The Wood Family Foundation Runs Wild!

 It was a magical evening at Morgan Manufacturing (401 N. Morgan) when Sarah and Kerry Wood hosted their third annual “Storybook Gala” on Friday, September 22 raising $500,000 for the Wood Family Foundation’s (WFF) youth mentoring program, Pitch In.

“We are beyond thankful and cherish the love and support from our friends and new supporters,” said Kerry, former Chicago Cubs pitcher and founder of the Wood Family Foundation. “This year was truly special and inspiring, we’re still in awe. Now it’s time to impact some lives and continue our journey.”

With over 350 guests in attendance, the Storybook Gala is the Wood Family Foundation’s premier event. Each year, the Gala takes on the theme of a classic children’s storybook. 2017 embodied the theme “Run Wild,” based on the popular Rudyard Kipling classic “The Jungle Book.” Guests were wowed by Revel Decor’s transformation of Morgan MFG as a reinterpretation of the Indian jungle; complete with decadent florals, fire breathers, Bollywood dancers, and tropical cuisine. Emceed by Golden Globe and Emmy nominated writer and actress, Bonnie Hunt, the Gala featured a premium cocktail hour, formal dinner, eclectic entertainment, live auction and paddle raise.

“After an incredible appearance, her (Bonnie Hunt) natural charisma, humor, and charm were on display,” mentioned Kerry. “We were honored she shared her birthday with us to help benefit our youth!”

This year’s recipient of the Pitch In for Excellence award was longtime WFF advocate Laura Ferris Anderson, Managing Director and Head of Industry and Innovation at JP Morgan Chase. “In 2011, Laura joined our Board of Directors, as one its founding members,” said Sarah Wood, co-founder of the Wood Family Foundation. “She has championed various campaigns for WFF, going above and beyond our expectations as a driving force in the strategy and creation of our Pitch In mentoring program in 2014.”

Notable guests included Chicago Cubs owner and former Pitch In for Excellence Award nominee Tom Ricketts, Cinespace Film Studios President Alex Pissios, Grammy nominated writer and producer DJ White Shadow, Conagra Brands Senior Vice President and CCO Jon Harris, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group President Grant DePorter, Sloan Valve Executive Chairman Chuck Allen, Sloan Valve Co-CEO Graham Allen, Grammy Award winner and Sloan Valve Co-CEO Jim Allen, Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Advisor John Ver Bockel, Vertiport Chicago’s Matthew Dillig, and BH Consulting CEO Beth Heller.

David Goodman served as the auctioneer for the live auction. Guests had an opportunity to participate in the live bid for an exclusive day at Wrigley Field with Kerry, including throwing the first pitch and joining Wood in the press box for the 7th Inning Stretch. Other items included private escape to Bunker Hill Farms and Bali, as well as an opportunity to join celebrities at the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards in New York City.

“The city is going through an extremely tough trial right now, it’s easy to get lost in all the negativity,” mentioned Sarah Wood, co-founder of the Wood Family Foundation. “It’s our hope we can be a light in North Lawndale and truly make an impact on our precious families. They need hope and restoration, and we’re thankful for everyone who joined us in our mission to serve!”

 

 

 

For sponsorship and partnership information, please contact Mike Bruce at mike@woodfamilyfoundation.org

Proceeds from the Storybook Gala allow WFF an opportunity to continue to step up to the plate for Chicagoland youth.