Photo of the Day: ZCenter’s Have A Heart/Heal A Heart Event Raises $209,000
The funds go to preventing childhood sexual abuse and helping young survivors.
The following is a submission from Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center:
According to a study published in Pediatrics Journal, bad economic times do more than reduce financial support of charities when they need it most. They actually contribute to a rise in childhood physical and sexual abuse. Faced with the double-whammy of greater demand for youth counseling and advocacy services and the prospect of lessening government funding, Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center did just what you’d expect from northern Chicagoland’s leading sexual abuse advocacy and counseling center: they got their friends together and made positive things happen.
ZCenter’s 10th Annual Have A Heart/Heal A Heart Casino Night fundraiser on Oct. 1 was not only the most successful dinner fundraiser in the agency’s history – netting $209,000 for their children’s advocacy and counseling programs – it was also an inspirational evening that emphasized art as a healing force.
ZCenter’s event committee, led by chairperson Judy Reuter, displayed survivor art throughout Highland Park’s Exmoor Country Club and welcomed world-class soloist Heather Aranyi to perform for their sponsors and guests. Renowned for her extraordinary voice, as well as her exemplary stage presence, Aranyi was a 2006 recipient of the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund artist scholarship, which supports sexual assault survivors’ pursuit of artistic endeavors including singing, painting and dancing.
"Have A Heart/Heal A Heart is great mock-gambling fun and a very important fundraiser that is made possible each year through the generosity of our wonderful underwriters Jon Mills and Morris Belzberg,” said ZCenter’s CEO Torrie Flink. “As an added bonus, this year’s 220-plus attendees enjoyed a fabulous performance, and courageous and inspiring message delivered by world-class soprano and sexual abuse survivor Heather Aranyi.”
Other highlights of the evening included a salute to ZCenter’s incredible staff, recognition of their many Aunts & Uncles club members who donate $1,000 or more annually to support children’s advocacy and counseling programs, a fabulous silent auction and a hugely successful live auction hosted by Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and Good Sam.
“Marcus was absolutely phenomenal,” said ZCenter’s director of development Joe Howard. “He pushed the auction to record numbers and strengthened people’s participation to the cause every step of the way. He made everyone who is connected to our organization very proud.”
In addition to bringing two tables full of guests, Camping World and Good Sam donated numerous RV rentals and VIP ticket packages to concerts, racing and entertainment events.
“Marcus is passionate about doing everything possible to support ZCenter’s vital programs and services for survivors of rape and incest, and we at Camping World and Good Sam are looking forward to welcoming the evening’s winning bidders to our signature events, including The Tim McGraw Tour,” said Zrinka Allen, EVP of Camping World and Good Sam and longtime ZCenter supporter.
Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center provides survivors of sexual assault or abuse with comprehensive, confidential services at no charge including medical and legal advocacy, emergency room and police sensitivity training, 24-hour crisis hotline and crisis intervention services and counseling for both individuals and groups. The center’s Community Education department also provides prevention education to thousands of area school children each year. For details, call (847) 244-1187 or visit www.ZCenter.org.
Click here to view video of the event.