Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 41st annual benefit gala raises almost $450,000

  • Chicago residents John and Beth Jostrand, left, are Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 2019 Crystal Heart Award recipients. Also pictured are Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley President/CEO Theresa Forthofer of Plainfield and board chairman Roger McDougal of Glen Ellyn.

    Chicago residents John and Beth Jostrand, left, are Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 2019 Crystal Heart Award recipients. Also pictured are Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley President/CEO Theresa Forthofer of Plainfield and board chairman Roger McDougal of Glen Ellyn. Courtesy of Rich Howe Photography

  • The Ladgenski family of Glen Ellyn (parents Derek and Sarah, and children Vivian, Grace, Emma and Quinn) are the 2019 Gala Ambassadors at the Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 41st annual benefit April 6.

    The Ladgenski family of Glen Ellyn (parents Derek and Sarah, and children Vivian, Grace, Emma and Quinn) are the 2019 Gala Ambassadors at the Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 41st annual benefit April 6. Courtesy of Rich Howe Photography

  • Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 41st annual benefit gala committee members include: Mary Morrow (Carol Stream), Jennifer Huard (Glen Ellyn), Lisa McDougal (Glen Ellyn), Penelope Prior (Willow Springs), Cairy Brown (Glen Ellyn), Sarah Ladgenski (Glen Ellyn), and Kristen Barnfield (Western Springs).

    Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 41st annual benefit gala committee members include: Mary Morrow (Carol Stream), Jennifer Huard (Glen Ellyn), Lisa McDougal (Glen Ellyn), Penelope Prior (Willow Springs), Cairy Brown (Glen Ellyn), Sarah Ladgenski (Glen Ellyn), and Kristen Barnfield (Western Springs). Courtesy of Rich Howe Photography

 
Submitted by Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley
Updated 4/19/2019 7:59 PM

On Saturday, April 6, more than 350 guests attended Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley's 41st annual benefit gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

John and Beth Jostrand of Chicago received the Carol and Jack Sanicki Crystal Heart Award recognizing their transformative contributions and service to Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The honor is given to those who have a unique and long-standing commitment to Easterseals and the work they do to create limitless possibilities for infants, children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities.

John has served on the board of directors for both Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley and Easterseals National. He is a motivating leader and exemplary advocate who enacts positive change. Beth is an impassioned volunteer, committed to supporting children at Easterseals. The Crystal Heart Award was established in honor of Carol and Jack Sanicki, who also served as dedicated Easterseals volunteers.

In his remarks that evening, John Jostrand shared, "In the years Beth and I have been involved with Easterseals, we've never stopped learning of new ways that they are helping children with disabilities succeed. We have seen the organization evolve, and how the accumulation of knowledge and many small achievements over the years have amounted now into an organization with the highest quality service in Chicagoland."

The event also featured the Ladgenski family of Glen Ellyn as the 2019 gala ambassadors.

Quinn had a stroke in utero and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The 10-year-old understands every word he hears but does not have the vocal ability to share his experience like his siblings and parents. Through therapies at Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley, Quinn's gait and strength have improved and he is now able to make his feelings known with the aid of a communication device.

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Witnessing the impact of Quinn's therapy services at Easterseals, his parents, Derek and Sarah, quickly got involved to help more children receive therapy as early as possible. Derek joined the board of directors and Sarah serves on the gala committee.

Quinn's three sisters have learned to be grateful for their abilities and credit Quinn with bringing their family together and making them feel complete.

The black-tie, Casablanca-themed fundraiser included a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing to a live band and assorted auctions. The event net nearly $450,000 to support children with disabilities and developmental delay.

Thank you to partner sponsors, Lisa and Fred Barbara. Event sponsors also included Exelon Generation, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Jensen Hughes, GCA Services Group and William Blair.

About Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley

Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley serves more than 1,000 infants, children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities each week. The agency offers pediatric therapy services throughout the west suburbs to help children and their families build skills and access resources they need to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Core services include, physical, occupational and speech therapies, in addition to assistive technology therapy, medical nutrition services, audiology, behavior therapy, developmental evaluations, social services, a child care center, specialty clinics and a continuing education program. Support children and adults with disabilities at www.eastersealsdfvr.org. For the latest news, visit www.facebook.com/eastersealsdfvr.

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