- October 27, 2015
The financial and social challenges facing the state of Illinois affect us all. However, there are a number of children, families and individuals throughout Illinois who have an even more difficult time dealing with these issues because of personal challenges they face on a daily basis such as abuse, homelessness and poverty.
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois’ (LCFS) annual Harvest Gala raises funds to help nurture and protect children, support families and transform communities across the state. This year’s Gala raised tens of thousands of dollars for LCFS programs and services. A leadership gift of $15,000 by the Webb Foundation helped to inspire guests to give generously to this year’s special initiative, which surpassed its goal raising nearly $45,000. The gifts to the special initiative benefit the building bridges program at Lutherbrook Child and Adolescent Center in Addison, which helps provide youth with opportunities to develop connections with their families and the community and to build their own strengths.
In his opening remarks, LCFS CEO Gene Svebakken noted, “We partner with a variety of stakeholders including all of you here tonight to provide impactful and values-driven services for the betterment of those we serve. I’m excited about the future of LCFS. These are difficult times, but I stand confident in our capacity to continue to provide quality services throughout Illinois, be innovative in developing programs that bring about positive results and inspire hope in those we serve.”
Former Lutherbrook Child and Adolescent Center resident Alex Lyons (pictured, below) shared his story at this year’s Harvest Gala. He spent four years at Lutherbrook and credits his faith and his current profession as the owner of a media company to the time he spent at Lutherbrook. Alex, who had many placements before entering Lutherbrook, felt a sense of brotherhood and belonging for the first time in his life at the residential treatment center. “My career in marketing and design began with my time at Lutherbrook. I really tapped into my creative side during those years. I still benefit today from the core of what I received at Lutherbrook, where I had an opportunity to develop my faith.” Alex went on to express his thanks for the support he and others have received, assisting them in setting their lives on a positive course. “So on behalf of my other brothers and sisters who have called Lutherbrook their home…thank you for choosing to pour into Lutherbrook while I was in care, and thank you for choosing to pour into Lutherbrook now, so that in the years to come, many kids may have a better life because of their time at Lutherbrook.”
A big thank you to the event’s generous sponsors, donors and underwriters, including Gala presenting sponsor Heartland Business Systems; print underwriter Nite Owl Prints, LLC; Kids’ Corner sponsor, The Koester Group; Platinum sponsors: Assurance Agency and Thrivent Financial – Tim Perryman; Gold sponsors: First Midwest Bank and Mutual of America –Westchester; Silver sponsors: Concierge Unlimited International, EclipseOne, Forest Park National Bank & Trust Co., Hub International Midwest Ltd., Interact Business Products, McHenry-Kane County Chapter of Thrivent, North Cook County-Chicago Chapter of Thrivent, Reed, Centracchio and Associates, LLC, SFH Company LLC and The Christopher Family Foundation.