Mrs. Potter Palmer, the first Woman’s Board president of Children’s Home + Aid, wouldn’t believe her eyes today if she could see what has become of her invention all these years later. Mrs. Palmer conceptualized the idea of the organization’s annual September Gala back in 1920, with the design to raise funds to support the services Children’s Home + Aid provides Chicagoland. More than 91 years ago, the first Gala garnered 300 guests and raised an astonishing $30,000. Those numbers serve as a testament to Mrs. Palmer—that’s still big money in today’s world. We wonder, if she could see the Gala today, how she would respond to millions.
The compassionate and hardworking Woman’s Board of Children’s Home + Aid keeps Mrs. Palmer’s 91-year-old dream alive. On September 9, hundreds will gather at the Four Seasons Chicago for the annual September Gala, co-chaired by Jennifer Hay of Evanston and Lisa Tank of Winnetka. The event, which serves as the single most significant fund-raiser for the organization, will include dinner and dancing, as well as a live “Wishes for Kids” auction, which is an opportunity for guests to bid on early childhood support services important to Children’s Home + Aid. Over the years, this event has raised millions toward improving the lives of abused and neglected children.
Mrs. Palmer would also be pleased to see the Pauline K. Palmer Award being granted to John F. McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks. Under McDonough’s leadership, the Blackhawks’ commitment to serving Illinois’ children is steadfast and worthy of recognition. McDonough and his team serve as an inspiration, and their work impacts hundreds throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area.
Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward two of Children’s Home + Aid’s early childhood centers. The Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child + Family Center on Chicago’s South Side will continue to expand its programs due to the funds from the September Gala. Extending beyond the city’s limits is the Marletta Darnall Schaumburg Child + Family Center, which opened in 2009. Here, the support from the Woman’s Board will continue to ensure the provision of early childhood and school readiness, crisis intervention, and parental support services to the most vulnerable children and families living in Schaumburg.
It’s true, Mrs. Potter would be happy to see the developments that have taken place, but no one is more pleased than the 40,000 lives touched by Children’s Home + Aid each year.
To purchase tickets to the 91st Annual Children’s Home + Aid September Gala, contact 312-424-6825, or email [email protected].