Better Makers: Big Shoulders Fund Raises an Incredible $12.5 Million in a Single Evening

On Thursday, May 26th, the Big Shoulders Fund hosted 1,100 people at the Hilton Chicago for a dinner to honor their CEO and President Joshua D. Hale and his decade long commitment to the organization. During his time with the organization, Hale has been instrumental in the raising of its profile and more than quadrupling of its support. His successes can be clearly seen as well through their history making and record breaking night of fundraising, which brought in close to $12.5 Million in just one evening. Big Shoulders Fund Founder and Co-Chairman Jim O’Connor said that, “It was a night to remember and the perfect way to acknowledge Josh Hale for all he has done for [the organization] and students.” The exciting evening not only honored Hale, but also included performances by the Q Brothers who sang their original  Hip Hop piece about Hale and his life, Jenn Gambatese, who most recently was Maria in The Sound of Music at Chicago’s Lyric Opera, and the Big Shoulders Fund Scholar Choir.

Since 1986, Big Shoulders Fund has been providing assistance to inner-city Catholic schools in Chicago to increase access for low-income students through scholarships, enriching their programming, enhancing their academics, and upgrading the schools facilities and equipment to ensure long term existence. According to Monsignor Kenneth J. Velo, “Under the leadership of Josh Hale over the last ten years, Big Shoulders Fund has raised more than double what was raised in [their] first twenty years of reaching $300 Million today.” The organization supports 21,000 students and 82 inner-city catholic schools which often are the foundation of their community.

Josh Hale receiving award from Monsignor Ken Velo, John Canning and Jim O'Connor
Josh Hale receiving award from Monsignor Ken Velo, John Canning and Jim O’Connor
Archbishop Blase Cupich, Jim O'Connor, and Pat Ryan
Archbishop Blase Cupich, Jim O’Connor, and Pat Ryan
Marques Carroll, Josh Hale, Curtis Tarver III
Marques Carroll, Josh Hale, Curtis Tarver III
Big Shoulders Fund Scholar Joselyn Reyes
Big Shoulders Fund Scholar Joselyn Reyes
Bruce White, Beth White, Elizabeth Ryan, Helen Ryan, Lawerence Ryan
Bruce White, Beth White, Elizabeth Ryan, Helen Ryan, Lawerence Ryan
Monsignor Ken Velo, Elisa Harris, Lester and Renee Crown, John Canning, Jim O'Connor, and Ivo Daalder
Monsignor Ken Velo, Elisa Harris, Lester and Renee Crown, John Canning, Jim O’Connor, and Ivo Daalder

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