Our Black & White gala was an incredible evening of inspiration, music, laughter, and generosity. In total, we raised more than $130,000 to empower single moms in our community! That is $46,000 more than last year. We are so thankful for the generosity of our donors!
The gala exceeded our expectations and shattered every goal we set:
- Total funds raised: $46,000 more than last year.
- Silent auction goal: $10,000; actual: $16,000.
- Final end of evening fundraiser goal: $25,000; actual: $37,000.
- Wine pull donation goal: 100 bottles; actual: 169.
The numbers are impressive, but what matters more is the people those numbers represent. Because of our donors’ enthusiasm and generosity, more moms will be empowered and helped. That is what truly matters most!
Single moms face incredible challenges. It’s all too easy for them to lose hope, to become mired in debt—and often, in despair. But Fellowship offers single moms a path to freedom and hope. It’s not an easy path—they have to work hard. But they don’t have to walk it alone. Your generosity enables Fellowship to guide and mentor single moms toward a bright future.
Our annual gala raises money to fund our program, of course, but it also provides a great way to share the story of Fellowship. Five of our recent graduates attended the gala and were recognized on stage during the evening.
We also saw a video that told the story of Fellowship’s work, and honored our partner Food For Friends as Partner of the Year. (Learn more about them here.) Vocalist Sharon Irving, accompanied by her father Robert Irving, inspired everyone with beautiful singing.
About 270 guests filled the ballroom of the Marriott Northwest in Hoffman Estates. Before dinner, they strolled the lobby to bid on dozens of different items donated for the silent auction. During the dinner, other items were auctioned off at a live auction. Along with the typical vacations, entertainment, sports memorabilia, jewelry, and so on, participants had the opportunity to bid on a few unusual items, such as our most bid-on item, an in-home personal concert with Tony Sorentino, which went for an astonishing $2000. It included not only sound equipment rental but a wine-tasting to enjoy while listening to Tony. The silent auction alone raised $16,000.
The final ten minutes of the evening were perhaps the most amazing of the evening. We set a goal of raising $25,000, which will support a single mom and her children for the full two-year Fellowship Housing program. Emcee Blaine Hogan kept up a lively commentary as donors used their phones to donate in real time. The total, displayed on the ballroom screens, grew steadily and within five minutes, we’d hit and surpassed the $25,000 goal. Within ten minutes, we’d raised $37,000!
Hitting this goal enabled us we to add another mom to our program.
Because of the generosity of our donors, that mom, Julie, has begun her two-year Fellowship Housing journey. Over the next two years, we will follow the story of Julie and her children. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter (in the purple box on the right side of this page) so that you can read more about her in the coming months. We’ll share her story: what led her to Fellowship Housing and what goals she is striving to accomplish. We’ll share her successes, and her struggles. Starting today, you can support Julie by praying for her and her children.
As Executive Director Pam Orr wrote recently to our donors:
“You are the difference between a struggling single mom seeing no possible way for a different future and that same single mom grabbing hold of hope and walking a path that leads to a new home and future for her children. Your generous giving at this year’s Gala is already making a difference!”
Missed the gala? You can still donate to support our work by visiting our donation page.