'Dinner Under the Stars' Fundraiser Rallies Community Support for NSYMCA

  • Ron Bernardi (left) of Sunset Foods honoring Henry Fetta (shown here) and Dan Jariabka who were recognized for their work with the Hunger Resource Network, winning the 2021 Ken and Alta Thiel Award for Social Responsibility and Leadership at the NSYMCA's "Dinner Under the Stars" event. North Suburban YMCA

    Ron Bernardi (left) of Sunset Foods honoring Henry Fetta (shown here) and Dan Jariabka who were recognized for their work with the Hunger Resource Network, winning the 2021 Ken and Alta Thiel Award for Social Responsibility and Leadership at the NSYMCA's "Dinner Under the Stars" event. North Suburban YMCA

 
 
Updated 9/16/2021 10:36 AM

More than 165 friends of the North Suburban YMCA stepped up to support the Y's inaugural Community Strong "Dinner Under the Stars" fundraising event on August 28. Highlighting the dinner (formerly called the Strong Kids Dinner), was the presentation of the 2021 Ken and Alta Thiel Award for Social Responsibility and Leadership. The award, named in honor of the North Suburban Y's founders Ken and Alta Thiel, was given to Dan Jariabka and Henry Fetta, recognizing their outstanding dedication and service to the community through their work with the Hunger Resource Network, and their extraordinary volunteerism and support of non-profit organizations like the Y.

Each year, the North Suburban YMCA selects honorees who dedicate their time and effort to enhance the community through community support, inclusion, social responsibility, family and youth development, and encouragement for others to give back.

 

"It was an incredible evening, not only for the gracious honor for Hunger Resource Network but also for the positive energy by those who came out to support the Y and what it does for our community," said Henry Fetta from the Hunger Recourse Network and, along with Dan Jariabka, an honoree of the Thiel Award. "The event was special because it showcased the many amazing ways that the Y helps others and the passion that the Y brings out from our caring and giving to people in the community."

After days of transforming the NSYMCA's outdoor campus, the "Dinner under the Stars" guests were greeted with colorful decorations from North Shore Balloon Décor, hundreds of twinkling lanterns from high above the tents, live music from Bach to Rock, a dining experience from Jordan's Food of Distinction, and desserts from Nothing Bunt Cakes - Deerfield and Dairy Queen - Northbrook. The night concluded with casino games, and a silent and live auction hosted by Sunset Foods' Ron Bernardi. The auction included over 225 packages or items donated by located supporters and companies which alone brought in over 25% of the Y's fundraising goal.

The dinner was a culmination of other Community Strong fundraising activities that kicked off with an inaugural Golf Outing on July 22, and featured a Community Strong week beginning on August 22. The fundraising events not only support the NSYMCA's Financial Assistance Fund that allow the Y's programs to be accessible to everyone in the community, but also the well-being of the Y to fortify its future.

"These events were hard work for us this year, but our main goal was to make sure our efforts would help combat the effects the pandemic has had on our Y," said Kathy Fielding, CEO of the North Suburban YMCA. "Our multiple event fundraising tactics allowed us to hit our goals without compromising the health of our supporters. We decided on smaller outdoor fundraisers because safety was our first goal," continued Fielding. "Our decision paid off with an outpouring of support."

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Proud sponsors of the Community Strong "Dinner under the Stars" Fundraiser include: Northwestern Medicine, Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI), Allstate, Wintrust Community Banks, First Bank of Highland Park, Northbrook Herald, Sunset Foods, Waterway Carwash, FGK Services, Tito's Handmade Vodka, AmpliVox Sound Systems, Hill & Stone Insurance, VISOgraphic, Ruby's Therapeutic Massages, Creative Marking Associates, Team Trux Real Estate, and many more.

"We are so humbled by the number of sponsors we had support us this year for both the golf outing and fundraising dinner," said Kim Nyren, Director of Community Investment & Events of the North Suburban YMCA. "None of this could be possible without the support of local businesses and our community. We have an amazing group of supporters who truly believe in what we do for families, and they are why we continue to be successful in our efforts."

The NSYMCA provides individuals in Northbrook and the surrounding areas with programs and tools that help them become healthier, more connected and confident. To make this possible, the Y provides over $560,000 annually in financial assistance to more than 1 out of 5 Y members. In 2020. the Y provided assistance to over 2,800 members. These funds enable families to access programs and services like after-school childcare, day camp, swim lessons, and chronic illness prevention programs.

Donations to the NSYMCA Community Strong Fund make Y programming available to anyone in the community, regardless of their ability to pay. Financial support is also needed to help offset reduced revenue and added expenses caused by the pandemic. To learn more about ways to support the YMCA, contact Kim Nyren, Director of Community Investments, knyren@nsymca.org.

About the North Suburban YMCA

The North Suburban YMCA services Northbrook and 14 surrounding communities with programs and tools that help its residents become healthier, more connected, and confident, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. The NSYMCA focuses on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility and is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, inclusive and welcoming to all in our community. Learn more at NSYMCA.org.

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