Wrapping Up SPARK 2018

5 friends dressed beautifully pose for group photo at SPARK.
Friends celebrate at SPARK.

On April 27th, we danced the night away at the Hilton Orrington as we celebrated our 12th annual SPARK. Our SPARK 2018 celebration is a chance for us to honor our community full of participants, their families, and our generous supporters. As we enter our 16th year of serving the Chicagoland area, we want to extend a big thank you to everyone who has joined us along the way.

Leading up to dinner, we laughed together while bidding on donated auction items, playing Heads or Tails, and taking a chance on our gift card tree. We announced our fourth annual Jane Doyle Awesome Award winners, honoring staff member Cynthia Witherspoon, who has been with us for 11 years, our community partner Northwestern University, and participant Lindsay Tonyan. Each of these awards celebrates an extraordinary and AWESOME member of our community who helps us achieve our goals every year.

This year our live auction featured stellar packages including a trip to the South African Zulu Nyala reserve and daily photo safaris, as well as tickets to U2, Ed Sheeran, and Elton John, tickets to spring training in Arizona, a jam-packed St. Paddie’s Day weekend in Chicago, and a beautiful painting by our very own artist in residence and staff member Rob Larson. These exciting packages were snatched up quickly by enthusiastic bidders!

Entertainment and Delicious Desserts

Following the live auction, Euphoria Band opened up the dance floor with “This Is Me,” from The Greatest Showman. This night would not have been possible without the band, entertainment from Collaboraction, and support from our sponsors. We are especially grateful to our sponsors, including platinum sponsor PSAV, gold sponsor Sidley Austin LLP, silver sponsor First Bank & Trust of Evanston, and our bronze sponsors Inland BankMonahan Law Group, Northwestern University, and Rubin Law.

4 individuals gather around an orange chair at SPARK.
Group smiles for photo at SPARK.

 

The delicious desserts on display were donated by Bennison’s BakeryBeth’s Little Bake ShopFlat Top GrillLawrence Dean’s Bake ShopNothing Bundt CakesSweety Pies Bakery, and Three Tarts Bakery and CafeRevolution Brewing and Temperance Brewing Co  donated the night’s beer selection.

SPARK Success, Thanks to You!

We want to thank all who participated in the silent or live auctions, Heads or Tails, raffle, and our paddle raise. Because of you, SPARK 2018 was a great success and will help us continue supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. We couldn’t reach our own hopes and dreams without each and every one of you.

Find the professional photos from SPARK on Facebook today! Do you have pictures from SPARK? Post them to your favorite social media platform and be sure to tag them #SPARK2018 so we can see them too!

Support the Dream Team at Bike the Drive

The weather is getting warmer, and it’s starting to feel nice to step outside. Do you know what that means?

It’s time for Bike the Drive!

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Lake Shore Drive closes to cars bright and early to prepare for many bikers’ favorite ride of the year. Bicycling magazine recently named Chicago the #1 biking city in America, so it’s no surprise that Lake Shore Drive will be packed with bicyclists throughout the morning.

Some of those bicyclists will be riding for our very own Dream Team. Center for Independent Futures participants and community members will be biking the drive, but they need your support!

Our community is biking to raise funds to support the Center for Independent Futures mission: creating innovative service models that support individuals with disabilities and their families to live full, independent lives. The Dream Team has a goal to raise $10,000, and you can help them get there!

How to Help the Dream Team

The team is busy biking and training for this big event, and we’re all getting excited. To support the team, visit our Bike the Drive Crowdrise fundraising page. You can donate online in support of whichever team member you choose — or you can support the team as a whole.

If you’re interested in riding with the team, reach out to the office to find out how to sign up and when to arrive. During this special event available just once a year, the opportunity to have a great time biking and support a wonderful community is a guaranteed fun day.

To learn more about the Dream Team and how to support our riders, contact Niki Moe at nmoe@independentfutures.com or (847) 328-2044.

Success Stories

wed26sep3:30 pmwed5:30 pmHub 930 Drop-in Hours

wed26sep5:30 pmwed7:00 pmHighland Park "Gab and Grub" Dinner Out

fri28sep6:00 pmfri8:00 pmLadies' Night

sat29sep3:00 pmsat5:30 pmHeARTwords Workshop

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