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posted: 7/22/2013 6:00 AM

Sanfilippo Estate to host Carousel of Possible Dreams fundraiser

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  • The 2012 fundraiser brought together, from left: Renata Costa, of Chicago; Jim Sanfilippo, director of the Sanfilippo Foundation; Paul Huebener, board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana; and Paul Sestak, vice president with Golden State Food.

       The 2012 fundraiser brought together, from left: Renata Costa, of Chicago; Jim Sanfilippo, director of the Sanfilippo Foundation; Paul Huebener, board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana; and Paul Sestak, vice president with Golden State Food.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Guests watch as the elaborate Eden Palais Carousel twirls its occupants.

       Guests watch as the elaborate Eden Palais Carousel twirls its occupants.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Renata Costa raises funds using her cellphone while riding the Eden Palais Carousel.

       Renata Costa raises funds using her cellphone while riding the Eden Palais Carousel.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • The magnificent "Place de la Musique," where Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, who founded Festival of Children Foundation in 2002, center bottom, welcomes guests to the 2012 Carousel of Possible Dreams fundraiser.

       The magnificent "Place de la Musique," where Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, who founded Festival of Children Foundation in 2002, center bottom, welcomes guests to the 2012 Carousel of Possible Dreams fundraiser.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Lydia Wyse points out a dessert she'd like to try to her mother, Cheryl Wyse, at last year's fundraiser.

       Lydia Wyse points out a dessert she'd like to try to her mother, Cheryl Wyse, at last year's fundraiser.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
By Reema Amin
ramin@dailyherald.com

Thirty adults perched on a whirling carousel, speed-calling friends on their cellphones. Sounds like a bunch of busy parents making business calls at an amusement park.

But, no. This will be the scene at the Carousel of Possible Dreams fundraiser at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3.

Dressed in evening wear, guests will ride the carousel on the Eden Palais, which was built in France in 1890. It also included stages for live performers, several bars, booths for perimeter seating, music and hundreds of electric lights.

As they ride their horse or gondola, guests will make calls to collect pledges -- and they won't be let off the ride until they have all the money they promised to raise.

Along with the rides, there also will be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a chance to tour the magnificent Sanfilippo "Place de la Musique."

Tickets to the event cost $150 for general admission; $2,500 for a carousel gondola sponsor; $5,000 for a carousel horse sponsor; and $10,000 for event sponsorship.

To purchase tickets, visit www.festivalofchildren.org.

Net proceeds from the event go straight to the Festival of Children Foundation, the group that dreamed up the event last year.

The foundation, in turn, will donate the money to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House Charities for Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

Festival of Children, based in California, is "always on the lookout" for unique carousels to host the event. They contacted the Sanfilippo family's fundraising group, Sanfilippo Foundation, said Beverly Morgan, spokeswoman for Festival of Children.

The Sanfilippo family has a collection of antique machines -- including the Eden Palais -- old steam engines and antique instruments.

Almost $250,000 was raised at the Sanfilippo event last year, which is the most money raised at any Carousel of Possible Dreams since the event's birth in 2009, Morgan said.

This year, both foundations hope to raise at least $300,000 and expect that 20 to 30 people will buy rides on the carousel, said Jim Sanfilippo, business owner and organizer for the Sanfilippo Foundation.

But you don't have to be a rider to join in. Anyone can buy tickets at festivalofchildren.org to attend the event and ride the carousel later at night after pledging wraps up, Sanfilippo said.

The Sanfilippo Foundation is always looking for ways to give back, Sanfilippo said, and this event donates to organizations that are "close to (its) heart."

The carousel event was first held in 2009 at a shopping center carousel in Costa Mesa, Calif., and again at Central Park in New York City.

The Festival of Children Foundation will celebrate its 10th birthday by hosting Carousel of Possible Dreams at Disneyland's King Arthur's Carrousel in Anaheim, Calif., this November, Morgan said.

After two consecutive years of commitment, it's possible the Carousel of Possible Dreams could return to Barrington Hills as an annual event, Jim Sanfilippo said.

"As long as all the other participants are ready, willing and eager, the Sanfilippo Foundation would be more than happy," he said.

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