Sold Out Chicago Celebrates Service -- 2010 Jefferson Awards Gala Dinner Was A Super Night For Service
On November 5, 2010, Chicago celebrated service at the Second Annual Chicago Celebrates Service – Jefferson Awards Gala. This service star-studded evening was completely sold out as scores of Chicagoans celebrated the great American and Chicago tradition of volunteering and service and honored the 2010 Chicago Jefferson Award winners.
The gala was held at Roosevelt University at the library providing a terrific view of Chicago’s beautiful lakefront and Buckingham Fountain. Guests enjoyed cocktails and first-rate spirits thanks to Diageo and delicious hors d’oeuvres and a fabulous dinner thanks to ARAMARK. The cocktail hour was accented nicely by the Heroes in Action presentation in the background and tributes to this year’s honorees.
Our mistress of ceremony – the beautiful and eloquent Zoraida Sambolin of NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago – set the tone for the evening with her touching comments, and heartfelt sentiments, and spirit of service. Our thanks to Zoraida for shining the light on the superstars of service and making the evening so special!
The Chicago Blackhawks were out in force as we honored 2010 Jefferson Award Winner Rocky Wirtz and Chicago Blackhawk Charities. Congratulations to Mr. Wirtz – not only for electrifying the City of Chicago, but for his tremendous contributions to charity and the great work of Chicago Blackhawk Charities. Special thanks to Pete Hassen, Senior Director Marketing, Advertising, and Community Affairs, Chicago Blackhawks.
Congratulations to 2010 Jefferson Awards Winner Erin Vaughan, Vice President of External Affairs, ARAMARK on her fabulous work! Erin’s husband James and daughter Emily were on hand as were many of the beneficiaries of Erin’s good deeds. Her son, Ty, stole the show when he surprised Erin with some touching comments before she accepted her award.
Congratulations to 2010 Chicago Professional Athlete Superstar of Service Ron Kittle. Apart from being a White Sox legend, Ron has a tremendous legacy of service and charity that continues to grow. Ron’s daughter, Hayley, and son, Dillon, were on hand as were numerous members of the Chicago White Sox organization to support Ron and the Jefferson Awards. Everyone was delighted to meet the Kittles, to get pictures and autographs, and at least one young lady got to put on the 2005 Chicago White Sox World Series Championship ring!
The room was full of angels as Jonny Imerman, founder of Imerman Angels, accepted his 2010 Chicago Jefferson Award. No one was prouder of Jonny than his mother Jane and brother Jeff. Zoraida presided over the ceremonies in a gracious and touching way. Dinner Co-Chairs Charlene McMann (a Jefferson Award Winner in her own right) and Scott Seaman (members of the Jefferson Awards National Board of Selectors and Co-Chairs of Jefferson Awards Chicago) provided some opening comments and presented the awards along with Sam Beard, who founded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in 1972 with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. to create a Nobel Prize for Public Service.
In addition to Charlene and Scott, speakers and presenters included Lisa Aprati (anchor and producer), Christine O’Reilly (Executive Director, Chicago White Sox Charities) – herself a superstar of service – Debra Olson (DuPage County Board Member), Robert Ford (Jefferson Awards Executive Director), and Sam Beard (President and Founder of the Jefferson Awards). Sam provided some background on the prestige and history of the Jefferson Awards as well as some insights on where the Jefferson Awards are heading. Among Sam’s many accomplishments, Sam worked with Robert Kennedy, founded and chairs the National Development Council (which is responsible for over $100 billion in revitalization financing and creating over one million jobs), and has led presidential programs for seven United States Presidents.
Jenne Myers, Chief Service Officer of the City of Chicago, was on hand representing Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago.
“Students In Action” – the Jefferson Awards’ high school leadership program, which is training America’s future leaders and passing the tradition of volunteering on to the next generation, is now in 50 Chicago area schools.
We announced the Jefferson Awards Youth Service Challenge – which was launched last month – to engage 1 million students from kindergarten through college in volunteer projects focusing on food and hunger, health and wellness, and the environment. Ron Kittle was so impressed with the Jefferson Awards youth programming that he agreed to participate. The atmosphere was supercharged from beginning to end as Roosevelt University was jam packed with energetic individuals and companies committed to making Chicago and the world a better place.
Thanks to all of the attendees, supporters, and sponsors for making the evening so special!
To the Superstars of Service – Jefferson Award Winners Rocky Wirtz, Erin Vaughan, and Jonny Imerman, the student leaders (including 2010 Chicago Regional Champions Adlai E. Stevenson High School), the business champions, and the 2010 Chicago Professional Athlete Superstar of Service Ron Kittle – congratulations and thank you for your service!
View the 2010 Chicago Celebrates Service Jefferson Awards Gala Video
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