Raising funds for a good cause doesn’t always mean putting on a tuxedo or rummaging through the closet to find that evening bag. Sometimes it means taking the kids and grandkids out on a Sunday morning for brunch, music, and an old-fashioned good time.
Enter Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation’s “Be My Valentine Family Event.” On Sunday, January 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Ritz Carlton Chicago Grand Ballroom will be transformed into a cupid-themed love fest for adults and children alike, in the name of raising funds for cancer research and treatment. The day will include a breakfast buffet, cookie decorating, photo booth, “slime” bar, face painting, and just about anything else imaginable to keep children entertained. Most notably is an appearance by Skates, the Chicago Wolves mascot, and a performance by Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players.
The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (LSCRF) began 26 years ago when 17 friends vowed to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer after losing their friend, Lynn Sage, at the young age of 39 to her six-year battle. In that time, a staggering $20 million has been raised by the organization for cancer research and treatment, as well as the establishment of a partnership with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
Be My Valentine will be the first event in 2011 for the organization and is under the guidance of this year’s co-chairs, Julie Lampert and Jennifer Meyers. Its continued success is attributed to the not-your-average fund-raiser approach, began four years ago by Ashley Hemphill Netzky and Lara Shipp Shiffman. “Be My Valentine is special because it’s a family event geared toward kids, but enjoyed by multiple generations,” explains Jennifer. The event last year brought in $70,000, and organizers are hoping to reach similar goals this January.
It’s that multi-generational approach that keeps an event like this one successful. While the children are decorating cookies or watching the balloon artist, a valuable lesson of giving back is being ingrained. “It’s important to teach children about philanthropy at an early age and make giving back a part of their daily routine,” says Julie. “The best way to teach that is by example.”
Tickets for the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation Be My Valentine Event are $85 for adults and $55 for children 12 and under (those under 6 months are free), and can be purchased at lynnsage.org. Call 312-926-4274 for more information.