City Colleges of Chicago Foundation Hosts Second Annual Seven Strong Benefit Nov. 14

  • Guests mix and mingle at the opening reception for City Colleges of Chicago's 2018 Seven Strong Benefit.Dan Rest

    Guests mix and mingle at the opening reception for City Colleges of Chicago's 2018 Seven Strong Benefit.Dan Rest

Ann Fink
Updated 11/6/2019 7:07 AM

City Colleges of Chicago Foundation hosts its second annual Seven Strong benefit 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Geraghty, 2520 S. Hoyne Ave. This year's event brings together Chicago's influential civic community to celebrate the work that is transforming Chicagoans' lives through education and driving inclusive economic growth in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman are Honorary Chairs. Chairs are Martin Cabrera, Jr., Cabrera Capital Markets CEO and Founder; Dr. Helen D. Gayle, The Chicago Community Trust President and CEO; and John C. Robak, Greeley and Hansen, LLC President, Principal, COO and Director. Benefit sponsors are Cabrera Capital Markets, The Chicago Community Trust, Greeley and Hansen and PepsiCo.

"City Colleges of Chicago is an invaluable asset that connects people from across our communities to economy opportunity and helps create a more inclusive city," says Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the benefit's honorary co-chair.


"This event is a way to celebrate City Colleges, its inspiring students, and its critical role in the economic growth of our city," says City Colleges of Chicago Board Chair Walter E. Massey. "The benefit recognizes the meaningful impact the seven colleges have on communities all across Chicago, and it also serves as a forum for civic leaders to provide valuable financial support of City Colleges so that we can continue to offer programs and pathways that lead to success for our students."

"An investment in City Colleges is not only an investment into each student, but an investment in Chicago," says Foundation Chair William (Bill) Lowry." Last year's benefit raised more than $500,000 for City Colleges initiatives: creating a seamless Pre-K through college education system in partnership with CPS; serving students through scholarships, emergency funds, and other holistic resources; and creating business partnerships that provide students with in-demand skills and work-based experience that will lead to employment."

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception where guests will mix and mingle while enjoying live music from the Harold Washington College Jazz Band and tasty hors d'oeuvres prepared by the Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute. Throughout the evening guests will have the chance to enjoy special appearances by all seven City Colleges' mascots and hear personal stores from students and alumni

exemplifying why City Colleges of Chicago is seven strong.

"Partnerships are central to our work at City Colleges," said City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado. "This benefit is an opportunity to unite the many partners -- from the community, employers, universities, K-12 sector, and civic leaders -- who come together to support Chicagoans on the path to upward mobility."

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Ella Flagg Young Award to RUSH in recognition of its impressive history of service to and support of Chicago and its education community. Dr. Larry J. Goodman, Retired CEO, RUMC and RUSH; President Emeritus, Rush University, will accept the award on behalf of RUSH. Rush University System for Health (RUSH) is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. RUSH has been partnering with Malcolm X College since 2008 to train people for jobs in the health sciences that are available now but remain unfilled due to a skills gap. The agreement allows Malcolm X College students to gain valuable experience at Rush through clinical rotations, career ladder programs and other initiatives.

City Colleges of Chicago Foundation hosts its second annual Seven Strong benefit,6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Geraghty, 2520 S. Hoyne Ave. Tickets are $500. Business attire. Complimentary valet parking is available. For more information/tickets: contact Niki Morrison at 872.315.2328 or; or visit

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