Derby Day Party a trifecta of aid for families in need

The Hinsdale Auxiliary of the Children's Home + Aid Society has made America's run for the roses synonymous with empowerment through its trifecta of commitment to provide care and support to children and families in need at home, in the classroom and in the community.

Now in its 67th year, the Hinsdale Auxiliary's Derby Day Party raises vital funds to help the 30,000 who turn to the more than a century-old nonprofit each year. For Natalie Ryan, who is co-chairing the event with Anna Fiascone, the auxiliary's fundraising efforts empower families firsthand by providing them with access to essentials like diapers and formula or by enabling families to shop on their own through the organization's coat/warm weather gear and holiday gift card drives.

"As the leading children and family service provider within the state of Illinois, Children's Home + Aid keeps families together by making sure parents and foster parents have everything they need," Ryan said.

Ryan believes that around the holidays it's the teenagers who often are left out, as they have aged out of the traditional toy drive staples like Legos and Barbies. Because of this, the auxiliary gifts every teen client with a $25 gift card to a retailer like Target or Best Buy to spend during the holiday season.

"Teens are forgotten since they typically no longer play with toys," said Ryan. "The holiday gift card drive empowers them to feel good about holiday shopping for themselves and their families."

This year's Derby Day Party, which is the auxiliary's largest fundraiser, will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Hinsdale Golf Club in Clarendon Hills. Guests can enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while viewing the race when they arrive. Festivities will continue with dinner, dancing, a live auction and more.

To purchase tickets, which are $175 per person, please visit

Kitchen Walk: Design Matters

This year's Hinsdale Historical Society Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk hopes to bridge the gap between old and new through design at this year's event, titled "Design Matters."

"You can take any home and if you implement good design, it will make that home amazing," said Kitchen Walk Co-chair Diana Wagenbach, whose own Hinsdale home will be one of the five featured on the walk. "We also really wanted to highlight the breadth of design so that the walk can be truly aspirational."

Each of the five homes will feature the work of its designer - in Wagenbach's case, herself. While touring the first floors of each home, Kitchen Walk attendees, who typically number more than 1,200 annually, can expect to see design trends including bright colors and patterns, luxe aesthetics and minimalist decor.

Wagenbach shared her excitement on a new twist this year. Historic Immanuel Hall will double as The Kitchen Walk Pop-Up Shop, thoughtfully decorated throughout to transform the space. Guests will have the opportunity to shop from local vendors and stores in keeping with the event's ode to Mother's Day.

The Kitchen Walk has served as a mainstay fundraiser for the Hinsdale Historical Society for almost 30 years. Funds raised help continue to provide educational programing and to preserve and maintain three historic properties in the village: The Hinsdale History Museum, The R. Harold Zook Home & Studio and Immanuel Hall. In addition, the Hinsdale Historical Society maintains the Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center, which serves as an archival resource for Hinsdale heritage.

"The Kitchen Walk's overall (fundraising) goal is to make our operating budget and have additional funds for our Zook capital campaign," said Carrie Rozich, historical society president. "We have a campaign for the R. Harold Zook Home & Studio restoration. The goal is approximately $1 million. Each year we target a defined percentage from the walk and designate it to this campaign."

To purchase tickets, at $60 per person, please visit Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the event for $75 per person at Immanuel Hall, 302 S. Grant St.

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