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posted: 10/23/2017 6:00 AM

How Shelter, Inc. helps children and families

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  • Rick and Alisa Heidner are honorary chairs of this year's Shelter, Inc. charity ball.

    Rick and Alisa Heidner are honorary chairs of this year's Shelter, Inc. charity ball.
    Courtesy of Shelter, Inc.

  • Regina Waldroup, reporter at NBC5, will serve as host at the Shelter, Inc. 30th annual charity ball, which takes place Nov. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg.

    Regina Waldroup, reporter at NBC5, will serve as host at the Shelter, Inc. 30th annual charity ball, which takes place Nov. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg.
    Courtesy of Shelter, Inc.

  • Shelter, Inc. will hold its 30th annual charity ball Friday, Nov. 10. Shown are attendees from last year's ball.

    Shelter, Inc. will hold its 30th annual charity ball Friday, Nov. 10. Shown are attendees from last year's ball.
    Courtesy of Shelter, Inc.

  • Shelter, Inc. will hold its 30th annual charity ball Friday, Nov. 10. Shown are attendees from last year's ball.

    Shelter, Inc. will hold its 30th annual charity ball Friday, Nov. 10. Shown are attendees from last year's ball.
    Courtesy of Shelter, Inc.

  • Pat Betz, right, of Hoffman Estates was the recipient of the Paul Buckholz Award at the 2016 Shelter, Inc. charity ball.

      Pat Betz, right, of Hoffman Estates was the recipient of the Paul Buckholz Award at the 2016 Shelter, Inc. charity ball.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Heinz Kern is the recipient of the 2017 Paul Buckholz Award from Shelter Inc. It was his vision that began the annual charity ball.

    Heinz Kern is the recipient of the 2017 Paul Buckholz Award from Shelter Inc. It was his vision that began the annual charity ball.
    Courtesy of Shelter, Inc.

 
Daily Herald report

On Nov. 10, Shelter, Inc. will hold its 30th annual charity ball at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg.

The fundraiser, which offers sponsorship levels from $500 to $10,000, supports the Arlington Heights-based organization's mission -- to help and protect children who are abused, neglected, dependent or in need of supervision.

The Daily Herald caught up with Carol Brown, director of development for Shelter, Inc., to learn more about the organization and upcoming fundraisers.

Q. Who do you serve?

Brown. Children and adolescents from birth through age 18 within the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Q. How do you work accomplishing your mission?

Brown. By providing 24-hour emergency and longer-term care, creating community awareness and education to prevent such abuse and neglect, and by promoting healthy families to reduce child abuse and neglect.

Q. When and why did the organization start? How has it grown?

Brown. We began in 1975 as a grassroots community response to the needs of abused and neglected children out of the vision of an Arlington Heights police officer sympathetic to the needs of children in crisis. Today, children come to Shelter 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Our programs include:

• Emergency, traditional and home of relative foster care.

• Three professionally staffed group homes: the Jennings Group Home for adolescent girls in Schaumburg, the boys group home for adolescents in Palatine and our longer-term transitional living program in Arlington Heights for older males.

• Healthy Families child abuse prevention.

• Community education.

Q. What kind of success have you had?

Brown. Over the past 40 years, we've had the pleasure of assisting children to reunite with their families after a crisis, to watch them grow into wonderful, young adults with the support of their foster families, and to help prepare them for life as a contributing adult.

Unfortunately, in order to maintain total privacy for these children and their families, we aren't able to share actual success stories. What we are proud to share is that, during our 2015-2016 fiscal year alone, we served over 2,472 individuals in our community by providing 22,562 days of care for the children and adolescents in these critical programs.

Q. This is the charity ball's 30th year. How did the charity ball get started, and in what ways has it supported Shelter, Inc.?

Brown. Heinz Kern was the general manager at the Hyatt (Regency Schaumburg) in 1987. It was his vision that began the annual charity ball, with the intent to raise money for the much-needed boys group home.

It was a huge success, and enough funds from the charity balls had been raised to build the boys group home. Fittingly, for our 30th anniversary, Heinz Kern is being awarded Shelter's highest honor, the Paul Buckholz Award.

Q. What challenges do you currently face?

Brown. We are just beginning to recover from the Illinois budget impasse that had a devastating financial effect on our programs.

Q. What do you wish the community at large knew about the organization, or what would surprise most people if they spent a week with the organization?

Brown. It's estimated that one in five children under the age of 18 are abused or neglected, and the most in danger are those from birth to 3 years old. This crisis is very real in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. It would surprise everyone to learn how much our services are needed, and how much we need the community's support to help the most vulnerable and underserved among us.

Q. How can readers get involved?

Brown. We have a need for volunteers and foster parents. Monetary donations are always needed and appreciated. More information is available on our website, www.shelter-inc.org, or by calling Mary Green, volunteer coordinator, at (847) 590-6188, ext. 22.

We also have a very generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous who has offered to match up to $50,000 for any donations received or pledged before our charity ball on Nov. 10. Donations will be accepted on our website or by mailing a check to Shelter, Inc., 1616 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.

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