The 2018 Heart & Soul Annual Gala took place at the Four Points Sheraton in Fairview Heights on February 10th and was a delightful evening of inspiration, food, fun, and friendship! With the support of 275 guests and 30 volunteers, this year’s Gala proved to be the most entertaining and successful to date, raising more than $147,000 to make an immeasurable impact on the 4,500 children and families who receive our services throughout Southern Illinois.
View photos from the 2018 Heart & Soul Gala
SAVE THE DATE: 2019 Heart & Soul Annual Gala will be February 9, 2019!
The event was dedicated to the memory of Mike Burnworth, long-time volunteer and supporter of Caritas Family Solutions. Randy Gori, honorary chairperson and Mike’s friend and colleague, presented the annual Heart & Soul Award to Mike’s family on his behalf. In addition to being a tireless advocate for the agency, Mike was instrumental in developing the Belleville Regional Advisory Council which, for the past several years, has hosted an annual fundraising breakfast to benefit services in the regional office. His leadership and support will be sorely missed, but his legacy continues in everyone he inspired.
Guest Speaker Bree Ann Marciniak shared her journey as a youth in foster care, thanking the Caritas staff for their support and encouragement which led to her many successes and shaped her life goals. After hearing her story, gala attendees donated $54,050 toward capital projects around the agency to maintain our quality level of service for clients like Bree. We are speechless in the face of this generosity and Bree’s courage to let others see into her experience.
Other noteworthy moments from the evening included the excitement of the silent and live auctions, the Corks for Kids wine pull and the Giant Jenga and trip raffles. Thanks to John Pertzborn from Fox2News who provided entertainment and wit as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, and to Dave Schumacher for leading us through the live auction. The jazz stylings of Glenn’s Guitar created a relaxed setting for the cocktail hour and Phil Elmore’s Mobile Music Machine provided the sound and music during dinner and the program.
Special thanks to all of our committee members, volunteers and staff for their hard work in creating a beautiful and successful event! We also thank our incredible sponsors:
Gori Julian & Associates, PC
Dave & Jill Wenzel
Valet Parking Sponsor
Cardinal Buick GMC
Jim & Barbara Calandro
Jim’s Formal Wear
Thompson Coburn LLP
Bank of Belleville
Benjamin F. Edwards – Janet Bone
Gateway East Development
Sandra Haas and Paul Kersens
Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.
Merrill Lynch – Tim Warner, Financial Advisor
Mutual of America
Paul and Alicia Slocumb
We hope to see you at next year’s gala on Saturday, February 9, 2019!!