On June 4th, St. Leonard’s Ministries celebrated Finding Freedom. Over 120 guests gathered at Galleria Marchetti on Chicago’s near west side to hear residents’ poetry, share second chance success stories, and build a stronger St. Leonard’s Ministries’ financial future. The gala also recognized its sponsor Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group.
Guests enjoyed mouthwatering hors d’oeuvre and the opportunity to bid on exciting silent auction items. Lucky guests walked away with vacations at cottages in Nova Scotia and Michigan, theater ticket packages, and Cubs tickets. Thanks to all of this activity, St. Leonard’s exceeded their fundraising goals providing essential funding for the men and women served.
The event spotlighted St. Leonard’s poetry book Finding Freedom which is scheduled to be released in September. Recently retired Executive Director Bob Dougherty introduced the book to event attendees. The project began seven years ago when volunteer Brandon Crockett started teaching a poetry class with St. Leonard’s House residents. As the class became more popular, he expanded participation to women at Grace House. Over the years, residents have written hundreds of poems.
Earlier this year, Brandon reached out to Sandro Miller, a world famous Chicago photographer. Sandro agreed to take portraits which will be placed next to resident poems. Residents appreciate Sandro’s passion for his work and the once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a book. To preview the pictures and read the poems, visit: www.findingfreedombook.com
If you were unable to join us at the benefit, there is still time to support St. Leonard’s critical services. This is an especially significant time because of the budget crisis in Springfield. Because government leaders are unable to agree on a state budget, nonprofits will not receive any revenue including contractual funding after July 1st. In addition, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, all donations above past years’ support will be matched. To donate, visit our donation section at: http://slministries.org/donations/