Highwood Distillery hosts record benefit for Art Impact Project

A festive fundraiser at Highwood's 28 Mile Distilling Company's event venue raised $52,212 for Art Impact Project, a record event for the nonprofit organization. Over 125 friends and supporters attended the event Oct. 19.

The funds raised will support innovative programs designed by Art Impact Project to elevate mental health and overall wellness through individual artistic expression. This year, the organization has served more than 1,700 Lake County teens and adults, many struggling with addiction, trauma and other mental health issues.

A live auction of 10 unique, artistically-designed masks created by local artists and a few celebrities from the Chicago sports and broadcasting worlds inspired attendees. Expressive mask making is a signature feature of many Art Impact Project wellness programs.

The event was fortunate to have 23 event sponsors, who together contributed a total of $23,500 to the organization. The lead sponsors included Quest Food Management Services, Hub International and Mowery & Schoenfeld Wealth Management.

Art Impact Project carries out its unique programming in coordination with other local organizations, including schools, health facilities, addiction recovery sites, social service agencies, veterans' organizations and justice institutions.

The group-based programs are led by staff and a dedicated group of specially trained volunteers. The success of the organization has generated increased requests for new partnerships and a need for more trained volunteers.

"For those in our community who have experienced trauma and abuse, or simply dealing with struggles in their lives, Art Impact Project offers unique and supportive programming that is not readily accessible elsewhere," said Liz Fales, Art Impact Project executive director.

"Through art making, we collaborate with community organizations and institutions to promote healing, create connections and bolster resiliency among the adolescents and adults we support. Our services are in high demand as an avenue to bring people together, reduce feelings of isolation, offer support and build empathy for one another."

Art Impact Project has recently experienced a major administrative transition. Liz Fales of Lindenhurst has taken over the organization's leadership role from its founder and former executive director, Vickie Marasco of Lake Forest. Fales will lead the organization into its next chapter. Both leaders spoke to event attendees.

Any adult interested in working with Art Impact Project can email

More information about Art Impact Project can be found at

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