SPARK 2020: Save the Date

A woman and young man next to each other at SPARK, an Evanston eventHave you heard about how much fun our Evanston events are from your friends? Do you want to experience an event that illustrates what it means to fully include people with disabilities? Join us at SPARK on Saturday, November 7th to join the movement.

For the first time ever, Independent Futures is partnering with The Autobarn of Evanston as a host for this year’s theme, Create Your Journey. At Independent Futures, we support adults with disabilities as they explore the paths open to them, crafting their own futures. When you join us at SPARK, you will become part of the journey to inclusion.

What To Expect At This Evanston Event

Two young adults with disabilities post for camera at SPARKWe view SPARK as an opportunity to celebrate our whole community, including Independent Futures’ participants, families, employees, donors, and community partners. That means there will be dancing, dinner, and a lot of chances for fun! 

The evening will begin with the chance to bid on some of Chicago and Evanston’s favorite stores, restaurants, and experiences. Past auction items include tickets to Cubs games, classic Chicago artwork, and handmade woodworking from local artisans. 

The reception will be followed by dinner and a live auction. At last year’s live auction, winners took home trips to Costa Rica, a golf outing with a pro, gorgeous artwork from a local artist, and more! Plus, you won’t want to miss our favorite game, Heads or Tails. We will finish the evening by dancing our hearts out to a favorite of ours, Euphoria Band

Getting Tickets to SPARK

A group of SPARK attendees smile around a table at SPARKLet all your friends know you’re busy on Saturday, November 7th now, and get your tickets online today. You’ll want to get your tickets fast because SPARK sold out 3 weeks early last year! 

In the meantime, RSVP to our Facebook event page and check out these great photos from SPARK 2019 to get ready. 

Discover How to Celebrate Giving Tuesday!

Two light-skinned hands holding a red heart against a dark grain wood backgroundLast year, Independent Futures hit our $20,000 #GivingTuesday donations goal for the first time! Thanks to your support, we are hoping to raise $25,000 on Tuesday, December 3 this year.

Thanksgiving week is packed with great opportunities to treat yourself these days. Starting with great meals and lots of family time, Thanksgiving kicks off a week of fun. Next, many of us enjoy Black Friday for the deals, and local shoppers celebrate Small Business Saturday. On Monday, we search the web for more deals, and then we can finally turn our attention to community on #GivingTuesday.

Wondering how to celebrate Giving Tuesday with all the holiday bustle happening? RSVP to our #GivingTuesday calendar event to receive a reminder to donate on December 3rd! 

How to Celebrate Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, December 3rd, we are participating in #GivingTuesday through #ILGive. This is an initiative by Forefront to make Illinois one of the most generous states in the U.S. Donate to Center for Independent Futures on November 27th to show your support for Illinois nonprofits!

With your support, we know we can meet our goal of $25,000 on #GivingTuesday.

Bold word "Give" centered in photo near glasses and pencils. Plus, The Coleman Foundation will donate $175 for every gift of $175 or more! That means that if you donate $175, your gift is worth $350 for Center for Independent Futures. If you donate $500, your gift is worth $675! However, all gifts eligible for the matching dollars must be donated online.

Every dollar donated in honor of independent futures means we can continue to support individuals with disabilities and their full lives. Through #GivingTuesday, you help us create a future where individuals with disabilities have equitable access to the opportunities of a full life.

Save the Date: Brews and Bites

Our favorite fall activity is just around the corner! On Sunday, October 20th, join us at Evanston Art Center from 3:00-6:00 pm for Brews and Bites (formerly Something’s Cooking).  North Shore’s favorite local restaurants, bakeries, and breweries will join us for a tasty evening with delightful treats! Mark your calendars today to guarantee you won’t miss out on this fun fall favorite!

We are looking forward to signature dishes available to sample, giving us all a taste of Chicago and the North Shore’s best offerings. From pasta to pizza and tacos to cupcakes, a ticket to Brews and Bites provides you with the opportunity to find new favorites! Plus, don’t miss the event’s new themed raffle baskets for the chance to place the winning bid on excellent items.

This Year: Student & Young Professional Tickets

For 3 weeks, ticket prices remain the same as last year at $60 per ticket for adults. This early bird price will become $75 after the 3 weeks are up until the Friday before the event. Tickets at the door will be $85 – so buy early!

However, new in 2019, Independent Futures is offering reduced ticket prices for students and young professionals (under 26) at $30 per ticket. Children 10 and under receive free entry.

All adults will be required to show an ID when checking in at Brews and Bites this year, so don’t leave it at home! We will announce tickets are on sale on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as soon as we can.

New Chances to Win

In the past, Brews and Bites featured a wine pull and a silent auction. This year, we want to make it possible for more guests to win!

Keep an eye out for the beer and wine pull, as well as two gift card trees. The gift card trees are always a surprise – you never know whether you will win a $25 gift card to Target or a gift card for $50 to local restaurants like Five & Dime.

Instead of a silent auction, this year there will be four themed raffle baskets available to win! Watch for more news about Brews and Bites to learn more.

How Can You Volunteer?

Want to help us prepare at this fun event? Volunteers help us plan and run the event while taking part in all the fun! To learn more about available volunteer opportunities, contact Jamie Annenberg by email or call the office at (847) 328-2044. We are also seeking community businesses to support our silent auction. Contact Niki Moe or call the office number to learn more about this business opportunity.

Something's Cooking attendees smiling in front of barAs always, all funds raised at Brews and Bites will go toward continuing to support our vision of a future where all people have access to the opportunities of a full, independent life. Watch for more blogs about Brews and Bites to learn about our featured partners, restaurants at the event, and the link to buy tickets online!

Save the Date: Hamburger Mary’s HamBINGO

Are you ready to get your bingo on? Join us on Sunday, July 1st at Hamburger Mary’s for HamBINGO!

Hamburger Mary’s, located in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood at 5400 N Clark Street, offers an evening of risque, charitable fun. At Hamburger Mary’s, you will find gourmet burgers, house-brewed beers, and an evening unlike any other in the city.

What is HamBINGO?

Hamburger Mary's logo featuring a woman with beers and Andersonville buildings.
Join us at Hamburger Mary’s on July 1st!

This isn’t your grandma’s church bingo: At HamBINGO, the numbers are called by in-house diva Honey Brown and can be a little outside of the box. Leave the kids at home and get ready for a fun night!

For $15, you can purchase ten games of bingo, and you will be able to play twenty games of bingo for $25. All of the proceeds from bingo and raffle tickets benefit Center for Independent Futures, supporting our vision of a future where individuals with disabilities have access to all opportunities of a full life.

Join Us at Hamburger Mary’s

Tell your friends about this unique event, and invite them to come along! The more, the merrier we say – so come, drink, and be MARY with us July 1st at 8:00 pm. Find out more about the restaurant’s offerings on their website, and contact Niki Moe Horrell at (847) 328-2044 for more information.

BLOG UPDATE 6/15: Hamburger Mary’s now accepts reservations, so don’t forget to let them know you are coming in on July 1st to support Center for Independent Futures!  

Save the Date: SPARK 2018

Save the date for a night of celebration and community! On Friday, April 27, Center for Independent Futures hosts SPARK, our signature spring event, at the Hilton Orrington in downtown Evanston.

SPARK attendees cheerfully poseThe event includes dinner, an open bar, and dancing to live music provided by Euphoria Band. Silent and live auctions throughout the evening will offer exciting prizes. Last year, winners took home tickets to see “The Joshua Tour: U2 and the Lumineers,” “The Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour,” and airfare with a four-night hotel stay in a warm destination! Details about what’s up for bidding this year will be released soon.

Event invitations and online ticket purchasing will be available in March. For more updates, join the Facebook event here. All proceeds from this event, our largest fundraiser of the year, directly contribute to programming, services, and sustainability.

If you’re interested in supporting SPARK, contact Niki Moe at (847) 328-2044 or nmoe@independentfutures.com. Opportunities are available for sponsorship, auction contribution, volunteering, and more.

Save the Date for Something’s Cooking 2017

Your favorite fall tradition is on the calendar! Center for Independent Futures hosts Something’s Cooking on Sunday, November 12, from 3-6 p.m. To continue celebrating our fifteenth year of supporting hopes and dreams, we’re hosting this event at a new venue: the beautiful Woman’s Club of Evanston in the heart of downtown.

Executive Director Ann and Board co-chair Jeff smile at Something's Cooking.Our featured restaurants will each serve up a signature dish for sampling for a complete taste of Chicago and the North Shore. To toast our fifteenth anniversary, we’ll enjoy tastes from local breweries and distilleries. A full dessert display and culinary-themed silent auction complete the celebration.

All funds raised at Something’s Cooking support our mission to support individuals with disabilities to live full, more independent lives. Stay tuned for updates about our featured restaurants and a link to buy tickets online.

Want to get involved in this fun event? We need volunteers to help with planning and running the event and community businesses to support our silent auction. To learn more, contact Niki Moe at (847) 328-2044 or at nmoe@independentfutures.com.

Thank you to the following sponsors who make Something’s Cooking and other events possible throughout the year!

Success Stories

thu09jul4:30 pm5:00 pmAfternoon Exercise with Niki Moe

fri10jul11:00 am11:30 amMorning Exercise with Niki Moe

fri10jul1:00 pm2:00 pmSocial Hour

fri10jul5:00 pm6:00 pmBook Club

sat11jul3:00 pm5:30 pmHeARTwords Workshop

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