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Giving Back Blog

  • Writer's pictureAscension Illinois Foundation

Gala Raises Nearly $1.25 Million



After a break from hosting a gala in 2021 due to COVID-19, the Foundation was excited to bring together event sponsors, Foundation Board and Gala Committee members, religious founders, physicians and health system leaders for “An Evening at the Field” on Saturday, April 9. Led by Presenting Sponsor Superior Ambulance Service, more than 650 people raised nearly $1.25 million to support people across the greater Chicago area receiving behavioral health and substance abuse treatment from Ascension Illinois hospitals. The event at the Field Museum was a celebration of the health system’s faith-based mission to serve those most in need in our communities. It also was the culmination of the system’s first week operating under the new name of Ascension Illinois.

Carrying on a Longstanding Mission

Foundation Board Co-Chairs Kenneth Bauwens, Chief Executive Officer of Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors, and Michael Benoit, Managing Director, Fiducient Advisors, joined Ascension Illinois Ministry Market Executive Keith Parrott in welcoming guests to the black-tie celebration presented by Superior Ambulance Service. Representatives of the health system’s religious founders attended, including members of the Congregation of Alexian Brothers of the Immaculate Conception Province – American Province and Sisters of the Resurrection Immaculate Conception Province.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on behavioral and mental health, and local hospitals have been the front line in responding as people have shown up in crisis in emergency rooms and psychiatric units. Gala proceeds will be used to help hospitals address these increasing needs.

“Your generosity keeps us focused on caring for people who need it most,” said Parrott. “We are here tonight for them, and for the physicians, nurses and healthcare workers who care for them.”

Benefiting Behavioral Health

The evening featured a three-course gourmet menu, and silent, live and reverse auctions that collectively raised more than $445,000. Foundation Board Member Melissa Pontikes, Founder, Sage Strategic Solutions, LLC and President, Kenny’s Kids, introduced a video that shared the perspectives of healthcare workers who have been responding to people’s behavioral health needs over the past two years of the pandemic as well as patients who benefited from care.

“Healthcare workers have shown up, day in and day out, to take care of those who could not take care of themselves,” said Pontikes. “Tonight, they are asking for our help. We are here to support them and the people they serve.”

Sponsors Lead the Way

In addition to the Presenting Sponsor Superior Ambulance Service (Elmhurst), numerous additional community partners sponsored the event: President’s Sponsor ($100,000): Bear Construction Company (Rolling Meadows); Platinum Sponsors ($30,000): Versant Diagnostics (Oak Brook), and Vituity (Chicago); Gold Sponsors ($20,000): B and B Maintenance (Lake Zurich), Cardiac Surgery Associates (Downers Grove), Elite Ambulance (Orland Park), MedEx Ambulance Service (Skokie), and Power Construction (Chicago); Silver Sponsors ($15,000): Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors (Northbrook), and Michuda Construction (Tinley Park); Bronze Sponsors ($11,000): Berry Electric (Berkeley), Crane and Norcross (Chicago), Diverzify+ (Itasca), Eckenhoff Saunders (Chicago), Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder, LLC (Champaign), Northwest Oncology & Hematology, S.C. (Rolling Meadows), and Walsh Construction (Chicago); Ruby Sponsors ($7,500): Affiliated Oncologists (Chicago Ridge), Gresham Smith (Chicago), Jensen & Halstead, Ltd (Chicago), Metro Infectious Disease Consultants, LLC (Burr Ridge), The Neller Pucci Foundation (Chicago), NorthStar Anesthesia (Irving, TX), Sebert Landscape (Bartlett), Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (Chicago), Super Electric Construction Company (Chicago); Thoracic Surgical Associates (Chicago Ridge), Dr. Kalisha Hill (Kankakee); Emerald Sponsors ($5,000): ClearPointe Financial Group (Schaumburg), Arcadia Settlements Group, Inc. (Deckerville, MI); Baird (Milwaukee, WI); Generations Healthcare Network (Lincolnwood); HeplerBroom (Chicago); KaufmanHall (Skokie); Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer (Chicago), Trilab, LLC (Schaumburg), and Ada I. Arias, MD (Oak Brook); Pearl Sponsors ($3,000): Aldridge Electric (Libertyville), Chicago Fire Protection (Chicago), Illinois Business Communications (Wood Dale), IMEG Corp. (Naperville), Lyon Family Foundation (Chicago), Nixon Peabody (Chicago), Chicago Title (Chicago), Melissa Pontikes and Mike Boyd (Sedona, AZ), Vittorio Macchia & Son Decorating (Chicago), Drs. Crystal and Shubhrajan Wadyal (South Barrington)

Ascension Illinois hospitals have been serving communities across the greater Chicago area for more than 100 years. Rooted in its faith-based mission, the Foundation exists to help ensure that everyone in our communities — especially those who need it most — has a place to turn for exceptional, compassionate healthcare.

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Emily Dagostino

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Ascension Illinois Foundation

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