On February 5, Venue West in Chicago resembled a scene straight out of Vegas — a casino stocked with blackjack counters, craps tables and roulette wheels.
It was all part of the glamourous backdrop for the Associate Board of the Juvenile Protective Association (JPA)’s annual All in for Kids Casino Night. More than 300 guests in attendance took turns trying their hand at casino games, hitting the glittery dance floor and taking part in a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. J&L Catering provided the food and beverages.
By the evening’s conclusion, the passionate supporters were able to raise $100,000 in funding to support JPA’s school-based mental health programs for thousands of children, caregivers and educators living and working on Chicago’s south and west sides.
The 35+ young professionals on JPA’s Associate Board are impassioned about making the highest-quality mental health care accessible to all of Chicago’s youth—particularly those in communities plagued by poverty and violence. Each year, JPA assists over 1,500 vulnerable children living in under-resourced neighborhoods, many of whom have experienced at least one trauma in their lifetime such as gun violence, gang activity, abuse, poverty or neglect. The organization also builds relationships with teachers and families to better support them in times of stress and trauma.
JPA was founded in 1901 by Jane Adams, and today it provides school-based programs resulting in more than 60% of kids feeling and functioning better within their first year of treatment.
Several members of JPA’s Board of Directors attended the fundraiser, including: Melissa Levy and her husband Scott, Meredith Manni Mesirow, and William Buhr.
“Casino Night showcased the best of Chicago’s emerging philanthropists,” said Karen Foley, JPA’s CEO. “Throughout the evening, while conversing with members of our Associate Board and their guests, it was clear to me that this group of young professionals has a heart for the children we serve and the mental health support JPA provides. They came to the event not only to have a great time, but to also give back. And they did so in spades!”
Event sponsors included Alex and Spencer Kaehler, The Holden Family, The Robert & Patricia Moore Foundation and The Malkin Family.
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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.