The Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club (HJWC) is redefining its annual fundraising gala with a brand-new theme titled, GIVEchella. The gala, taking place on April 9 from 7 to 11 p.m., will be held at Theater on the Lake in downtown Chicago, where the club will raise funds to directly support nonprofit grants.
This year’s theme was revealed at Illinois Harley-Davidson last October when eight benefit co-chairs made a grand entrance riding in on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. To continue the fun, the club put together what will be a memorable night to experience with inspiration from Coachella, the music-and-art festival set in California’s desert.
“Alicia O’Brien, one of the managing co-chairs, came up with the idea of an upscale, festival-inspired theme for this year’s benefit,” says Stephanie Tuthill, Managing Co-chair.
“We immediately loved the idea,” says Bridget Nagel, Managing Co-chair. “The theme allows for our benefit team to play with fresh color schemes, exciting music, and different experiences for guests that we have not done in the past.”
And with such a fun concept in place, the creative ideas poured in.
“Think gourmet festival food, flower crowns, desert floral colors, and sophisticated glitter makeup,” says Tuthill.
“Unlike a traditional black-tie gala, the GIVEchella theme lends itself to allowing guests to have more flexibility on their outfits,” says Nagel. “We really want our guests to have fun and be creative with the upscale festival theme.”
To assist with this, in the months leading up to the gala, the club will be partnering with local boutiques to help showcase ready-to-buy ideas of GIVEchella-themed outfits.
As for the gala in of itself, guests can expect a full GIVEchella experience complete with music from an electric violinist and DJ—KAT V.
“There will be opportunities to purchase boutique flower crowns and professional glitter makeup to complete your outfit, tarot-card readings, an insane floral photo-op station, surprise performances, and more,” says Alicia O’Brien, Managing Co-chair, and the brains behind the theme. There will also be an auction for guests to participate in and there will be access to a VIP space, just like the music and art festival.
Last year, including the benefit, the club raised over $300,000 which was awarded to 27 recipients including nonprofits such as Center for Independence, Reclaim 13, Share Our Spare, WINGS Program, Green Halo Scholars, People’s Music School, Simply from the Heart, Sharing Connections, The Home 2 Home Project, and Wellness House. This year the club hopes to support even more, especially with COVID-19 restrictions starting to lift. The gala is expected to bring in more than 400 HJWC members and attendees.
“We are most excited for our guests to enjoy a unique and fun night out, all while supporting local organizations,” says O’Brien. The funds raised from GIVEchella including ticket sales, auction items, and event-experience enhancements, will go directly to support nonprofit grants for deserving Chicago area nonprofit organizations. Tickets are on sale now along with the option to purchase premium add-ons.