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2007 Dream a Bigger Dream Gala

Gala 2007

Chicago—May 1, 2007—On Saturday, April 28, friends of Teen Living Programs (TLP) came together at the Westin Chicago River North to “Dream a Bigger Dream” for Chicago youth who are homeless. Gala Chair Jeffrey K. Dorsey, Board President Gerald L. Pauling II, and Executive Director David L. Myers welcomed some 360 philanthropists and more than two dozen Chicago corporations and foundations to the event—raising more than $250,000 in support of Teen Living Programs’ mission to create hope and opportunity for youth who are homeless by assisting them to permanently leave the streets, secure stable housing, and build self-sufficient, satisfying lives.

Sponsors who pledged the highest level of support to Dream a Bigger Dream are: Mulvihill Family Foundation and Seyfarth Shaw, LLP.

During dinner, guests heard from some of the youth benefiting from TLP’s support. This year’s attendees heard from Victor and Dominique, two graduates of Teen Living Programs. “I am confident in my future with preparation in the present and acceptance of the past,” Dominique said. “I have learned to never give up because I realize that I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 100 ways that don’t work.” An aspiring entrepreneur, Dominique knows that it is not enough to just dream, that we must work to make those dreams come true. “A dream is nothing without work,” she said. She also knows she will always have a support system at TLP, even though she has already graduated: “No matter how many times I fall down, I know that TLP is there with open arms to help me back on my feet,” Dominique said.

Following dinner, the Live Program Auction gave guests the opportunity to give directly to services at Teen Living Programs. Guests donated $8,000 to provide emergency shelter for minor-aged youth (ages 14-17) at Bronzeville Youth Shelter.  By making gifts totaling $13,500, attendees supported Whole Health, a holistic health program that provides primary health care and nutrition education to TLP’s youth. Donors made gifts totaling $8,500 to support the seven-month I-SkIL (Integrated Skills for Independent Living) program, a specialized curricula for teaching youth how to be self-sufficient. Finally, donors sponsored more than 60 Welcome Baskets, laundry baskets filled with necessities that are presented to every new resident who arrives at Belfort House. Their $6,065 will buy the new linens, toiletries and personal items that go into Welcome Baskets; these new items symbolize new life, and for some youth, these are the first new items they have received in a long time.

TLP recognized Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture(HPA) as our Corporate Partner of the Year. HPA is a key contributor to TLP’s capital campaign and the construction of its new TLP residential facility. In addition to providing pro-bono architectural, design, and engineering consulting, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture has gone beyond the call, helping to procure donated items and services and garnering support on our behalf from our community and elected officials. “Our collaboration with TLP is a great match of needs and skills, and we are thrilled to provide our services to such a worthwhile organization,” said Jim Plunkard, HPA principal. “Receiving this award is a great honor. Just knowing that youth who are homeless will have a better place to stay is all the thanks we need.”

We were proud to introduce a new staff award that evening. Named after its first recipient, the Roxie Award was presented to Ms. Roxie Quinn, for exemplifying TLP’s core values during her 22 years at TLP.

A surprise addition to the program came when one donor pledged $200,000 to TLP’s capital campaign, benefiting construction of a new home for Belfort House.

The evening concluded with dancing to live musical entertainment by the Steve Edwards Orchestra.

Additional corporate and individuals support was provided by: JPMorgan Chase, Chicago Tribune, PricewaterhouseCoopers, @properties, Allpoints Security, Brenna Berman and Kendrew Witt, Tim Calkins and Carol Saltoun, Cardinal Growth, CDW, Billy Dexter and Gisel Bowen Dexter, Group Benefits, HFR Asset Management, John Buck Co., ODInsight, Jane McCart and Nick Karatsios, Sarah and Paul McHugh, Realtime Solutions, Inc., Segall Bryant & Hamill, and UBS Securities, LLC.

Companies pledging in-kind support for the Dream a Bigger Dream Gala include: Alice’s Garden, Romano Family, David Orth, Steve Becker of beckermedia.com, and Randy Belice of NBAE via Getty Images.