Golf, Tennins and Paddle Classic

Posted by Avenues in News on 12/26/2023

Dear friends,

As our 70th anniversary year comes to a close, we want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for your incredible generosity and unwavering support throughout the past year. Your commitment to Avenues and the people we serve has made a lasting impact and significant difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones this holiday season and may 2024 be filled with joy and prosperity. We look forward to seeing you in the upcoming year, starting with Peace, Love & Avenues at Joe's Live Rosemont on February 24, 2024.

With gratitude,

P.S. Please enjoy some of our 2023 highlights from Avenues to Independence!

70th Anniversary Kickoff Event - Denim and Diamonds

The Denim and Diamond event was held in February to honor Avenues' 70th anniversary. Longtime supporters Matt and Ed Coyne received the William & Jean Knaack Spirit of Avenues award for their decades of employing Avenues program participants.

Renovations at Sasser Family House

After receiving grants from the Sasser Family Foundation and A. Montgomery Ward Foundation, Avenues was able to renovate the basement of the Sasser Family House in Park Ridge. With the help of Avenues Board members Tom and Therese Villano and Molly Dietlin, renovations were completed earlier this year.

Snowbirds Golf Outing

Avenues Annual Snowbird Golf Outing was hosted by Board members Fred Sasser and Tom Garcea at Hammock Bay Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Annual Dinner

The 2023 Annual Dinner was held for the first time since 2019. The Andrew Gold song inspired the event's theme, Thank You for Being A Friend to Avenues. Program participants performed the song on stage to help showcase the many friendships within the organization.

35th Annual Avenues/ Gorman Golf & Tennis Classic

In July, golfers, tennis players, and Avenues supporters joined together at the Park Ridge Country Club for the 35th Annual Avenues/Gorman Golf & Tennis Classic. The event raised important funds for programs at the Center For Independence, which promote life-long learning such as art, cooking, gardening, and job readiness.

Sasser Society Dinner

Pam and Fred Sasser hosted the Sasser Society dinner at the Park Ridge Country Club. That evening, Avenues welcomed new member Pat Grimes, who is Chair of the Program Committee and a Governing Board of Directors member. The Sasser Society provides a future commitment to Avenues through wills, trusts, or estate plans.

Avenues honors Clarence "Joe" Herbst

This Summer, Avenues lost longtime friend and benefactor Clarence "Joe" Herbst after more than four decades of philanthropy and dedication. His motto, "Together we did it," has become an Avenues’ motto, which will continue to embody Avenues. Joe made Avenues a better place, and his impact has been life-changing for Avenues' clients.

Avenues announced Stephen Kray as the new CEO

The Avenues Board of Directors announced Stephen Kray as the new President and CEO. Stephen has over 16 years of experience in the human services field, 13 of those at Avenues. As Director of Residential Programs, he enhanced the quality of life for the individuals Avenues serves. Stephen is excited to assume this new role, and will provide steady leadership and a clear vision for the future of Avenues.

Venturing out in the community

Avenues program participants enjoyed going on outings in the community with friends and Avenues staff members. They visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Lambs Farm, Gurnee Mills Mall, and Woodfield Mall. They also attended concerts in Deerfield Park.

PepsiCo Enable Picnic

The PepsiCo Enable team hosted their annual picnic at Sasser Family House. The fun-filled day included crafts, a balloon twister, a visit from therapy dogs, pizza, and BINGO with prizes. The residents look forward to this event each year and are always excited to see the volunteers.

Spotlight on Avenues

Spotlight on Avenues was held at RPM Events and raised more than $52,000 to support Avenues. As a nod to its' former name, Spotlight on Wine, the event featured a Wine Silent Auction and Wine Raffle. Client-designed artwork was the highlight of the silent auction, and some of the artists were in attendance.

Renovations at Amundsen House

Renovations at Amundsen Family House in Park Ridge were completed in the fall. Bill and Louis were excited to return home to upgraded bedrooms, family room, kitchen, and bathroom. Three new housemates, John, Jim, and Tim, also moved into the home in early December.

Thanksgiving at the Center for Independence

Avenues Program participants celebrated one of their favorite holidays at the Center for Independence. Staff and clients gathered to share in this annual tradition, which is enjoyed immensely – especially the pumpkin pie! The meal is generously planned and donated by the Avenues staff.

The Holiday party at the Center for Independence returns

The Avenues Suburban Partnership Board hosted the spectacular 2023 Holiday party at the Center for Independence. The program participants had fun playing games and dancing with friends. The Board donated pizza and cupcakes, and Santa arrived in his red sleigh, bearing gifts for each person.

Avenues Board Holiday Giving Tree

Through the Avenues Holiday Giving Tree, our volunteers, Board members, and committee members provide gifts to Avenues program participants this holiday season. These gifts helped to provide holiday magic to program participants. We are thankful for the Avenues to Independence supporters who gave this holiday season.

View more photos from all of the Avenues happenings on our Pics & Flicks page.


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