Best of 2022: Philanthropy

Best of 2022 Philanthropy

Sponsored by Keki Cannon, Best Realtor (Suburbs)

These organizations are making a huge difference in Chicago and beyond. Here are Better readers’ top picks for non-profits to support this year.

Best Fundraiser (City)
JDRF One Dream Gala

The JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala brought together more than 1,100 people in person at McCormick Place and Arie Crown Theater on Saturday, December 11, 2021, raising a record-breaking $15,200,000 for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The evening included a fantastic silent and live auction, Rolex watch raffle, a delicious dinner, and inspirational stories from the T1D community. The evening’s program saw incredible energy on stage with host, Judy Hsu of ABC 7 Chicago, special guest, Dr. Aaron Kowalski, JDRF CEO, and live entertainment by rock ‘n’ roll legends, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo. Thank you to everyone who showed up for the diabetes community and supported critical diabetes research!

Best Charity Walk/Run
PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run

Photo by Christine Irvine

PAWS Chicago (Pets Are Worth Saving) is an organization committed to bringing an end to the killing of homeless cats and dogs. They find homes for 5,000 dogs and cats annually through the organization’s adoption centers and operate one of the largest high volume free and low-cost spay/neuter clinics in the country. Visit their website for more information.

Best Fundraiser TIE (Suburbs)
Rush Woman’s Auxiliary Cooks’ Tour

Rush Women’s Auxiliary Cook’s Tour

Spearheaded by the Auxiliary of The Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center, the annual Cooks’ Tour welcomes over 600 guests for an intimate tour of stunning homes, with proceeds benefitting the work of Rush University Medical Center. Funds raised from this year’s tour on September 21 will specifically go toward The Woman’s Board Fund for Excellence in Cellular Therapy. Purchase your tickets on the event website for a day filled with beautiful outdoor spaces, the Cooks’ Tour raffle, silent auction, and more. 

Illinois Holocaust Museum Women’s Leadership Committee Soirée

Illinois Holocaust Museum Women’s Leadership Committee

The Illinois Holocaust Museum Women’s Leadership Committee Soirée was also the winner for best fundraiser. The committee helps increase awareness and provides fundraising support for the Illinois Holocaust Museum by hosting and promoting educational programming in and around the Chicago area. The soirée event brings together more than 400 guests for entertainment, silent auction, messages from Holocaust survivors and more.

Best Give-Back Opportunity (City)
Share Our Spare

Share Our Spare believes that every child in Chicago should have the essentials they need to thrive during the first five years of life. This organization collects new and gently used baby items to distribute to families living in poverty through a sustainable network of volunteers, community stakeholders, and social service agencies. Visit their website to learn more and find out ways you can get involved in their mission.

Best Give-Back Opportunity TIE (Suburbs)
Mothers Trust Foundation Pop Up Prom Shoppe, Lake County

Each April as prom approaches, Mothers Trust Foundation partners with Zengeler Cleaners and College of Lake County for their Pop Up Prom Shoppe. This fundraiser helps further the organization’s mission of “providing immediate assistance during times of crisis to low-income children living in Lake County, Illinois.”

Bernie’s Book Bank, Lake Bluff

The mission of Bernie’s Book Bank is to create numerous opportunities for under-served children through literacy. Founded in 2009 by Brian Floriani to honor his father, Bernie’s Book Bank strives to make books accessible to all children by delivering age-appropriate, high-interest and culturally relevant books that children deserve and by solving the challenge of providing quality books to under-served children in the Chicagoland area.

Best Gala
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Gold Coast Fashion Show

The Gold Coast Fashion Show is the signature fundraising event of the Children’s Service Board (CSB), an affiliated organization of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. In 2021, the event raised over $1,100,000 in support of the Department of Family Services at Lurie Children’s, specifically the Child Life Specialist Role in the Cardiac Care Unit. Visit their website to learn more about how to buy tickets for the show or donate!

Best Food Pantry
Greater Chicago Food Depository

Greater Chicago Food Depository is committed to ending hunger and inspiring hope. They believe that a healthy community truly starts with food. The Food Depository is part of a united community effort working to bring food, dignity, and hope to our Cook County neighbors. With a network of more than 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other programs, Greater Chicago Food Depository is making a difference one meal at a time.

Category Sponsor

Keki Cannon Real Estate Broker

What new developments or trends are you most excited about in your industry right now?

Keki Cannon: “Oh, so many. The last couple of years have been intense, busy and stressful and I am thankful for the appreciation of home and family that has arisen since 2020.”

Keki’s Top Philanthropy Picks

ROOTS & WINGS Charitable Foundation
Incredible founder and local Wilmette mom, Di Keen, has empowered fellow metastatic breast cancer patients through her Roots & Wings Foundation.

Moms Demand Action
A true force of moms, including many local moms, who have come together after Highland Park to protect our kids, families, and friends from gun violence with stronger gun laws. 

August Mission
Inspired by Rachel and Asher Waimon of Winnetka and their hands-on volunteer mission in Ukraine, helping reduce human suffering in other parts of the world

Erika’s Lighthouse
A rise in teen suicide during the pandemic was a result we did not expect from Covid-19, and Erik’s Lighthouse is educating and raising awareness of preteen and teen depression, getting rid of the stigma and hopefully saving lives.

The Warming House
An amazing local youth center right in my backyard in Wilmette providing a supportive environment for those in 6th-12th grade. 


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