The Associate Board of Housing Forward is excited to present Charity Royale – an evening of risk-taking for a good cause. This fundraising event will be held at South Branch Tavern & Grill, one of the best restaurants in The Loop with full views of the Chicago River and nestled among the city's skyline. Attendees at this casino-themed event will try their luck at blackjack or poker, pick a big number on the roulette wheel or try their chances rolling the dice at the craps table. Professional, entertaining dealers will help guests get into the spirit of the games whether a novice or experienced player. At Charity Royale, guests can experience all the fun and excitement of a night in Monte Carlo without the risk of losing since everyone wins when helping others. Past events hosted by the Housing Forward Associate Board have been great successes with an average of 150 supporters participating. We anticipate this unique will attract an even bigger crowd.
On Thursday July 12th Housing Forward hosts our 8th Annual Trivia Night - Compete to Defeat. Trivia night offers plenty of opportunity for some friendly competition to support Housing Forward’s programs including an individual fundraising component leading up to the event. The individual who excels most at fundraising gets the honor of choosing the category for the final round of trivia from a selection! In addition, for every $100 participants raise, they receive an extra raffle ticket toward more prizes such as restaurant gift cards and trivia advantages.
Thank you for a very successful 20th Annual Have-a-Heart Gala. Housing Forward raised $267,000 this year due to the efforts of numerous volunteers, donors and supporters making this our most successful year to date. Maywood’s Village Free Press Editor Michael Romaine took time during the Gala to have a quick conversation with celebrity emcees Rachel and Chris Sullivan and published a highlight of our efforts. Read more from Michael Romain. For more detailed information about this year’s fundraising success, and to learn about our numerous donors read this recent submission to the Chicago Tribune.
We hope you will save the date and plan to join us for an evening of cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction to celebrate the community support that has helped thousands of people achieve housing stability. This year's Gala will feature guest hosts, Rachel and Chris Sullivan. Rachel and Chris met right here in Chicago in 2007 and could not be happier to be back and sharing this evening with us. Their love of music and all things creative is what brought them together and continues to lead them on their various adventures.
Residents of Oak Park, Don and Linda Bolte have been long-time volunteers of Housing Forward for more than 10 years. As members of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, they started volunteering as fill in meal providers at the Berwyn PADS Shelter site when the regular team was unavailable.
Eventually, they became involved in several other capacities: they provided breakfast once a month at a former PADS Shelter site in Elmwood Park, and provided lunches to First United Methodist Church as well as First United Church of Oak Park PADS Shelter sites.
When we moved into our new office in Oak Park to be able to serve more people, we thought about how we not only wanted to explore the best use of our new space (all 3200 sq. ft.,) but that we really wanted the office to be professional and inviting. We also hoped that we could create an environment that helped those who came there feel a sense of sanctuary and hope.
In October of 1992, First United Church of Oak Park was one of seven congregations that opened their doors as a PADS Shelter site in response to the growing need for temporary shelter for those in our community. That year we provided food and shelter to 244 homeless individuals from the community. In 2016, we helped 472 people with 13,565 nights of shelter.
Since 2005, First United has also provided the office space for the Prevail Program services as the community’s compassionate advocate for those neighbors facing financial crisis and seeking a path to stability.
More than ten years ago, Frank and Mary Pellegrini began volunteering with St. Giles Parish for the dinner shift at First United Methodist Church PADS Shelter site. They both grew up in the Oak Park and Forest Park area and believed it was important to be involved in their local community. Between their adventures of raising 2 children and now 3 grandchildren, Frank’s cooking passion and a biking trip to Spain, Frank and Mary have managed to run two successful businesses- Prairie Title and Pellegrini & Cristiano.
So why does BMO Harris support Housing Forward? “We take a long-term view of our responsibility to the community, doing what we can to help non-profits like Housing Forward, who are doing life-changing work on the ground,” says Alma Velasquez, Vice President of Community Affairs at BMO Harris. Cross got involved with Housing Forward because she has a strong belief that every person deserves a home. “Housing Forward’s mission is inspiring, their results are impactful, and the strides they continue to make in our communities is powerful.