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Posted by on Apr 17, 2016

Face the Future Foundation Gala Gives Kids Smiles and Builds Brighter Futures

Face the Future Foundation Gala Gives Kids Smiles and Builds Brighter Futures

Gifting smiles, building brighter futures, and transforming the lives of children is the mission of the Face the Future Foundation. Over 300 supporters attended the annual gala, this year themed A Night on the Nile, which benefited the Craniofacial Center at UIC College of Medicine. The Foundation supports the Center in the care and treatment of children born with craniofacial differences and related challenges.

James Staples, Ruth Riley, and Mark Allen

James Staples, Ruth Riley, and Mark Allen

Chaired by James Staples, the gala was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago on Saturday, March 12, and raised over $400,000. Ruth Riley served as the Honorary Chair. She is a retired WBNA champ, an Olympic gold medalist, and an NBA/WNBA Cares ambassador. In her role as an ambassador, she works with the NBA to conduct basketball clinics around the world for girls and women.  Riley said, “Looking beyond our differences, there is a common thread that has united us, and that is our passion makes a positive impact in the lives of children. Most of you will never meet the boys and girls who will now be able to go through life armed with one of the greatest assets any of us can possess – a beautiful smile!”

Ellen Costello, Deirdre Drake, and Chris McCoy

Ellen Costello, Deirdre Drake, and Chris McCoy

The President’s Award was presented to Mark Allen for his outstanding contributions and commitment to help the FFF carry out its mission. Mark serves on the Foundation’s board of directors and as chair of its membership committee. “It is a privilege for me to support, in whatever small way I can, the talented team of the Craniofacial Center who transform the lives of their young patients with their miraculous work,” he said.

Gary Metzner, senior vice president of Sotheby’s Midwest, served as auctioneer and led the bidding on exciting packages that included international trips and stays, and a collection of over one hundred bottles of wines.

Dr. Mimis Cohen, Medical Director of the Craniofacial Center expressed his gratitude. “On behalf of our patients we are grateful for the funds raised by the Face the Future Foundation to help us further the outreach of the Center. “

Presenting Sponsor: Chicago Title

Gala Sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, William Blair, the Cantaloupo Charitable Fund, the Henrietta Lange Burk Foundation, and the Sage Foundation.

Media Sponsor: Michigan Avenue magazine

About the Face the Future Foundation: The Face the Future Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit established to raise funds and public awareness to support the care and treatment of children born with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial differences by facilitating access to state-of-the-art medical care and by supporting research and education. The Foundation is dedicated to expanding healthcare access to underserved children, in the Chicago area, who suffer from these conditions. It remains steadfast and true in its mission: to help local children build brighter futures. Children born with craniofacial conditions receive the highest quality care irrespective of financial circumstance.

About the UIC Craniofacial Center: For over 65 years, the Craniofacial Center at UIC College of Medicine has been renowned for excellence in its multidisciplinary management for children born with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial differences. The Center, one of the oldest and largest facilities of its kind in the USA, provides comprehensive care for craniofacial patients who are treated by plastic/ craniofacial surgeons, orthodontists, audiologists, speech pathologists and other specialists. Today, it provides this care for more economically disadvantaged children than any other teaching hospital in Illinois by providing access to the highest quality care irrespective of financial circumstance.  More than 5,000 Chicago-area kids are helped annually.

Photo Credit: Jon Recana

Gala photo gallery: Zenfolio.com

Margaret J O'Connor

Margaret O’Connor

Margaret J. O’Connor is the founder/owner of MarCon Communications, a public relations and special events firm which handles the publicity and event needs for a diverse range of clients. She’s involved with numerous charities in Chicago and is active in its lifestyle and social scene. She grew up and was educated in Africa, Australia and America and holds degrees in marketing and finance from the University of Illinois. She is a contributing writer to many print and digital publications and her focus is lifestyle, culinary and nonprofit events.

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