Chicago’s Business Community Supports Children in Foster Care

On Wednesday, May 1, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois gathered its 2019 Luminaries, Dining & Conversation sponsor Sodexo, and other local business leaders at 210 Design House (Snaidero Chicago) for a Leadership Reception as a precursor event to its spring gala – Dining & Conversation, which supports the children it serves at its four Chicagoland locations.

SOS Illinois Board Member, Rama Dandamudi, and colleagues gather for a quick photo with Christian Bale and Star Jones at the Leadership Reception.

Entering into the 210 Design House showroom, guests were greeted by staff and mingled amidst a collection of some of the world’s most premier kitchen and home furnishing brands under one roof. Tim McCormick, CEO of SOS Illinois, introduced this year’s celebrity supporters in attendance at the reception, which included Christian Bale, Lou Canellis, David Eigenberg, Star Jones, Zach Filkins, and Dr. Stuart Strahl. They joined 40 business leaders from industries across Illinois to support the mission of SOS Illinois to strengthen families and transform lives.

Reception Host, Rama Dandamudi, Snaidero Chicago President, welcomed guests to the luncheon and thanked everyone for taking this time together in support of SOS Illinois. Michael Landers, Vice President, North America Schools at Sodexo, sponsor of Dining & Conversation, furthered the sentiment, “Our work here in Chicago and across the country, focusing on the quality of life, really contributes to the communities we serve, and that approach ties well with what we’re all about here at SOS Illinois.”

Christian Bale, a longtime supporter of SOS Illinois, has a quick chat and laugh with Tevin Marbeth, Star Jones, and other reception guests.

The Leadership Reception kicked off the day’s events, including a tour at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and Dining & Conversation, and #Voices4FosterCare month-long campaign to bring awareness to children in foster care.

Tevin Marbeth, an SOS Illinois Alumni and actor, who grew up at the Lockport Village with his seven siblings, said, “By sharing my story, I’m helping to raise awareness for children in foster care. I’m proud to lend my voice to ensuring other brothers and sisters have the same opportunity I did to grow up with their siblings with the support of SOS Illinois.” Tevin continued addressing the business leaders in the room, “Most important to me today, is your presence here, which shows you’re committed to lending your voice to children in foster care.”

Tevin Marbeth takes a moment to connect with guests at the Leadership Reception. Tevin offered brief remarks at the start of the reception about his time as a youth with SOS Illinois.

Jim Wolfe, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Board President, took a moment to thank Sodexo and the committed business leaders who have supported the work of SOS Illinois as it serves over 500 children each year.

Following remarks, reception attendees reconvened on the second floor of the showroom, where TWO Restaurant and Bar had three food stations for guests. The lunch menu focused on wholesome, seasonal ingredients that can be found at a local butchers, farms, markets or fisheries.

Fresh and expertly crafted dishes provided by the talented chefs at TWO Restaurant and Bar.

The Luncheon Reception was an amazing start to a wonderful day of events to help spread awareness of SOS Illinois and children in foster care. We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with the Chicago Business Community, which is helping us strengthen families and transform lives. With their support, we are building the future of foster care.

During Foster Care Awareness Month, and throughout the year, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Illinois a better place for children in foster care. By acknowledging Foster Parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections; we change the narrative of the child welfare system. SOS Illinois is proud to celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in care.

Read more about the evening’s event, Dining & Conversation, here.