Better Boys Foundation (BBF) "Fights" for North Lawndale Kids

Better Boys Foundation (BBF) “Fights” for North Lawndale Kids at 5th Annual Gala Fundaraiser.

Chicago, IL, May 07, 2008 --( The Better Boys Foundation (BBF), a 47-year old Chicago non-profit agency serving the west side community of North Lawndale, is warming up for its annual gala fundraiser—Friday Night Fights.

Three hundred and fifty guests are expected to attend this year's event, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 16, 2008, in the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel (163 East Walton Place, in Chicago's Gold Coast) from 6:30pm to 12:00 midnight. Mistress and Master of Ceremonies, CBS2 Chicago weekend morning co-anchors Suzanne LeMignot and Michael Puccinelli, will welcome guests to a black tie evening featuring cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, silent and live auctions (with auctioneer Steve Good), dinner and music by Julia Huff, a raffle drawing, and the evening's signature event, Golden Gloves boxing. A Late Night Cabaret is also scheduled in the Knickerbocker's upstairs lounge from 11:30pm to 1:30am.

Friday Night Fights is BBF's signature fundraising event. BBF Board Member and Gala Co-Chair Vonita Reescer is spearheading the Friday Night Fights 2008 effort. “Much work is going into Friday Night Fights,” said Reescer, “as its success will benefit BBF and the academic, recreational and cultural programs it delivers to children living in one of Chicago’s most socio-economically at risk communities. We’re ensuring success through launch of a different kind of event—an elegant evening affair, modern and sophisticated, yet reminiscent of 1950s black-tie boxing events. It is going to be a very special evening that will benefit a very special charity.”

BBF has served thousands of young people since its founding in 1961 by Joseph Kellman, former President/CEO of Globe Glass and Mirror and a North Lawndale native. Originally an after-school boxing club for boys, BBF has evolved over the years into a multi-leveled youth development agency serving more than 800 young people (more than half of whom are now girls) each year through licensed child welfare services, out-of-school time programming for children in elementary and high school, and a college scholarships program that has sent hundreds of North Lawndale youth to college, including such Chicago notables as former Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott, current Chicago Board of Education President Rufus Williams, and Illinois State Representative Arthur Turner.

Friday Night Fights 2008 coincides with a significant milestone in BBF’s long history of service. In December 2007, the agency moved into a beautiful new facility built by the Joseph Kellman Family Foundation on the original BBF site at 15th Street and Pulaski Road. “It is has been a very exciting year for everyone at BBF, “said BBF Executive Vice President Troy Ratliff. “The size and resources of our new home are allowing us to reach even more boys and girls and to enhance programming to serve them in more innovative ways. The dynamism of this year’s Friday Night Fights gala really reflects the direction in which BBF is moving.”

The event’s executive and honorary committees (which include Ms. Reescer, Michael Foster, Pamela Blackman and former Illinois Boxing Commissioner Phil Siegel) hope to raise significant funds through the event to offset the cost of general operations at the new building and to support the many exciting new programming components—a daily homework center, music lessons, dance classes, book clubs, photography workshops, a film studies group and a new one-to-one mentoring initiative—launched since relocation to the new Center.


For information on BBF and/or to purchase tickets to Friday Night Fights, contact Mary Visconti at 773-542.7307 or

Contact Person: Mary Visconti
Company Name: Better Boys Foundation
Telephone Number: 773.542.7307
Email Address:
Web Site Address:
Marketing and Event Management
Joanne Klee