2019 Anniversary Gala

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
120 E Delaware Place
6:00 p.m. Reception | 7:00 p.m. Dinner and Program
Business Attire Suggested

Join us on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago for our annual Anniversary Gala. Family Focus is proud to honor Senator Dick Durbin and ReaderLink Distribution Services, LLC’s President and CEO, Dennis Abboud with the Bernice Weissbourd Award for Family Support. The Anniversary Gala is our largest fundraising event of the year to support Family Focus programs and services. In 2018 the gala raised more than $500,000 for Family Focus programs at our seven community centers.

Bernice Weissbourd Award for Family Support

Family Focus Founder, Bernice Weissbourd, is the creative force behind the family support movement. Through her work with Family Focus, Bernice is credited with focusing national attention on the critical first three years of life and the importance of family support. In 1976, Bernice opened the first Family Focus center for parents and young children in Evanston, IL. With her guidance, over the last 40 years Family Focus has grown to seven direct service centers. She is the author and contributor to two highly regarded books, America’s Family Support Programs: Perspectives and Prospects, and Putting Families First: America’s Family Support Movement and the Challenge of Change, and many articles in the academic and popular press. She has served on numerous national boards and advisory committees and is a well-known lecturer on the topic of family support.

Outstanding Corporate Partner Award

Each year, Family Focus honors an organization which has been especially supportive to Family Focus and the children and families we serve with the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award. This award recognizes program support, pro bono contributions enhancing the organization’s program reach, financial stability and organizational growth, and collaborations which expand the impact of Family Focus in the greater Chicago community to nurture children by strengthening families.

Past Recipients of the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award:

2016:  Jones Day
2015:  GE Foundation
2014:  MB Financial Bank
2013:  The Robert R. McCormick Foundation

2019 Anniversary Gala Honorees

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (pending any unexpected scheduling conflicts) will receive the Bernice Weissbourd Award for Family Support. Named for the founder of Family Focus, and nationally recognized leader in the field of family support, Bernice Weissbourd, this award is presented to an individual for their work impacting early childhood development. Among his other achievements, Senator Durbin has worked successfully for increased federal funding to prevent childhood asthma, increase immunizations, and has been a champion for Head Start. Most recently, he has passed federal legislation to improve mental health care for children who have experienced traumatic events such as exposure to violence or a parent’s addiction.

ReaderLink Distribution Services, LLC President and CEO Dennis Abboud will receive the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award. Mr. Abboud, who serves on the Family Focus Board of Directors, has been a dynamic advocate and champion for Family Focus by organizing corporate giving at ReaderLink through a yearly challenge grant, providing in-kind donations of Spanish-language books for Family Focus participants, and engaging civic and business leaders in building awareness and involvement about the organization’s programs and services.

Special Guests

Featured Speaker:

Seun Adigun, a former Family Focus Evanston participant, competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics representing Nigeria. In 2018 Ms. Adigun formed the first Nigerian bobsled team and was part of the first African nation bobsled team to compete in the Winter Olympics.

Introductory Remarks:

Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Adviser to former President Barack Obama

Master of Ceremonies:
Rob Johnson, former Anchor at CBS WBBM-TV Chicago

Host Committee

Barbara Bowman
Lester Crown
Arne Duncan
Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert
Merri and Mitchell Ex
Janice L. Feinberg, PharmD, JD
The Honorable Robyn Gabel
Katie and Brent Gledhill
Beverly and Warren Hayford
David Hiller
Valerie Jarrett
Jo and Newton Minow
Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D.
Dolores G. Norton
Diana Mendley Rauner, Ph.D.
Representative Jan Schakowsky
Eric Smith
Jennifer Steans
Scott C. Swanson
The Honorable Toni Preckwinkle
Betty and Stanley Weinberger
Bernice Weissbourd

Ticket Information

Individual tickets: $350 | Friend tickets (include program book mention) $500

Purchase your tickets online here.

Sponsorship Information

Sponsorship packages including program book advertising start at $5,000 for companies and $3,500 for individuals. Additional advertising without a table purchase is available as well. For detailed information on sponsorship opportunities, please view our sponsorship information packet. For any questions please contact Kelsey Miklos or Steve Majsak.