CIF Bingo Night is back and in Evanston

On August 21, Center for Independent Futures (CIF) is excited to host Bingo Night, an inclusive event full of fun, laughs, and prizes from 6:00-8:00 pm at Double Clutch Brewing Company, 2121 Ashland Avenue, Evanston.

Prior to the pandemic, CIF hosted Bingo Night at Hamburger Mary’s in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. For years, participants, family, board members, and staff gathered for fun evenings of Charity Night Bingo, raising funds for CIF. During the pandemic, CIF held Virtual Bingo Nights hosted by crowd-pleaser and friend of CIF,  Alexis Bevels.

Sadly, Hamburger Mary’s closed its doors, and Alexis Bevels has moved on to Los Angeles.  Imagine how thrilled we were to learn that Double Clutch Brewing Company has begun hosting “Bier Hall Bingo” featuring  Muffy Fishbasket right here in Evanston! 

Both Alexis and Muffy made their mark in Evanston prior to being involved with Center for Independent Futures. In 2017, the Evanston Public Library hosted Alexis and Muffy “as part of its bimonthly program geared toward the city’s LGBTQ teens,” as reported by the Daily Northwestern in the article, Chicago drag queens to speak at Evanston Public Library. 

CIF’s Bingo Night is more than just a fundraiser. It’s an inclusive event recognizing the diversity of our own community. “The LGBTQ community and the disability community intersect in significant ways,” observes an article entitled LGBTQ People with Disabilities. “Too often, people with disabilities are represented by straight, white men in a wheelchair.”  The disability community mirrors society in general, with members of all genders and sexualities. 

We hope you join us for this inclusive night of fun and laughs as we raise funds supporting CIF’s person-centered coaching, supported community housing, and community building. Your $20 bingo card is your ticket to this summer night out. While we play bingo, food will be available for purchase. Dinner costs are not included in the bingo card price.

Come be a part of our community where everyone is welcome! Get your bingo card today! 

Bike the Drive: What a Ride!

Since 2012, Team CIF Bike Club has ridden Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s FifthThird Bike the Drive. Our team joins thousands of other cyclists for the one day in the year when the length of Lake Shore Drive is open to cyclists and closed to auto traffic. What a great way to kick off fall and be part of such an exciting event!

Over the years, CIF has participated in this event and it proves to be an energizing, motivating, and fulfilling experience for all of our riders. Unlike the Chicago Marathon, Bike the Drive is not a race, but an experience, open to any and all interested bikers! Would you like to join us?

In addition to focusing on fitness, Team CIF is committed to raising funds for Center for Independent Futures. The funds raised at Bike the Drive will support our efforts to provide social opportunities and activities for individuals with disabilities.

Are you interested in supporting full lives and joining thousands of others on Lake Shore Drive? Make a donation or come ride with Team CIF! Contact Jeff Morthorst at (847) 328-2044 to join us on this unique and fulfilling experience!

 

TeamCIF is training hard for the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Early on October 10, TeamCIF will enter their corrals for the start of the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The field for the 2022 event is set to return to 40,000 participants after hosting a smaller field in 2021. Alongside their goals for the race,  TeamCIF runners are raising funds to support individuals with disabilities as they live full lives! 

Over the next four months, our committed runners will face demanding training schedules, whether they run early in the morning before heading to work or work out in the evening after a long day. All will spend many weekend hours on increasingly long runs as they prepare to take on the challenge of 26.2 miles.

A runner, a participant, and a supporter pose on the Chicago Marathon course

To honor the hard work our runners will undertake on this journey, you can support TeamCIF by helping them along the way to their fundraising goal. With your donations, their hard work running will support CIF’s 

  • Person-centered coaching
  • Supported housing 
  • Community building

Visit this link and donate to the entire team or you can also visit the runners’ individual fundraising pages by clicking on names listed below. 

To learn more about how you can support Team CIF, contact Joanie Ducayet at (847) 328-2044. Thank you for helping our dedicated team run for full lives! 

Team CIF 2022

Would you like to do more to support TeamCIF? Please share this link to our donation page. 

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/center-for-independent-futures/teamcif-bank-of-america-chicago-marathon-2022

We have a place for you at Brews & Bites!

As our Brews & Bites event gets closer, we want to reassure our community that we have worked hard to prepare an event that allows us to gather together in the safest way possible.

While we are not requiring our guests to wear masks, this event will be a mask-friendly environment. Our venue, Double Clutch Brewing Company, provides the opportunity for us to gather (weather permitting) with both indoor and outdoor tables and seating. Our ticket price reflects the fact that we will be providing individually plated dinners, rather than a collection of small bites served on large communal trays.

With large, accessible indoor spaces, and outdoor tables and chairs, party goers will be able to find just the right location to make everyone feel comfortable.

As always, your financial support is crucial to our work. All of the funds raised at Brews & Bites will support our person-centered coaching, supported housing, and community building. These services have never been so important as the world moves forward recovering from the pandemic.

Please join us on Sunday, June 26 from 4-7. If you are not able to attend, please consider making a donation or purchasing raffle tickets for our Weekend Getaway Raffle. Winners need not be present to win!

Thank you so much for supporting Center for Independent Futures!

Win a weekend getaway to historical Galena, Illinois

As Brews & Bites gets closer, we are excited to announce our Getaway Raffle! Tickets are 1 for $25, or 5 for $100 with a total of only 150 sold

Your long weekend experience begins with a three-night stay in a lovely contemporary 3  bedroom, 4 bathroom house located in the heart of The Galena Territory. Relax in the private hot tub and enjoy the spectacular views from either the new deck or the fire pit.

Your stay includes passes to The Galena Territory Owners Club, with a state-of-the-art fitness center,  café with indoor and outdoor patio seating, and three great pools!

To make your weekend complete – this package offers tickets for you and your guests to a tour & tasting at Blaum Brothers Distillery, and tickets to Galena’s own Hoof It! Goat Treks.

All proceeds from this raffle will go to support Center for Independent Futures’ person-centered coaching and education, community-based supported housing, and inclusive community building.

The drawing will be held on June 26th at Brews & Bites. Winner need not be present to win. Date of the weekend getaway to be determined with the owner.  Major holiday weekends are excluded.

Get your tickets now!

Brews & Bites is moving to summer!!!

We are excited to announce that Brews & Bites is moving to summer! For years, Center for Independent Futures hosted “Something’s Cooking” each fall. In 2019, Something’s Cooking became Brews & Bites to sample the best beers Chicagoland has to offer. Now in our 20th anniversary year, Brews & Bites moves to summer for the ultimate indoor-outdoor experience!

Insurance plays an extremely important role in the life of American society as a whole, as well as in the life of the individual family. We will talk about automobile insurance simply because it is something everyone encounters almost as soon as they arrive in the country. The need for other types of insurance arises later, as income grows, real estate comes up, wisconsin mutual insurance preparations for retirement, etc. We’ll talk about that elsewhere.

This year, Brews & Bites will be held at Evanston’s newest brewery –  Double Clutch Brewing Company, 2121 Ashland Avenue, Evanston. Double Clutch is more than just a brewery.  It has on display an extensive collection of rare and vintage classic cars. This large, relaxed venue will give us the chance to taste all kinds of beers, eat a delicious summer dinner, play Brews & Bites bingo, and much more!  

Come and celebrate the past 20 years while supporting Center for Independent Futures’ next steps into the future, supporting full lives! 

Tickets are on sale now! Get yours today!! 

It’s Very Rewarding

Center for Independent Futures’ envisions a future where people with disabilities have access to all the opportunities of living a full life. What’s living a full life? It’s having the right to choose your own path. Picking where you want to live. Working where you feel respected. Choosing your own community and friends. The freedom to make your own decisions matters. 

This vision guides our work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Our caring, committed, and supportive employees work collaboratively to support individuals and their families to develop skills and make the reality of living full lives possible.

In 2021, Annie Carlson and Julie Miller joined Independent Futures as Life Skills Tutors. Annie said, “I work for Independent Futures because it is my passion to be able to assist individuals with disabilities to maintain living independently through goal setting and supporting the acquisition of life skills in order to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

Julie added, “One of the main reasons I like working with Independent Futures is because you get to develop really interesting relationships with amazing people. It’s like you are getting to learn alongside them. It’s very rewarding.”

If you are a person who believes in a hopeful and vibrant future for all people, please send us a cover letter and resume and let us know why you are the perfect candidate for our job openings!

Right to Independence

For almost 20 years, Independent Futures has been a haven for individuals with disabilities and their families navigating the adult world after public school supports end. In Illinois, we rank 47th nationally in funding for services that promote community inclusion and 47th in community employment. Families are left not knowing where to turn with a state-funded disability services system that lacks resources and opportunities for real choice and self-determination.

Independent Futures provides an answer. Adults with disabilities benefit from planning, training, inclusive housing, and a range of support services that they choose – to achieve full, active, socially engaged, and independent lives. 

“We invite you to watch the following video to hear firsthand how our work focuses on the hopes and dreams of individuals and families we support,” says Dick Malone, Executive Director of Center for Independent Futures. “​​We help individuals and families to find both independence and peace of mind.” 

 

 

 

The 2021 Jane Doyle Awesome Awards Winners

SPARK gives us a chance to celebrate the stellar individuals and organizations who support our work every day. Recipients of the Jane Doyle Awesome Awards represent Independent Futures through dedication, innovative leadership, personal integrity, and community-forward thinking. These awards are given to a community partner, a participant, and a staff member.

Community Partner: As an employer of Independent Futures’ participants, Trader Joe’s openly allows and encourages on-the-job coaching which gives participants a true path to success. They further support Independent Futures by donating countless items to our fundraisers. Trader Joe’s is a community-driven organization, an asset as an employer, and a generous community member.

Participant: Adam Wiser generously shares his time, his talent & his positive attitude to support Independent Futures.  As a self-advocate, Adam speaks out and speaks up to share his knowledge and to advocate for what he believes in. In community meetings, Adam asks great questions, shares his experience in a way that helps educate and inform others. When the Young Professional Board interviewed for 2 open positions, Adam’s self-advocacy skills shone brightly and he was an obvious choice to serve. Adam always finds a way to make suggestions, and is thoughtful, caring & has a fun sense of humor!

Staff: This year, tonight’s staff award seems like an obvious choice as we honor Ann Sickon for her leadership these past 10 years. Ann has exemplified all of the values that Kay and Jane envisioned for Center for Independent Futures 20 years ago. Ann’s steadfast, calm, creative, and compassionate leadership has helped Independent Futures grow in innumerable ways during her tenure. In particular, her faith and commitment to our mission, our staff, and our community kept Independent Futures moving forward through a global pandemic that forced the disability service providers across the nation to close their doors in record numbers. Numerous staff members commented that there was no better person to steer our ship during COVID than Ann. Ann has demonstrated over and over again a passionate desire to see people with disabilities fully included in the community.

The Gift of a Sister’s Love

In 2007, Arnie Schumer and his sister, Karen Berkowsky, came to Center for Independent Futures. They had no doubt it was the right fit for him, but they could not afford services. Through a scholarship fund, Independent Futures offered Arnie the support he needed to live his full life.

On May 22, 2017, Arnie passed away. He was a caring, generous person, and Independent Futures helped him grow and make the most of his life. Because of the impact on Arnie’s life, Karen decided the best way to honor him would be to help others get the support they need, too.

 

For years, Karen has been raising money for the Arnie Schumer Scholarship Fund at Independent Futures in many different ways. She connected us with the Community Foundation of Morton Grove, Women Giving Back, and countless friends and family.

 

This year she and friends have created and donated 25 elaborate gift baskets for the SPARK silent auction.  All proceeds from the sale of the baskets (#1-#25) will go to this fund. This generosity not only remembers Arnie but gives the gift of full lives to others.

 

To buy one of these baskets to support full lives, please visit our online auction site.

 

 

 

 

In memory of Arnie J. Schumer
June 28, 1963 – May 22, 2017

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend,
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came his date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth,
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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