An Evening for Boys Hope Girls Hope
Very rarely is a 100 percent success rate of anything seen. There is usually something or someone slipping through the cracks, making that seemingly unreachable goal a reality. But when a group of committed volunteers is paired with willing young minds, magic can happen. This winning combination is known as Boys Hope Girls Hope (BHGH) of Illinois.
For just over 31 years, the national organization—with an office in Wilmette— has offered scholarships to Chicago-area children who are academically capable. These “Scholars” come from deeply troubled homes that have been stricken by poverty, homelessness, gang or domestic violence, drug use, or any combination of the above. BHGH not only empowers these children through education, but works to break the cycle. What’s remarkable is these students choose to be a part of the BHGH program and their success rate is undeniable: 100 percent of the Scholars who graduate from high school involved in the BHGH program go on to college.
To keep this positive cycle going, the Women’s Board of BHGH will host their annual Evening of Hope gala entitled “Night of the Dragon” at The Fairmont Chicago on February 26. According to co-chair Jennifer O’Shaughnessy, the evening promises to be an escape to exotic China. “We want to transport our guests from a cold Chicago night to a magnificent evening in a Shanghai garden,” she explains.
The evening will be a festive romp of silent and live auctions, casino games, and awards. This year’s recipient of the organization’s “Heart of Gold” Award is Winnetka standout Bobbie Vender. Bobbie and her husband, Jeff, have been supporting BHGH since 1986, and she has served on various committees and held positions of leadership, including her post as past President of the Women’s Board. “Bobbie has given these young adults love, respect, kindness, endless prayers, meals, and a person they can trust,” explains co-chair Kathy Fee Braasch.
A goal of $285,000 is set for the evening. “All funds go directly toward the operating expenses of the organization,” says co-chair Beth Miles. “We provide food, housing, medical care, counseling, tutoring, and tuition at local college preparatory schools for all of our Scholars.”
An Evening of Hope Dinner Dance and Auction is February 26 at The Fairmont Chicago. Individual tickets begin at $350. Tickets can be purchased by visiting chicagobhgh.org.