Better Makers: Michael Reinsdorf, Tom Ricketts and Rocky Wirtz Talk Family-Owned Sports Teams, Help Raise $640,000 for WINGS

After two years of waiting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Chicago’s most prominent business leaders and sports franchise owners — including Michael Reinsdorf, Tom Ricketts and Rocky Wirtz — were finally able to gather on March 14 to raise funds for WINGS, a nonprofit centered on ending domestic violence in Chicago. The crowd of 300 supporters included Rebecca Darr, President and CEO of WINGS, John Canning of Madison Dearborn Partners, and his wife Rita Canning—all of whom convened at The Four Seasons in downtown Chicago for the popular WINGS Sports Luncheon. 

wings luncheon
From left to right, Event Co-Chairs, Trish Rooney and Karen Z. Gray Krehbiel. Photo courtesy of Gosia Matuszewska

Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and Trish Rooney co-chaired the luncheon, which focused on extending WINGS’ mission to help victims of domestic violence with safe housing, self-advocacy mentoring and counseling services.

wings luncheon
From left to right, Rebecca Darr, John Canning, Rita Canning, Rocky Wirtz. Photo courtesy of Gosia Matuszewska.

Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions, moderated the entertaining and insightful panel on the rewards and challenges of family-owned sports teams—a panel that included Michael Reinsdorf, president and CEO of the Chicago Bulls; Tom Ricketts, executive chairman of the Chicago Cubs; and Rocky Wirtz, chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, who all candidly shared their personal experiences and insights. Bill Kurtis, who served as master of ceremonies, led a live auction that included premier sports fan packages donated by the Cubs, Bulls and Blackhawks organizations featuring a combination of first-rate game tickets, all-inclusive food packages and autographed jerseys. 

WINGS Sports Luncheon sponsors included Anna and Greg Brown, Rita and John Canning, Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel, BMO Harris Bank, Tuff Shed, CBRE, Make It Better Foundation and Northwestern Medicine

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Donna Berry Glass

Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.