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Article posted: 11/17/2012 8:00 AM

Shelter Inc. throws milestone ball


Silver was the color of the evening Friday at Shelter Inc.'s 25th anniversary Charity Ball.

Officials with the Arlington Heights social service agency gathered with business leaders and community supporters for their silver anniversary gala, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg.

What started in 1988 as a way to raise funds for a boys' group home in Palatine, now has grown to support Shelter's three group homes -- in Arlington Heights, Palatine and Schaumburg -- as well as its foster care and Healthy Family programs.

The boys' group home in Palatine opened in 1996, and it continues to be the only community-based, emergency group home for adolescent boys in the area.

"This is the culmination of the year, the biggest event for Shelter," said board President Robert O'Meara of Barrington Hills. "We put a lot of commitment and energy into making it successful."

Robert Galvan, former chairman of Motorola, served as the ball's first honorary chairman. Since then, honorary chairs have represented a wide range of Northwest suburban companies, including Allstate, BMO Harris, AT Kearney, Sears, Zurich and the Daily Herald.

Richard and Sheryl Rosen of Wheeling served as honorary chairs on Friday night. Richard Rosen is a former school board member of Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 now serving on the Wheeling park board.

He and his wife volunteer at Shelter events and have remained steadfast supporters over the years.

"Our involvement stems from the fact that Shelter is community-oriented," Rosen said, "whose mission is directed to our children and teens."

The evening's highest award -- named after Paul Buckholz, the Arlington Heights policeman who founded the agency in 1975 -- went to Michael and Margaret Tower of Glenview.

Michael Tower is a former board president of Shelter, who inspired his colleagues at AT Kearney in Chicago to support the organization, while Margaret Tower, an accounting teacher at DePaul University, co-founded and serves as president of Shelter's Women's Auxiliary.

"We accept this award for the kids who couldn't be here," Michael Tower said, "and for the organization that does such great work for them."

Dick Johnson, a reporter and weekend anchor with NBC 5 Chicago, returned to host the evening. Guests started the night perusing a lavish array of silent auction items before sitting down to a gourmet meal and live auction.

In all, 300 guests attended the ball, including Pat LaMont of Schaumburg, who said he has attended every one over the past 25 years.

"We went to the first one and then we got involved," said LaMont, who eventually joined the board of directors. "It's the mission that keeps us involved and how well Shelter does it."

Members of the Elmhurst College jazz band also returned to continue the party after dinner, playing a mix of big band hits and swing tunes to get guests out onto the dance floor.

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