Back by popular demand, our 2nd annual Brunching for Babies was held December 8th, 2019. We are thrilled to report that we brought in approximately $6,300 this year in net event proceeds, a huge 26% increase over last year!!!
Just like last year, it was important for our brunch to be family friendly. December is not only one of the most charitable months of the year, it is also the busiest! Everyone has a full calendar, so we wanted to ensure this was something the adults would enjoy and that they did not have to worry about entertaining their children too.
While we kept many things the same as last year, we made a couple changes. The first, coffee (duh)! No brunch is complete without coffee. Guests enjoyed sipping on mimosas and for our extra thirsty guests we also had Irish coffee available. A huge shout out and thank you to Meghan Gilbert for managing the bar to ensure all our guests had enough coffee and bubbly.
For a second year in a row Chef Theo has generously donated his time to our charity, allowing us to keep our costs down and our funds going to our mission. Aside from being one of the nicest and most giving people we know, his cuisine is second to none. If you ever dined at Terragusto or Ripasso, you know how amazing this man is with Italian cuisine.
This year guests enjoyed sformato, savory crepes, maple french toast, hashbrowns, and more.
Bigger and better entertainment thanks to our big sponsor!
Due to some bigger sponsor donors, such as Katten, we were able to hire entertainment that we otherwise would not have been able to afford. Santa Claus came all the way from the North Pole for pictures, and the kids were especially stoked to see him and personally tell him their Christmas wishes. Kids of all ages also loved the magic of Mike O'Donnell. He performed roving magic to keep the kids engaged, followed by an hour long performance at the end of our event.
We want to keep this event fresh and exciting every year, so we're looking into adding or rotating live entertainment to include music a music performance, face painting, or other options for future events. We'd love your opinion and suggestions so please let us know in the comments below!
Our HIE community is expanding!
The most exciting moment from our first brunch fundraiser was seeing new HIE families come together for a common cause. What was even more exciting and rewarding was the increase in families attending who have been impacted by or are involved within the HIE community. Seeing the positive impact we can have for HIE babies and their families is all the motivation we need to keep doing what we're doing.
A few changes that we made
While last year’s event was a hit, we learned some lessons that we applied this year to good effect. As mentioned before, we corrected last year's coffee oversight. Second, we expanded the entertainment and activity options for kids. We brought in some building-oriented toys, blocks, crayons, and coloring books, as well as first-rate programming playing on multiple screens including The Grinch, Frozen, Coco, and Elf. Finally, we modified the bar options to include an Irish coffee in addition to mimosas, and simplified pricing, both of which proved to be popular and generated more sales than last year.
Proceeds and funding
Proceeds from this years brunch will go to Anne & Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago to purchase transport cooling equipment. This equipment is used to cool HIE babies while in transit from a hospital (birthing center or other location) without cooling equipment to a NICU that is equipped for cooling. This will be critical to shortening the time between birth and cooling for babies born at facilities that lack cooling infrastructure.
Thank You Sponsors!!!
Our raffle was bigger and better this year, with a combination of repeat donors and many new ones. We would like to give a shout out and thank ALL of our generous sponsors who helped make Brunching for Babies such an impactful event. With the help of our generous sponsors our raffle raised a total of $2,300!
We also want to give special thanks to Leona Less, without whom this event would not have turned out as well as it did. She's also been an important part of promoting some of our other events and giving our upcoming NICU care packages a personal touch.
We're grateful that our second event was such a success. We will be hosting another Brunching for Babies fundraiser the first weekend in December 2020 and hope to see you all there!
All our love,
The Arciero Family