Celebrating ten years as a nonprofit, Face the Future Foundation’s (FFF) Disco Ball gala was one of its most successful to date. Attended by 380 guests, the evening raised $540,000 to support the Foundation’s mission: Providing care and treatment for children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial differences by expanding healthcare access to underserved children, in the Chicago area, who suffer from these conditions. The beneficiary of gala proceeds is the Craniofacial Center at the UIC College of Medicine, a recognized leader in craniofacial care.
Isabell and Gus Abello, Executive Vice President of Fidelity National Title Group, co-chaired the gala which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago on Saturday, March 25. Highlights of the evening included a cocktail reception with silent auction, Village People style dancers performing routines to the songs “Y.M.C.A.” and “Macho Man,” an entertaining live auction led by David Goodman, and dancing under the disco ball on the LED black and white checkered dance floor to the spins of DJ Andres. The disco themed décor featured black satin linens, silver sequined table runners, and disco balls nestled in a cloud of black and white boas.
Master of Ceremonies Lourdes Duarte, WGN Anchor and Reporter, welcomed guests and introduced Foundation President Rob Grant for the presentation of the President’s Award to Michelle Krage. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions and commitment to help FFF carry out its mission. Krage serves on FFF’s board and developed the concept behind the Foundation’s annual Holiday Patient Party. Held each December, the party is for patients and their families who receive treatment at the UIC Craniofacial Center. This past December over 700 patients and family members attended.
Krage announced the establishment of the Adrienne L. Green Scholarship which will be open to current and former patients of the UIC Craniofacial Center. One recipient each year will be awarded $5,000 to attend the higher education institution of their choice. Michelle said, “I credit my mom and the late Adrienne Green for fostering in me, a spirit of giving, strength and independence. My desire is to set a similar example for my three daughters.”
Then it was on to the live auction with exciting packages which included the following: excursions to Costa Rica, Tuscany, Prague and Paris, Hawaii, and Roatan; a luxury Tahitian cruise aboard the small craft m/s Paul Gauguin; a chateaux in Burgundy; and a remarkable collection of over 100 bottles of wines. An appeal video showcasing the work of the Craniofacial Center was shown followed by a paddle raise led by Goodman. At the $100 level gala co-chairs the Abellos offered a match. Total donations topped $200,000. Following the main course, the evening closed with dancing and the final hour of the silent auction.
Rob Grant said, “My wife Tracy and I adopted a daughter with craniofacial issues and to see her transformation through the care she’s received- well, there is no better gift than we, as parents, can give our daughter than her a smile. Every year I’m humbled and impressed by the generosity of our supporters to enable us to fulfill our mission so the Center can continue its life-changing work.”
Presenting Sponsor: Chicago Title
About Face the Future Foundation:
Face the Future Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit established to raise funds and public awareness to support the care and treatment of children born with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial differences by facilitating access to state-of-the-art medical care and by supporting research and education. The Foundation is dedicated to expanding healthcare access to underserved children, in the Chicago area, who suffer from these conditions. It remains steadfast and true in its mission: to help local children build brighter futures.
About the UIC Craniofacial Center:
For over 65 years, the Craniofacial Center at UIC College of Medicine has been renowned for excellence in its multidisciplinary management for children born with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial differences. The Center, one of the oldest and largest facilities of its kind in the USA, provides comprehensive care for craniofacial patients who are treated by plastic/craniofacial surgeons, orthodontists, audiologists, speech pathologists and other specialists. Today, it provides this care for more economically disadvantaged children than any other teaching hospital in Illinois by providing access to the highest quality care irrespective of financial circumstance. More than 5,000 Chicago-area kids are helped annually.
Photo Credit: Mila Samokhina