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updated: 10/31/2012 2:06 PM

2012 LCFS Harvest Gala: Sharing love, changing lives

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David Bakker

Those individuals, families and children who are the neediest often have difficulty obtaining help. They frequently turn to Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS) for assistance in the form of wide-ranging services and programs.

The Harvest Gala is an event where generous donors get together to help make those much-needed LCFS programs a reality. The Gala also provides a great opportunity to introduce the agency's work to new friends and show attendees the difference their cumulative contributions make in ensuring new and continuing programs are available for those who need them.

The theme of this year's Gala, "As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34), perfectly illustrated the task at hand. Gala Committee Co-chair Brenna Woodley noted that the committee embraced the theme throughout its planning process. She called it a "servant mentality," which was also embraced by attendees, who contributed tens of thousands of dollars for LCFS through live and silent auctions, as well as a special initiative to enhance cottages at LCFS' Lutherbrook Child and Adolescent Center in Addison.

The power of their contributions was evident when Gala attendees witnessed a poignant portrayal by actors of LCFS client stories. These stories hit an emotional chord by recounting journeys into difficulty followed by a loving hand up from LCFS.

LCFS President and CEO Gene Svebakken thanked those in attendance and acknowledged the support of all who contribute to the agency. "We are responding to God's imperative to show mercy and do justice and to Christ's command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We know that God is engaged in the world about us, and we are one of his many instruments in promoting the common good. As a philanthropic organization, we are dependent upon your prayers and financial support."

Sharing love and changing lives is not an easy task, but LCFS, along with its supporters, will continue to reach out to those in need throughout Illinois.

For more on the work at LCFS and how you can help, go to or