Top 10 Hope-Filled Moments in 2018

2018 was a big year at Center for Independent Futures! From fun and glamorous events like SPARK to meeting new people at conferences around the country, this last year held a lot to be celebrated. Join us in remembering our top 10 moments of 2018!

#1: New Partnerships in CaliforniaLogo for Club 21 in red with blue and green people illustrations to the left.

Club 21, a California non-profit, asked us to present at their Tools For the Journey conference. It was exciting to get out of the chilly Midwest for a few days to share our tools & resources with the Club 21 community.

#2: Hosting Activities in Highland Park

We conducted a meet and greet session with Highland Park community members in March. Since then, we have started including the village in our activities calendar through monthly Gab and Grub dinners. It is exciting to meet members of new communities, and we can’t wait to continue!

#3: A Beautiful Evening at SPARK

5 friends dressed beautifully pose for group photo at SPARK.

In April, our annual gala event was a shining evening! Join us again this year on April 26th at the Hilton Orrington! We will have more live entertainment, the annual Awesome Awards, delicious food, and wonderful auction items for all.

#4: Dream Team Biked the Drive

A group of Bike Club members participated in Bike the Drive again this year! They raised almost $7,000 through their fundraising efforts and had a good time biking in the cloudy weather. We can’t wait for next May to ride Lake Shore Drive again!

#5: Presented at National Down Syndrome Conference

Chrissy & Cynthia at the National Down Syndrome ConferenceChrissy & Cynthia went down to Dallas, Texas, in July to present at the National Down Syndrome Conference. They rocked the presentation and made new connections! We appreciated having this opportunity to present to industry experts and families alike.

#6: Held 2 Summer Camp Options for Transition House Students

Our schools team hosted the annual Life Skills Camp in mid-July, in addition to a new summer camp opportunity. Thanks to the Evanston Community Foundation, we were able to provide a Transportation Camp for Evanston Township High School transition students.

#7: Guided Biggest Marathon Team Through Finish Line

On a rainy Sunday, 18 members of Team CIF completed one of the greatest challenges: completing 26.2 miles throughout the neighborhoods of Chicago. Thanks to our community and team, we raised over $16,000 through the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

#8: Created Community Connections at Housing Conference

At our housing conference in October, we shared our New Futures Initiative and housing resources with over 100 people dedicated to change. We are thankful for each of our presenters, including our panelists, endnote speaker, and keynote speaker, Micaela Connery of The Kelsey. Watch for video of the day coming soon!

#9: Delicious Food & Good Times at Something’s Cooking

We ate to our hearts’ content at the Woman’s Club of Evanston in early November. Thank you to the 25 wonderful food, dessert, and beverage sponsors for supporting our annual fall favorite! We hope to see you all next year!

#10: Turned Hopes Into Reality on #GivingTuesday

Thanks to all of you, we surpassed our $20,000 #GivingTuesday goal! We also met the requirements to receive the full $10,000 match from the Coleman Foundation. That means we raised a total of over $34,000 with your help!

We are deeply grateful for our caring, generous community after such a big year! 2019 looks like it will be even bigger, so we hope that you will continue on this journey with Center for Independent Futures. If you would like to be part of our story, sign up for our monthly newsletter today and make a year-end gift to support inclusive communities in Evanston!

Preview Live Auction Items for SPARK 2018

Two women dancing at past SPARK after live auction.Each year, our community comes together for an evening of celebration. As our New Futures Initiative and Full Life Process are spreading across the country, we have a lot to be proud of this year. Join us in celebrating with an evening of live music, live auction, dancing, delicious food, and great friends on Friday, April 27th

Play Heads or Tails with Glamour Glasses

Just like in past years, we will kick off our evening with a game of Heads or Tails! If you haven’t played before, this game is an exciting group game where everyone tries to guess whether heads or tails will be flipped. If you guess wrong, you’re out! The game is played until all but one player has guessed wrong, leaving just one person standing. The winner will receive a night’s stay at the luxurious Fairmont, Chicago, dinner at Boeufhaus, and tickets to the Goodman Theater.  Glamour Glasses will be available for purchase during silent auction bidding at SPARK.

Win Silent Auction Items

There will be a wide selection of items available for bidding in our silent auction. From theatre tickets to brewery tours, there are exciting options for anyone. You will be able to preview the silent auction items on Gesture, an auction bidding app, starting on April 23rd. We are busy putting together awesome packages and can’t wait to share these with you!

5 Incredible Live Auction Items

We have five fresh and exciting live auction items available for you to bid on during the evening’s program. Whether you’re a big music buff or someone itching to experience iconic Chicago culture, you will find something for you.

First, we have a truly once in a lifetime experience to offer: visit South Africa for 6 days and 6 nights. During this trip, your lodging and meals will be paid for, as well as two chances to go on a photo safari.

Next, for music lovers, we have a three concert package. Win two tickets to Ed Sheeran, Elton John, and U2 throughout the coming year. Use these tickets for yourself and a friend or gift them to someone you love. What you do is up to you, but you won’t want to miss out on these three opportunities.

There are few holidays more legendary in Chicago than St. Paddie’s Day. That’s why we are offering you the opportunity to experience St. Paddie’s Day like you never have before with a ride on a boat as they dye the ChicagoPhoto depicting a live auction package for St. Patrick's Day. River green. You will also ride on a float in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, complete with a VIP package to dinner at the Irish Fellowship Hall, a gift card to Lizzie McNeill’s, and a stay at the luxurious Swissotel.

 

Baseball fans, this one’s for you! Win two tickets on Southwest Airlines to Arizona for spring training. Included in this package is a four-night stay at a two bedroom condo in the warm southwest.

Finally, you have the chance to own an original reproduction of Monet’s “Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge,” painted by Center for Independent Future’s very own Rob Larson. This priceless painting will look beautiful on any wall.

Get Tickets to SPARK Today!

Find tickets online and RSVP today! Be sure your seat is reserved for a starry night in beautiful downtown Evanston at the Hilton Orrington.

Attend Our Annual SPARK Celebration

Performers pose at a past annual SPARK celebrationOn Friday, April 27, the Center for Independent Futures community celebrates a stellar year at our signature event, an annual SPARK gala, hosted at the Hilton Orrington in downtown Evanston.

Great Event & Dessert Sponsors

We are grateful to our annual SPARK sponsors PSAVSidley Austin LLPFirst Bank & TrustNorthwesternInland BankMonahan Law Group, and Brian Rubin and Associates, for their support. This year, craft beer will be supplied by Revolution Brewing and Temperance Beer Company, and desserts will be provided by Flat Top GrillNothing Bundt CakesBennison’s BakeryLawrence Deans Bakery, and Beth’s Little Bake Shop.

Experience Chicago with exciting city getaways featured in our silent and live auctions. This year’s packages include tickets to see Ed Sheeran, Elton John’s Farewell Tour, and U2. We will also be auctioning an original Monet-inspired piece painted by staff member and artist Rob Larson.

PSAV  will help us set the scene for a fun night of dancing, and Collaboraction will provide our entertainment for this star-studded night. At the end of the night, be ready to dance to the sounds of Euphoria Band!

How to Join the Fun

For more updates, join the Facebook event here. As our largest fundraiser of the year, all proceeds from this event directly contribute to programming, services, and sustainability.

If you’re interested in getting involved with SPARK by volunteering, contributing, or learning about sponsorship opportunities, contact Niki Moe at (847) 328-2044 or nmoe@independentfutures.com.

Purchase your tickets today!

 

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.

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