2009 Amicus Certus ("True Friend") Gala Honors The Women's Network -- Scrapbook

On November 7, 225 guests at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois’ (LSSI) 2009 Amicus Certus (“True Friend”) Gala had the opportunity to “walk on the wild side” at the annual event, which was held at the Brookfield Zoo. The guests – many wearing “safari chic” apparel and accessories – enjoyed cocktails in The Swamp House, as well as dinner at the zoo’s Discovery Center. Gala Co-Chairs were Tori Arthofer (Naperville), Marilyn Howard (Lake in the Hills) and Nancy Nagel (Winnetka). Former LSSI president, the Rev. Dr. Donald Hallberg, served as auctioneer.

The event honored The Women’s Network of LSSI for its long-term commitment to supporting the statewide Des Plaines-based social service agency’s mission and services. The Rev. Denver Bitner, LSSI president, presented each of the founding members of the organization with a special award for their foresight in creating the Network in 1983 and for their continuing support.

With her characteristic enthusiasm, founding member Jody Hedberg gave the keynote speech, recounting how The Women’s Network came to be. She says, “The Women’s Network is Christian women caring for others, and as their work continues it does mean, ‘Somewhere, somehow, someone’s life is better because we all cared.’ That is what it is all about: caring for others and following the Lord’s commandment to love each other and feed His sheep as he asked us to do.”

The Women’s Network was created after the first Amicus Certus dinner in order to continue the event on an annual basis. Today, the group supports and strengthens LSSI’s mission through education, fundraising and advocacy, thanks to the more than 80 women from metropolitan Chicago and other communities around the state who collectively use their skills and passion to further the agency’s work of serving people in need. In addition to organizing and hosting the Amicus Certus Gala, The Women’s Network also sponsors a Spring Fashion Show. Over the past 27 years, the combined result of these two events has raised more than $2.5 million for LSSI programs.

This year’s Gala raised more than $90,000 for LSSI’s counseling, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, as well as programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

The Amicus Certus Award is given to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the human community.

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