Midwest Regional Office
500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60611
Casey Marsh, Managing Director
Elizabeth McCostlin, Major Gifts Officer
Nelly Ingraham, Development Officer
Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney, Officer, Administrative Management and
Mandy Sharp Eizinger, Global Fellow
The Midwest Region extends a special thank you to the extraordinary volunteer leaders who serve on our Board of Directors, Board Emeriti and President's Council.
UNICEF Profile Series
UNICEF Profile Series, Minneapolis
End Child Trafficking
Join the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Midwest Region in Minneapolis for the UNICEF Profile Series, End Child Trafficking on Thursday, March 7, from 6:00 P.M.–8:00 P.M. at the Minneapolis Club. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, including Minnesota. Learn more at this event, where we will screen the documentary Not My Life, followed by a discussion with Karin Heissler, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF.
Not My Life is the first documentary film to depict the horrifying and dangerous practice of human trafficking in the United States and around the world. Filmed on five continents over a period of four years by Oscar-nominated Robert Billheimer and narrated by Glenn Close, Not My Life unflinchingly—but with enormous dignity and compassion—depicts the unspeakable practices of a multibillion dollar global industry whose profits, as the film’s narration says, “are built on the backs and in the beds of our planet’s youth.”
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and to protect them from violence, exploitation and abuse. The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about human trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children.
When: Thursday, March 7, 2013
6:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.: Reception
7:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.: Screening of Not My Life
7:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.: Discussion with Karin Heissler
Where: The Minneapolis Club, 729 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Tickets: $50 general admission. Please visit www.unicefusa.org/profileseries-minneapolis to purchase tickets or contact us at 312.222.9121, or by email at email@example.com. No paper tickets will be issued for this event. Please check in at the registration table.
The UNICEF Profile Series features dynamic presentations by nationally or internationally recognized individuals whose personal or professional endeavors are on the forefront of UNICEF’s efforts to reach the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information about the UNICEF Profile Series, please contact Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney, Officer, Administrative Management and Special Events, by calling 312.222.9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date for UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala 2013!
Join us this spring at UNICEF’s preeminent Gala in the Midwest! UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala and After Party will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago on Friday, April 12, 2013, from 6:30 P.M. - 12:00 A.M.
Last year’s event brought together more than 370 guests for an evening of fine dining and dancing to benefit UNICEF’s work around the world, raising over $670,000.
UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala 2013 Co-chairs Martha Metz and Tina Trott are spearheading this year’s event to support UNICEF’s global efforts to reduce the number of preventable child deaths from 19,000 a day to ZERO. UNICEF fights for the survival and development of all children, in all situations, all of the time and has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Proceeds from UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala will further this work, enabling UNICEF to continue making a substantial impact on the lives of children worldwide.
This year’s Gala will focus on educating guests on UNICEF’s clean water programs. Attendees will be able to participate in interactive stations showcasing UNICEF’s clean water initiatives and will enjoy inventive water-themed décor from the innovative team at Kehoe Designs.
When: Join us on Friday, April 12, 2013, from 6:30 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. as we celebrate UNICEF’s accomplishments and unite to help continue this lifesaving work.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Tickets: Sponsorship opportunities begin at $10,000, and tickets are $750 each. Please visit www.unicefusa.org/messageofhope, call Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney at 312-222-9121, or email email@example.com.
Stay tuned for updates on UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala 2013!
UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Awards Luncheon
On Friday, October 19, nearly 250 guests gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Chicago to honor Connie K. Duckworth and Margot Pritzker with the 2012 UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Awards for their commitment to advancing the survival and development of children locally and globally.
Guests and honorees were welcomed by the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl M. Stern. “Connie Duckworth and Margot Pritzker have shown unwavering determination in making the impossible possible—the same conviction UNICEF has as it strives to ensure that all children have the chance to survive and thrive,” said Stern. “These women are a testament to the idea that if you believe, and if your belief is strong enough, there is no limit to what you can do.”
Last year’s award-winners, Marjorie Craig Benton and Nancy Searle, were both on hand to introduce and congratulate this year’s honorees.
Margot Pritzker launched WomenOnCall.org, an online meeting place for women in non-profits to forge meaningful and productive relationships to better the world and make a difference in people’s lives. In addition, Pritzker is the Director of the Pritzker Early Childhood Foundation and the chair of the University of Chicago Charter School Governing Board, which is a part of the University’s Urban Education Institute.
Dedicated to the health and safety of women around the world, Connie Duckworth serves as the pro bono Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ARZU Inc., a nonprofit organization she founded to help Afghan women establish better lives for their families. This includes access to healthcare, education, equality and a stable income. Duckworth is also a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council.
Thanks to the UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Awards Committee and luncheon co-chairs, Wendy Serrino and Joseph Silich, for their hard work in making this event possible.
Please visit http://unicefchicagohumanitarianawards.shutterfly.com/ to view photographs from the Luncheon.
Stay tuned for updates on 2013 UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Awards!
*All photos by Lili Calfee
UNICEF'S Message of Hope Gala and After Party Raise Over $670,000
More than 370 guests gathered for the fifth annual Message of Hope Gala on Saturday, April 28 at the Union League Club in support of UNICEF's global efforts to reduce the number of preventable child deaths from 19,000 a day to zero. The event raised nearly $671,000, exceeding the goal of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's Midwest Regional Office by $46,000 and setting a new fundraising record for Message of Hope.
"We often don't realize that there is so much we can do for children worldwide, even from right here in Chicago, but we can," said MaryLou Giustini, event co-chair, along with Paul Harvey, who added, "by attending events like the Message of Hope gala, you directly contribute to the well-being of children thousands of miles away."
Guests interacted with real, lifesaving UNICEF supplies during the cocktail reception. A UNICEF field tent displayed Inspired Gifts like mosquito bed nets, family water pump kits, School-in-a-Box kits and hydration salts that guests purchased and donated on the spot. A dynamic silent auction automated by BidPal handheld devices raised additional funds for children and highlighted the many UNICEF supporters who contributed to the auction.
Columbia College of Chicago Gospel Repertory Ensemble ushered guests into the Main Dining Room, which was styled by prominent Chicago design company Kehoe Designs. During dinner, former Midwest Regional Board Member, Gary Beu, was honored for his 20 years of commitment to UNICEF, both as an advocate for child rights and a role model in board service. Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, delivered the inspirational keynote speech. Pianist and composer Emily Bear, a world-renowned, ten-year-old pianist, capped off the program with a performance that received a resounding standing ovation.
Paddles flew in the air during the live auction as guests vied for their favorite items while supporting UNICEF's lifesaving initiatives. A weekend getaway to the Sundance Film Festival received the event’s highest bid ever—$41,000. A trip to Jamaica, a South African vacation and a beautiful bronze sculpture by artist Jean Jacques Porret also generated enthusiasm.
The event continued at Message of Hope’s inaugural After Party, co-chaired by Adam Gifford and Nathan Miller in the Crystal Room of Union League Club. The Stitely Orchestra kept party-goers of all ages dancing until midnight. Desserts from local Chicago bakeries topped off the high energy party.
"At UNICEF we believe the number of preventable deaths of children should go from 19,000 a day to zero a day and any lesser aspiration is just unacceptable," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "It's obvious that those who attended the event believe this too and for that we are so incredibly thankful."
Event sponsors included Paul and MaryAnn Harvey, Delta Air Lines, Energy BBDO, International Strategy & Investment Group LLC, Jefferies & Company, Inc., Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., Hyatt, Credit Suisse, and Joseph N. Silich, Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley.
Save-the-Date for UNICEF's Message of Hope Gala 2013! Join us next year for an exciting evening of fine dining, dancing and live entertainment to benefit UNICEF.
* All photos by Lili Calfee and Maureen Donlon
UNICEF's Women of Compassion Luncheon
On Thursday, October 13, 200 guests gathered at the Mid-America Club in Chicago, Illinois to honor Marjorie Craig Benton and Nancy Searle—two of Chicago's most esteemed philanthropists—at the Midwest's inaugural UNICEF's Women of Compassion Luncheon. Hosted by the Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the award is designed to recognize women in the Chicago region who are making a difference in the lives of children and women.
UNICEF's Women of Compassion Luncheon recognized the extraordinary service of Ms. Searle and Ms. Benton and their continued passion and dedication to improving the lives of women and children locally and globally.
Committed to the wellbeing of children worldwide, Marjorie Craig Benton has served as a Public Delegate to the United Nations, chair of the White House Fellows Commission, and a board chair of Save the Children Federation. Her continued work for equality and justice for women and children align with the goals of UNICEF which aims for a day in which all girls and boys will be given equal protection and rights.
Sharing UNICEF's belief that every child has a right to education, Nancy Searle has championed education including helping launch the charter school movement in Chicago. This includes forming New Schools for Chicago, an organization that has started more than 70 schools that offer underserved children a much-deserved and needed education. Ms. Searle also volunteers on several community and cultural institution boards.
Two UNICEF representatives were on hand to pay tribute to the honored women. Pamela Fiori, a U.S. Fund for UNICEF National Board Member and Editor at Large for Town & Country, served as emcee for the event that also showcased the work of UNICEF. Frequently in the middle of this lifesaving work is senior UNICEF advisor for its Public Alliances and Resource Mobilization Office, Lisa Doughten, who presented a first-hand account of what it is like working on the front lines in poverty stricken areas.
In accepting UNICEF's Women of Compassion award, Marjorie Craig Benton quoted another inspiring woman, Gabriela Mistral, Chilean Nobel Prize Poet, saying "We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning children, neglecting the foundation of life. Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer "tomorrow, his name is today…"
Nancy Searle concluded her acceptance speech with an inspiring call to action: "The development and growth of the charter school start up fund began as an idea about how to leverage change in a failing system. That one idea continues to change educational outcomes for children in our city. Everyone in this room today has the capacity to be a leader or to positively influence change for our children and our city, the nation and the world through the donation of your time, talents and resources. Everyone has the capacity to make a difference in their own way. I ask each of you to consider the possibilities…and make no small plans."
Thanks to the UNICEF Profile Series Steering Committee and luncheon co-chairs, Wendy Serrino and Joseph Silich for their hard work to make this event possible.
Please click here to view the Achieving Zero video shown at the luncheon.
Please visit gailpollardphoto.com to view photographs from the Women of Compassion luncheon and use the password unicef to access the gallery.
For more information about UNICEF’s Women of Compassion Luncheon, please contact Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney, Officer, Administrative Management and Special Events by calling 312.222.9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteering with the Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is a great way to inform your community about the work UNICEF does—and to get involved in helping save children's lives around the world. With your help, we can reduce the number of children who die each day of preventable causes to zero.
There are many ways that you can volunteer for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF! If you are interested in volunteering locally in your community, consider conducting a UNICEF volunteer activity from our online volunteer center. The center includes several volunteer activities and resources, such as turn–key tool kits for you to use that provide step-by-step instructions for conducting awareness-building, fundraising or advocacy activities in your community, a calendar of local events and more.
To become involved in the Chicago area, consider volunteering at one of our special events. Opportunities include everything from selling raffle tickets and greeting guests to set–up assistance and auction monitors. Participating in one of our events is the perfect opportunity for you to meet new people, have a great night out with some friends and help raise funds for UNICEF!
If you are interested volunteering with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Midwest Region please contact Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney at email@example.com.
Interns in the Midwest Regional Office assist with everything from the planning of special events to research projects. Internships can be done for college course credit during summer, fall/winter and spring sessions. If interested, please forward a resume and cover letter to Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concerned citizens participate in letter-writing campaigns to their elected representatives on topics of major interest to UNICEF and the U.S. Fund. These campaigns are important for the visibility they bring to vital issues affecting children in the developing world. To participate online, click here.
Joseph N. Silich, Chair