35th Annual Blossom Gala Celebrates 50 Years of Orchard Village

In May nearly 200 guests gathered at the Loews Hotel in Chicago for the 35th Annual Blossom Gala. The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction. Guests then entered the flower-filled ballroom for a champagne toast, led by Steven Witz, chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee, to celebrate Orchard Village’s 50th birthday. Gala Chairman, Doug Miller, then welcomed guests and introduced his daughter who receives services through Orchard Village.

The evening included highlights of people who have devoted so much time and energy to Orchard Village including Donna and Leonard Ossorio who were honored as outstanding volunteers for their work with the Orchard Village Auxiliary and their volunteer support of many client events and galas. Donna and Gary Pleason were also recognized as family members who have contributed so much to our gala’s success over the years– including creating the “Make A House A Home” appeal. Former Orchard Village employee Jack McAllister Sr. was honored too for helping lay a solid foundation for the Development Department at Orchard Village.

Paul Sievert paid tribute to his late wife, Ilene Sievert, with a special gift to the “Here We Grow Campaign”. Orchard Village’s farm garden will be named in Ilene’s honor. Orchard Village President & CEO, Susan Kaufman welcomed guests and provided an overview of the new “Here We Grow” Campaign. Funds raised during this campaign will be used to renovate the recently acquired 7,000-square-foot building which will be home to expanded day programs and a new behavioral health clinic. Funds will also allow for renovations of two new residential homes. Stephen Green, President of the Board, greeted the audience and announced that the campaign has already raised $1.5 million toward its $2.2 million goal.

Board Member Robin Robinson emceed the event wonderfully. The evening’s festivities, including our “Make a House a Home” appeal, raised more than $175,000 that will support client and organizational needs as well as renovations to our homes.

To learn more about the “Here We Grow” Campaign, please contact, Joseph Like, Vice President of Development, at joseph_like@orchardvillage.org or 847-583-7734.

Please save the date of Saturday, April 29, 2023, for our 36th Annual Blossom Gala at Loews Chicago O’hare.