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Concordia Place GO Gala Celebrates Innovative Non-Profit and Its Supporters


Concordia Place GO Gala Celebrates Innovative Non-Profit and Its Supporters

September 20th Event Raises Funds for Children and Family Programs

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Concordia Place, a non-profit serving low-income and working families, presents its GO Gala on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6:00 pm, at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St.  The event recognizes the organization's nearly four decades of providing high-impact, multi-generational programs for children, teens, adults and seniors on Chicago's North Side, honoring community members who have been key supporters of its development and expansion and celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Teen Leadership program. Since its founding in 1981, Concordia has grown to include an innovative social enterprise component and a broader range of services.

The GO Gala, so named for the growth and opportunity it funds, includes the presentation of two awards: The GO Getter Award honors the J.R. Albert Foundation for its generosity to Concordia Place Teen Leadership programs for the last five years.  The GO Champion Award honors The Reverend Donald Hallberg for his support and advocacy of children and families, not only at Concordia Place, but across Illinois.

"Concordia Place is thrilled to recognize both Don and the J. R. Albert Foundation at our GO Gala event this year," says Concordia Place President/CEO Brenda Swartz. "Support and enthusiasm from individuals and organizations has helped carry us through many challenges.  Donors and advocates at all levels keep us focused on our mission and inspire creative approaches to our work."

In recent years, Concordia Place, like many other Illinois nonprofits, struggled to deal with the state's budget crisis. But, as other nonprofits were cutting programs and even closing their doors, Concordia Place undertook a bold expansion to create a long-term solution to the challenges related to public funding.  In the spirit of its original mission to offer high-quality child care, Concordia Place launched the Concordia Day social enterprise concept: private-pay child care centers generating profits to support the mission of service to low-income children, teens, and families at Concordia Place.  The first Concordia Day center opened in Chicago's Ravenswood community last summer and has already contributed more than $100,000 to support the work of Concordia Place.

A second Concordia Day center has just opened at 3696 N. Milwaukee Avenue and another is planned for 2019.

"We're so excited about this year's GO Gala event, because we have so much to celebrate: our great honorees, the accomplishments of the students in our Teen Leadership, the success of our social enterprise model and, most important, the communities we are so privileged to be able to serve," says CEO Swartz.

GO Getter honoree the J.R. Albert Foundation is a private foundation established in 2007, in Kansas City, Missouri, which supports health through food access, as well as food and nutrition education.  Concordia Place's programming for teens provides hands-on experiences and supports teens as they build a wide-range of ecological, nutritional, social, business and financial skills. 110 teen jobs were created in 2017 through these programs.

GO Champion awardee Reverend Donald M. Hallberg has committed his entire career to the ministry and service of others, retiring in 2007 after serving as President of the ELCA Endowment Fund Pooled Trust and Executive Director of the ELCA Development Services.  Don currently serves on the Board of Directors at Concordia Place.

"Receiving the award is a real honor," says Don. "If I can in any little way raise the profile of Concordia Place so that people understand this great human service here in the city, I am thrilled and humbled to have the chance to do so.   When we raise the profile of non-profits and their staff, who work so hard every day to provide care, continually giving of themselves, it inspires others to be more giving as well."

The GO Gala features a VIP reception, casino and carnival-style games, music, auction items, an open bar and a gourmet buffet.  300 people are expected to attend. 

Proceeds will support Concordia Place's Growth and Opportunity fundraising campaign, which was launched two years ago and has raised more than $1,200,000.  The Growth and Opportunity Fund is helping finance the Concordia Day social enterprise and supports Concordia Place's current mission in two locations, in North Center and Avondale, which together serve more than 800 children, teens and seniors annually, providing early learning, after-school care, leadership training, language classes and health and wellness programs, many of them provided at low or no-cost. About 70% of those that Concordia Place serves are low-income or working poor families.  The organization receives about one-third of its funding from the state of Illinois and makes up the rest with private donations and tuition. 

Event lead sponsors are The Mission Investment Fund of the ECLA and Lakeside Bank.

Other sponsors include Advocate Health Care, American Electric Construction Co., Bernstein Private Wealth Management, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Concordia Lutheran Church, The Formeller Family, Richard and Beverly Moody, Ed Nelson of Thrivent Financial, North Star Benefits, LLC, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (Naperville), Rev. Arnold O. Pierson, Reliable Contracting & Equipment Co., Selden Fox, Ltd., Skender Foundation, and Rev. Nicholas J. Zook and Stephanie Daczyszyn.

Tickets are available at:

For more information contact:
Debra Pickett, Page 2 Communications 


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