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Midwest Regional Office

UNICEF: Midwest

500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60611
312.222.8901 (fax)



Casey Marsh, Managing Director
Elizabeth McCostlin, Major Gifts Officer
Nelly Ingraham, Development Officer
Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney, Officer, Administrative Management and
Special Events
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.

Upcoming Events

UNICEF Profile Series

UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Awards Luncheon

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Midwest Region is pleased to honor Ann Lurie, President of Lurie Holdings, Inc. and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation, and Dolores Kohl, President and CEO of the Dolores Kohl Education Foundation and Founder of The Kohl Children’s Museum, with the UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Award for their extraordinary service and continued dedication to improving the lives of children locally and globally. Please join us on Friday, October 25, 2013 for UNICEF’s Chicago Humanitarian Awards Luncheon as we honor these remarkable women.

When: Friday, October 25, 2013 from 11:00 am until 1:15 pm

Where: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Chicago (Grand Ballroom), 160 East Pearson Street, Chicago, Illinois

Tickets: $65 per ticket, or $650 for a table of ten. Please visit www.unicefusa.org/chicagoluncheon, or contact us at 312.222.9121 or ekasdorf@unicefusa.org to purchase tickets, or a table. No paper tickets will be issued for this event. Please check-in at the registration table outside of the Grand Ballroom.

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 ekasdorf@unicefusa.org.

Save the Date for UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala 2014!

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 11, 2014, from 6:30 P.M. - 12:00 A.M.

Last year’s event brought together more than 500 guests for an evening of fine dining and dancing to benefit UNICEF’s work around the world, raising over $930,000.

When: Join us on Friday, April 11, 2014, 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 $1,000 each. For tickets, or more information please call Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney at 312-222-9121, or email ekasdorf@unicefusa.org

Stay tuned for updates on UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala 2014!

Midwest Regional Campaign for The Eliminate Project

On July 1, 2013 the Midwest Region launched a two year campaign to raise $3 million for The Eliminate Project – a partnership between the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Kiwanis International to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) from the face of the earth by 2015. Although it is seldom heard of here in the United States, tetanus is still a very real threat to mothers and their newborn babies in remote locations around the world. 

UNICEF stands at the ready to ensure that no newborn suffers from the excruciating pain of this disease – repeated, painful convulsions and sensitivity to light and touch – for lack of a series of immunizations that costs $1.80. The effective – and also efficient – solution is to immunize all women of child bearing age against tetanus. Since 2000, UNICEF and its partners have already eliminated MNT in 33 countries, and only 26 countries remain

Please join us and countless supporters here in the Midwest to help eliminate MNT by raising $3 million over the next two years, enough to reach more than one and a half million women and all of their future babies. Contact Casey Marsh by calling 312.222.9109 or email cmarsh@unicefusa.org to find out how you can get involved. Each day, approximately 160 newborns die from tetanus. Together, we have the power to make that number ZERO.

Young Ambassadors for UNICEF

As part of the Midwest Regional campaign for the Eliminate Project, 41 students, ages 12-15 have joined together in the Chicagoland area as Young Ambassadors for UNICEF. The Young Ambassadors are supporting the Eliminate Project, contributing towards the Midwest Regional campaign to raise $3 million to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) by 2015. They will be championing the fight against MNT by hosting their own grassroots fundraisers and becoming spokespeople and advocates for UNICEF’s work in their communities.

As of September 2013, the Young Ambassadors have raised enough funding to provide vaccinations, health education, training of birth attendants and more that will protect more than 22,000 women.

Mesage of Hope logo

News and Past Events

UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala and After Party Raise a Record-Breaking $935,000

Over 530 guests gathered at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s sixth annual Message of Hope Gala and second annual After Party on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the Four Seasons Chicago. Through the leadership of Message of Hope Gala Co-Chairs, Martha Metz and Tina Trott, the evening raised a record-breaking $935,000 exceeding the goal of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Midwest Regional Office by over $200,000 and setting a new fundraising record for this signature event. Funds raised benefitted UNICEF’s child survival and development programs in more than 190 countries and territories.

Chicago Message of Hope Gala #1

(c) Lili Calfee of Soleil Media

Members of UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala Committee pose for a photo at the entrance to the event.

“Not only did the night serve as an opportunity to recognize the incredible progress UNICEF has made on behalf of the world’s children, but it also brought together a community of devoted individuals who share a belief that ZERO children should die from preventable causes,” said Martha Metz, co-chair of the event.

Co-chair Tina Trott added, “We’re proud to be part of this record-breaking fundraising this year for the Message of Hope Gala and to bring attention to UNICEF’s lifesaving programs for children, especially in the areas of clean water, sanitation and hygiene.”

Message of Hope Gala #3

(c) Lili Calfee of Soleil Media

Members of UNICEF’s Next Generation Chicago address the group at the After Party.

The water-themed evening was styled by Kehoe Designs and began with a cocktail reception that featured a “UNICEF Experience,” designed to showcase UNICEF’s lifesaving work through unique, interactive exhibits. One station had guests carrying 40 pound water jugs as heavy as those carried by many children in developing countries who often walk miles, in dangerous and arduous conditions and at the expense of their studies, to gather water for their families.

In the main dining room, 380 guests sat down for a three-course meal prepared by the Four Seasons Chicago. During her speech Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, emphasized the importance of clean water and how it affects children around the world.

During the live auction, conducted by Keith Jones of Sayre & Jones Auctioneers, guests bid on an array of luxury items and experiences, including a week-long vacation at a private villa in Jamaica, a progressive celebrity chef dinner at four of Chicago’s top restaurants by the Boka Group, a trip to Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards, and a chance to rub elbows with celebrities at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

An additional 150 guests arrived for the second annual After Party which was chaired by Adam Gifford, Lena Clement, Nev Fazlioski and Mike Spitz and served as the

Message of Hope Gala #2

(c) Lili Calfee of Soleil Media

Guests carrying water jugs at the water walk in the UNICEF Experience area.

official launch for UNICEF’s Next Generation Chicago board of young professionals. Guests danced to the music of the Gentlemen of Leisure Band and enjoyed late night snacks.

Event sponsors included Energy BBDO, Kirkland & Ellis, Grosvenor Capital Management, Northern Trust, Nancy and Steve Crown, Martha and Adam Metz, Alexandra and John Nichols, Wendy and Frank Serrino, Joseph N. Silich, and Tina and Byron Trott.

Please visit Soliel Media to view photographs from the Gala and After Party.

Thanks to the UNICEF’s Message of Hope Gala Committee, After Party Co-Chairs and Gala Co-Chairs, Martha Metz and Tina Trott, for their hard work in making this event possible.

*All photos by Liliane Calfee of Soleil Media

Volunteer Opportunities

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 from 18,000 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 ekasdorf@unicefusa.org.

Internship Opportunities 
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 ekasdorf@unicefusa.org.

Advocacy Council
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.

Board of Directors

Wendy Serrino, Chair
Robert T. Brown, Vice Chair

Kapila Anand
David Bossy
Bill Dietz
Mary Lou Giustini
Paul Harvey
Vince Hemmer
Mindy Kairey
James Kelly
John Luce
Laura Myntti
David Otte
Tonise Paul
Ashish Prasad 

Troy Reichert
Dawn Rewey
Mark Rewey
Geoff Richards
Larry Rogers, Jr.
Tamrah Schaller O’Neil
Miller Shivers Vance
Joseph N. Silich
Latha Sundaram
Jeff Ward
Kenneth Zaugh

Board Emeriti

Anju Ahuja
Gary Beu
Sam Gotoff, M.D.
Eileen Henderson
Linda Jacobson
Debora Johnson
Camile Julmy
Kaarina Koskenalusta

Tom Marks
Marc Miller
Dave Samber
Marjorie Schaffner
Dulcie Truitt
Charles Walton

Annual Report

Annual Report Thumbnail

Click to view a PDF of our
2013 Annual Report, or right click to save it to your desktop.

Recent News

April 16, 2014

UNICEF Calls for Immediate Release of Abducted School Girls in Nigeria

UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the reported abduction of some 100 school girls between the ages of 12 and 17 from their school hostel in Chibok Borno State on Monday night, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

April 14, 2014

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom Meets with Syrian Children

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom wrapped up a visit last week to Jordan, where he met with children from Syria and their families whose lives have been devastated by the conflict which is now in its fourth year.