Caring in Action: Ecker Center's 'One Magical Evening' hopes to conjure up a good time and raise money

  • Guests at a previous Ecker Center for Behavioral Health fundraiser. This year's event, "One Magical Night," takes place Saturday, Nov. 20 at Royal Fox Country Club, 4405 Royal and Ancient Drive in St. Charles.

    Guests at a previous Ecker Center for Behavioral Health fundraiser. This year's event, "One Magical Night," takes place Saturday, Nov. 20 at Royal Fox Country Club, 4405 Royal and Ancient Drive in St. Charles. Courtesy of Kay Catlin

 
 
Updated 11/15/2021 9:04 AM

Psychiatric and mental health services. Substance use and gambling disorder services. Psychosocial rehabilitation groups. HIV/STI testing and prevention. Overdose prevention training.

These are just some of the programs offered by the Ecker Center for Behavioral Health in Elgin. And there are plenty more, all in the name of education, prevention and intervention for behavioral health care.

 

The pandemic has exacerbated many of these problems for the general public, but Ecker Center is here to help. However, a canceled fundraiser in 2020 left the organization with a hole in its funding.

So organizers are hoping this year's benefit is a magical time for both attendees and their fundraising goal.

"One Magical Evening" will take place Nov. 20 at Royal Fox Country Club, 4405 Royal and Ancient Drive in St. Charles.

The evening will feature dinner, auctions -- both in-person and online -- and, of course, a little magic thanks to "deceptionist" Dennis Christie.

If you or someone you love is in need of help, contact the Ecker Center for Behavioral Health at (847) 695-0484 or visit www.eckercenter.org to learn more about its programs.

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The center is at 1845 Grandstand Place, Elgin.

Kay Catlin with the Ecker Center discusses its services and the upcoming fundraiser.

Q: What is the Ecker Center for Behavioral Health? Give a brief overview of what the organization does and who you serve/some of our programs.

A: Ecker Center for Behavioral Health is a comprehensive, community-based nonprofit that provides accessible, quality behavioral health care through education, prevention and intervention to children, youth and adults.

Q: Where do the majority of your donations come from?

A: United Way, townships, 708 Mental Health boards, foundations, clubs, churches and private donations.

Q: How many people do you serve?

A: The agency opened in 1955 to provide affordable mental health services such as therapy, case management and psychological testing. In its first year of operation, the agency served 55 adults and children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Through the years the agency added programs and services at multiple locations. In Fiscal Year 2021, the agency served over 4,000 individuals with behavioral health needs and approximately 8,000 individuals with prevention programs in the community.

Q: What are some of your programs?

A: As the leading provider of behavioral health services in the community, Ecker offers an array of services that include: 24-hour emergency crisis, psychiatry, nursing, Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT), crisis residential, case management, psychosocial rehabilitation, supervised and supportive residential, community support team, therapy, substance use and gambling disorder treatment, substance misuse prevention, HIV and other sexually transmitted disease prevention.

Dennis Christie, Master "Deceptionist," will be the entertainment for this year's Ecker Center for Behavioral Health fundraiser on Nov. 20. The theme for the evening is "One Magical Night."
Dennis Christie, Master "Deceptionist," will be the entertainment for this year's Ecker Center for Behavioral Health fundraiser on Nov. 20. The theme for the evening is "One Magical Night." - Courtesy of Kay Catlin

Q: Tell us about "One Magical Evening."

A: "One Magical Evening" is our annual gala/fundraiser. This event was one of many canceled during 2020, leaving us with a giant hole in our yearly fundraising.

Everything planned for 2020 (and then some!) will be featured at this year's event, which is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Royal Fox Country Club, 4405 Royal and Ancient Drive in St. Charles. Royal Fox has recently undergone a spectacular interior renovation and is sure to impress.

The evening will begin with a reception featuring alternative jazz music by Zazz, followed by a gourmet sit-down dinner. Dinner entertainment will be provided table-to-table by master "deceptionist" Dennis Christie.

Also featured will be a diamond draw for a tennis bracelet, wine draw, and a "Gifts that Give Back" silent auction (online and in-person). Our auctions are really popular because we don't just offer the typical rounds of golf or concert tickets. We have all kinds of unusual items you won't find anywhere else.

Tickets are $125 per person, $225 per couple and $900 for a table of 8. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test is required.

This is just one of the auction items up for bid for the Ecker Center for Behavioral Health fundraiser -- a signed/numbered lithograph of original Comiskey Park, a brick from the park's demolition in 1991, and a signed 8-by-10 photo of White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodón.
This is just one of the auction items up for bid for the Ecker Center for Behavioral Health fundraiser -- a signed/numbered lithograph of original Comiskey Park, a brick from the park's demolition in 1991, and a signed 8-by-10 photo of White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodón. - Courtesy of Kay Catlin

Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the event?

A: Individuals who can't attend can help by donating an auction item, making a cash donation or purchasing ad space in our program book. Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.com, by emailing kcatlin@eckercenter.org or jflory@eckercenter.org, or calling (847) 695-0484, ext. 2036.

Q: What else would you like readers to know?

A: The success of this year's event is especially critical because of the demands the pandemic has placed on mental health service providers -- plain and simple.

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