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Giving Back Blog

  • Writer's pictureAscension Illinois Foundation

Gala Guests Give from the Heart

Superior Ambulance Service's Chief Executive Officer David Hill (left) and Vice President of Business Development Mary Franco (middle) join Ascension Illinois Ministry Market Executive Polly Davenport at the 2023 Ascension Illinois Foundation Gala on Saturday, April 29; the gala at the Field Museum raised over $1.1 million to benefit people in need of cardiovascular care.

Over 625 guests gave generously from the heart to help the 2023 Ascension Illinois Foundation Gala live up to its theme of being A Knight to Remember at the Field Museum on Saturday, April 29. Sponsors and guests contributed over $1.1 million to help ensure that people with heart and valve diseases who are served by Ascension Illinois receive advanced cardiovascular care in their communities.

In opening remarks, Ascension Illinois Ministry Market Executive Polly Davenport, D.Sc, RN, FACHE, recognized lead sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Superior Ambulance Service; Foundation Board members; Ascension Illinois leaders, physicians and associates; and religious founders for their dedication and generosity in helping advance the not-for-profit health system’s Catholic mission.

Support for cardiovascular care

Gala Committee Co-Chair Jeffrey Silver, MD, President-Elect, Ascension Resurrection Medical Staff, welcomed guests to the celebration, which focused on raising funds to shore up services that address heart and valve diseases.

“Every day, we are saving lives, whether it is someone coming in with a massive heart attack or whether we intervene earlier to prevent a heart attack from occurring,” said Dr. Silver. “Gifts to the Foundation help our patients access the most advanced cardiovascular care available right in their communities. Thank you for giving generously to support our patients.”

Guests contributed over $317,000 through silent, live, and reverse auctions and a grand raffle to support the people served by Ascension Illinois’s cardiovascular program. They also enjoyed a three-course gourmet dinner, dancing to live music from the Bluewater Kings, and exploring all the sites and exhibits of the Field Museum, including its new special exhibit: First Kings of Europe.

Philanthropy enhances care

Introducing a video sharing the story of a patient whose life was saved by the care he received at Ascension Alexian Brothers, Jack Chamberlin, MD, FACC, Chair, Ascension Illinois Heart & Vascular Care, System Joint Operating Committee, spoke about the role philanthropy plays in sustaining and strengthening the cardiovascular program.

“We have invested in building our cardiovascular program, in recruiting and retaining exceptional physicians and clinical teams, in gaining state-of-the-art imaging technology and experts, and in covering the full range of comprehensive cardiovascular specialties,” said Dr. Chamberlin. “As a result, our patients get access to services that are not available anywhere else in their immediate communities and that are typically reserved for academic centers downtown. Tonight, your gifts are keeping this exceptional care and these exceptional teams in the communities we serve.”

Sponsors lead the way

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Superior Ambulance Service (Elmhurst), numerous additional community partners sponsored the event: Diamond Sponsors: BEAR Construction Company (Rolling Meadows) and Heart & Vascular Physicians in Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates & Elgin, Ascension Medical Group Illinois - Heart & Vascular; Platinum Sponsors: Versant Diagnostics (Oak Brook), and Vituity (Chicago); Gold Sponsors: B and B Maintenance (Lake Zurich), Cardiac Surgery Associates (Downers Grove), MedEx Ambulance Service (Skokie), Medical and Dental Association of Ascension Saint Alexius (Hoffman Estates), and Power Construction (Chicago); Silver Sponsors: A-TEC Ambulance (Crystal Lake), Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors (Northbrook), Michuda Construction (Tinley Park), and Northwest Oncology and Hematology (Rolling Meadows); Bronze Sponsors: Berry Electric (Berkeley), Diverzify+ (Itasca), Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder, LLC (Champaign), Dr. Kalisha Hill (Flossmoor), Sebert Landscape (Bartlett), and Walsh Construction (Chicago); Ruby Sponsors: Generations Healthcare Network (Lincolnwood), Eckenhoff Saunders (Chicago), Illinois Business Communications (Wood Dale), Jensen & Halstead, Ltd (Chicago), NorthStar Anesthesia (Irving, TX), Peterson Contracting Services (Roselle), PT Solutions Physical Therapy (Atlanta, GA), R1 (Murray, UT), Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (Chicago), Super Electric Construction Company (Chicago), Jay and Lori Bergman (Joliet), Dr. David Bordo (Highland Park), Elk Grove Imaging Associates (Elk Grove Village), Drs. Crystal and Shubhrajan Wadyal (South Barrington); Emerald Sponsors: Baird (Milwaukee, WI); Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. (Chicago), Pulmonary Medicine Associates (Melrose Park), Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC (Chicago); Pearl Sponsors: Aldridge Electric (Libertyville), Fidelity National Title Insurance Company (Chicago), Melissa Pontikes and Michael Boyd (Sedona, AZ).

In addition to these generous sponsors and their guests, U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, Elk Grove Village Trustees Jeffrey Franke and Tammy Miller, Village of Bolingbrook Trustee Michael Carpanzano, and members of the Congregation of Alexian Brothers of the Immaculate Conception Province – American Province attended the gala.

Continuing the mission

Ascension Illinois hospitals have been serving communities across the greater Chicago area for more than 100 years. Rooted in its Catholic mission, the Foundation exists to help ensure that everyone in our communities — especially those who are most in need — has a place to turn for exceptional, compassionate healthcare. Tax-exempt charitable donations are invested as donors direct them to be in Ascension Illinois initiatives that provide compassionate, personalized healthcare to 6.6 million people in the greater Chicago area, including initiatives that address our communities’ most pressing health needs; expand and enhance clinical excellence; and keep compassion in healthcare.



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Emily Dagostino

Director, Communications

Ascension Illinois Foundation


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