The Giant Steps family is overwhelmed with gratitude after a successful charity gala this weekend. Approximately $225,000 was raised at the 21st annual Giant Steps charity auction, which was held Friday evening at Bobak's Signature Room in Woodridge, IL.
This year's theme was "Giant Steps Derby: Race to the Future" and it proved to be a very fitting theme. Numerous attendees donated to the cause to help support some of the school's newest endeavors, including the equine therapy program and the inclusion of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art + Design, Math) lab in Giant Steps' day school.
"We couldn't be more thankful to all the people that came out in support. Every year parents, board members and people in the community continue to amaze us with their generosity," said Giant Steps Executive Director Dr. Sylvia Smith. "The money raised at the charity gala will go directly to both existing programs we offer and new programs in development. Through these donations each and every one of our students will be positively impacted."
The annual charity auction serves as a pillar fundraising event for Giant Steps. This year's proceeds will go toward closing the approximately $1.2 million funding gap for providing excellent service and specialized supports needed by our unique population. For over two decades, Giant Steps has relied on the generosity of the communities it serves to help defray operational costs through the charity auction's contributions.
"The gala would not have been successful without all the incredible community members who help support the event and the cause. Each person played a vital role. We had staff who helped throughout the planning process. The Darien Lions Club came out in support by helping clean up at the end of the night. Then there were all the local businesses and organizations that donated items for the auction," said Lisa Ewers, Giant Steps director of development, who planned this year's gala.
"We also had numerous media groups who shared the word about the gala. We did interviews on Fox 32 Chicago and Star 96.7. WLUP – The Loop radio station donated a gift basket and did a public service announcement about the gala. Showbiz Shelly from B96 wrote an article on her website. Everywhere we turned it seemed like someone in the media wanted to help in the cause," Ewers added.
To stay up to date on the progress of both the equine therapy program and the STEAM room construction visit www.mygiantsteps.org.