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Giving Hope: Oktoberfest raises $70,000 to help low-income, working families

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

On Sunday, October 15, 2023, FamilyForward hosted Giving Hope: Oktoberfest, its most successful fundraising event ever, raising more than $70,000 to empower low-income, working families across the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

On Sunday, October 15, FamilyForward hosted its most successful Giving Hope annual fundraising event ever. This year’s event highlighted the 20th anniversary of FamilyForward (originally known as Faith Community Homes) and featured an Oktoberfest theme. Attendees gathered for a festive luncheon at Chevy Chase Country Club, Wheeling, for Giving Hope: Oktoberfest, and in the process raised more than $70,000 to empower low-income, working families across the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Giving Hope: Oktoberfest included a silent auction and raffle; a gourmet lunch buffet and cash bar with German beer selections; an entertaining oompah band, Die Musikmeisters Band; and a live appeal to raise funds for families. The day also included a spirited live auction for a special boat cruise on Lake Michigan.

One program highlight was the deeply moving and inspirational testimony from a single parent who recently completed the intensive two-year family program at FamilyForward. The parent shared her story of rising above overwhelming challenges to find financial independence and stability, thanks to the consistent support, knowledgeable guidance, and caring encouragement she received from her volunteer mentors and the professional staff at FamilyForward.

Erica Chianelli, executive director, reflected on the experience: “Hearing this family story and others like it enables a deeper understanding of the strength and commitment of our family program participants. Their work to overcome such difficult challenges to build a better life for their children is truly awe-inspiring. This cannot be accomplished without the dedicated generosity and partnership of all our supporters and community partners.”

This year’s Giving Hope fundraiser was even more vital during these tough economic times as client families continue to face struggles only aggravated by ongoing inflation and the ever-rising costs of rental housing and childcare. “Giving Hope: Oktoberfest was a wonderful celebration to help us say “Cheers to 20 Years!” said Tim Wayman, chair of the FamilyForward board of directors.


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