Our second fundraising event, "Brunching for Babies", was held on December 9th, 2018. We weren't sure what direction to take for our second fundraising event, but we knew we wanted to have an event in December (the most magical time of year), where different kinds of people could come together and spread the cheer of the season, while also helping our HIE babies and their families.
Originally, we thought of having a gala (which we still might do in the future), but we wanted families to be able to come with their children, so we thought, "why not make this an adult and family friendly affair" - after all we're doing this for families and babies right? This lead us to think that a brunch was the right way to go, while incorporating child-friendly entertainment like Santa Claus and a magic show performed by the well known Danny Orleans!
Brunching for Babies raised a total of $5000! $2000 was from net event proceeds and raffle tickets while another $3000 was donated by people who could not attend but wanted to support our efforts. Our event sold out, with ~70 adults and ~35 kids attending!
Just like our Blowouts event, families from all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs attended. About half of our guests and supporters were people we didn't know or had just met and wanted to support HIE babies and their families. For us, the most memorable part of the fundraiser was when an entire family attended (grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and siblings) with their 5 year old daughter, who was born with HIE, received cooling treatment, and had a very similar story to Leah. Having this family attend warmed our hearts and reconfirmed why our efforts matter, and for that we are incredibly grateful.
Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to hire entertainment that we otherwise would not have been able to afford. Entertainment was an essential component to this fundraiser being such a success!
Santa Claus came all the way from the North Pole for pictures, the kids were especially stoked to see him and personally tell him what they wanted for Christmas.
The kids and adults thoroughly enjoyed the magic show performed by the famous Danny Orleans! For an entire hour Danny had our guests in awe with top hats, wiggly magic, and even making a dove appear out of thin air! His magic show was so popular we will be incorporating him into future fundraising events.
Guests weren't sure what was better, the entertainment or the food. Executive Chef Theodore Gilbert graciously donated his time and put his fantastic chef skills to good use.
To help keep our costs down, the Gilberts only charged us for the food, enabling us to save on labor. The entire family (including two of their kids) pitched in to help.
Guests munched on sformato topped with truffles and prosciutto, whipped salmon crostini, maple french toast, hashbrowns, and more.
The Gilbert's have become a second family to us over the past several years. As fans of Italian cuisine, we originally met Theo from dining at Terragusto, a restaurant he owned and managed. His private dining & catering business has long been a hit with us and many others in the city.
Guest sipped mimosas upon arrival and enjoyed our Polar'ita speciality cocktail, made possible by a generous donation from our good friends at FINO tequila.
Funds generated from this event are going directly towards our Hugs & Hope care packages that will be delivered to HIE NICU families. For more info on our initiatives and to learn about our Hugs & Hope care packages please click here.
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.
We're grateful that our second event was such a success; people from all walks of life came together and we can't wait to do it again. We will be hosting another Brunching for Babies fundraiser sometime in December 2019 and hope to see you all there!
All our love,
The Arciero Family