Holiday Ball organizers gift ornaments to give thanks

A six point snowflake holiday ornament, which now adorns the trees of The Community House Holiday Ball's friends and supporters, has become a symbol of hope and thanksgiving during this pandemic.

In lieu of hosting its annual Holiday Ball - the unofficial start of the holiday season for so many in Hinsdale and the largest fundraising event for The Community House - the organization presented steadfast donors and supporters with a surprise gift, acknowledging their commitment to the nonprofit and its work to provide vital services to the young and old alike.

"The Community House plays such an important role in people's lives that it was fun to not only help raise funds, but also to create a unique gift to be able to share with past Holiday Ball attendees," said Laura Kendall, who is co-chairing this year's fundraising drive with her husband, Bob, as well as Jennifer and Flip Templeton and Jill and Jason Sunderson. "The ornament was custom-made to reflect the different programs and services that The Community House offers."

According to Jill Sunderson, their goal was to deliver supporters a lasting and festive gift as a thank you to past donors and to encourage donations in the absence of the Holiday Ball. The event traditionally has generated more than 40 percent of the organization's annual revenue and is the single largest fundraising event each year.

"The Community House does not receive tax support and fundraising is a huge part of keeping the doors open," Sunderson said. "With programs being paused or limited, fundraising events being canceled and facility usage extremely limited by COVID restrictions, the Holiday Ball fundraising efforts were extremely important."

More than 400 guests attended last year's Holiday Ball, a Scandinavian holiday themed black tie event planned by Kristina Taheri Special Events. The event netted $145,000 to support The Community House's mission of providing community recreation and quality social services to people of all ages and walks of life.

"We're hoping that each year people pull this ornament out of storage and just for a moment are reminded how much The Community House impacted their families throughout the year," Kendall said.

To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit

Wine For Zook

The Hinsdale Historical Society will hold a virtual wine pull to raise funds for the restoration of the Zook Home & Studio at Katherine

Legge Memorial Park.

From Friday, Dec. 11, through Thursday, Dec. 17, supporters are encouraged to go online to purchase draws in a wine pull or lot, with pricing at $35 for one bottle, $90 for three, $150 for six or $250 for 12. All wines are sourced by a veteran wine curator.

A premium bottle of red might be a French bordeaux or a malbec from Argentina. One lucky buyer may select the Trophy Wine, a 2013 Smith Madrone Estate Reserve cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley with a retail value of $225.

Historical Society volunteers will distribute the wine via a drive through from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at Immanuel Hall. For those who may be out of town, wine will be held for pick up at a later date.

To purchase wine, please visit

- Alexis Braden of Hinsdale is the paper's society columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].