater returns on Tuesday November 28 with a fundraising luncheon and fashion show.
In addition to the funds raised at these events, the Oak Brook Chapter has volunteered more than 5,547 hours in support of the clinic during the past fiscal year.
“I think I go to the clinic four or five times month,” she says. “You can belong to some groups and the giving might not be so personal. I come out of the heath care world, and there are many things that need fixing, but this is one example of getting health care exactly in the spot where it’s needed. To me it’s a great opportunity to see exactly how people’s efforts can make a difference in lives. Our clinic does everything from dental to optometry to prenatal care for mothers.”
As for Oak Brook’s chapter winter fundraising activities, “Celebrate the Season Preview Party” co-chairs Margaret Tresley, Barbara Benezra, and Natalie Machul are toiling to unfurl a holiday spectacular. “Mistletoe Medley” co-chairs Linda Layland, Berglund, and their committee are doing likewise.
Big parties need big effort to succeed. They all will be working for the same reason. Sharing holiday fun and generosity?
Sure. But they never lose track of why they’re doing it and that is to help children and families in need.
For more information or to reserve tickets, visit oakbrookchapterinfantwelfare.org.