Chicago, IL, May 27, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Citing their innumerable contributions to the city’s civic and charitable life, The Chicago Lighthouse saluted philanthropists Judy and Ray McCaskey with the agency’s prestigious “Beacon of Life Award” during its annual “Seeing What’s Possible” dinner on May 20th.
The glittering event, which took place at The Four Seasons Hotel, attracted over 520 well wishers and supporters while raising over $225,000 for Lighthouse programs to assist people who are blind or visually impaired.
Emceed by WGN sportscaster Rich King, the program featured special comments from broadcast legend Bill Kurtis who pointed out “the inspirational stories” that take place each day at the 104 year old social service agency while thanking the audience for their continued support.
A major theme for the night was a celebration of community partnership as both Board Chair William Conaghan and Executive Director Dr. Janet Szlyk noted that “it has been our friends in the community who have allowed the Lighthouse to not only survive, but thrive and grow during these tumultuous economic times.” The recipients of the agency’s Community Partner Awards had been honored at a separate breakfast in April.
In addition to saluting the McCaskeys, the dinner unveiled a brand new award named in honor of Dr. Jacob Bolotin, the world’s first totally blind physician who overcame considerable discrimination on the way to earning national and international accolades for his diagnostic abilities.
The first recipient of the Spirit of Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award was Paul W. Rink, who has been totally blind his whole life but went on to a distinguished career in law and state government. Recently, Rink, who is also a Lighthouse board member, retired from the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission after attaining many notable personal and professional achievements, including being the only member of his class at Loyola University Chicago who was blind yet he graduated with honors.
Also highlighting the event were performances from Vision Quest, the Lighthouse’s own group of talented musicians, and renowned jazz vocalist Amanda Hunt as well as the auctioning of prizes ranging from a special lunch package with Bill Kurtis at Harry Caray’s Restaurant to a vacation at a luxurious Jamaican resort.