Elgin's Centro de Informacion to celebrate annual gala online
The black ties and gowns can stay in the closet for another year for those attending Centro de Informacion's annual gala next Thursday.
For the second year in a row, the Pillar of Hope gala will be celebrated online.
"It's going to be a really fun evening, even though we can't all be together," said Gwen Gage, event co-chair.
Celebrating their 49th year, Centro de Informacion is a social service agency with a home office in Elgin and satellite offices in Hanover Park and Carpentersville.
Its mission is to help Hispanic residents effectively integrate into the greater community through the facilitation of information, education, citizenship and well-being.
The event can be viewed for free at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 on Facebook Live. A special 15-minute segment for sponsors and ticketed guests will take place beforehand.
Links and information on the event auction can be found at centro21.givesmart.com.
The gala will feature stories about several Centro clients helped in the past year.
"There are a lot of heartbreaking stories, and we're going to share just a sample of what we have gone through this year," Executive Director Jamie Garcia said.
Garcia said Centro has been open to serve clients in person for virtually the entirety of the pandemic.
"A lot of community resources haven't been seeing people," he said. "We've been there, and that's what we're going to celebrate."
Gage said a number of elected officials -- Gov. J B Pritzker, Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressmen Sean Casten and Raja Krishnamoorthi, State Sen. Cristina Castro, State Rep. Anna Moeller, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain of Elgin and Hanover Park Village President Rodney Craig -- will offer toasts in recognition of the group's work. Moeller is the honorary chair for the event.
The event will feature live music, a sangria-making demonstration, and a tribute video to Hispanic Heritage Month. There also will be an auction with items ranging from signed Justin Fields Bears jerseys to tickets to the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera and Ravinia. Bidding opens on those auction items Tuesday.
The gala is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Centro, which is funded through a mix of sources including the state, United Way of Metro Chicago, Hanover and Elgin Townships, the Grand Victoria Foundation and other smaller, local foundations.