Turning Green to Gold is goal for Misericordia

Patty Burke has worn many hats over her nearly two decades of service to the Misericordia Women's League, including serving as benefit chair and league president. However, this year might just be her greatest role, as she and husband Ed have been selected as the nonprofit's 2023 Heart of Gold recipients.

Burke's devotion to Misericordia started as a way to give back to the organization that she says "takes care of God's most vulnerable children" including her husband's cousin, a long-time Misericordia resident.

"Misericordia has been an amazing gift to my husband's family for almost 40 years," Burke said. "If you have not been to the Misericordia campus, I recommend you visit and take a tour. You will be humbled by this amazing, happy place."

Burke gives credit to Misericordia's mainstay and devoted leader Sister Rosemary as well as Lois Gates, Father Jack and their team at Misericordia, who have served as champions for the more than 600 children and adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The 31-acre Misericordia campus in Chicago serves not only as a home, but offers programming and care to its diverse residents.

The Heart of Gold benefit, the Misericordia's Women's League's largest annual fundraiser, will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook Hotel. With this year's theme "Turning Green to Gold - St. Paddy's Day Celebration," event organizers aim to raise much-needed funds for expansion.

"Plans are continually being developed to expand and grow," said Cathy Murphy, who is co-chairing the event with Amy Allegra and Stephanie Clark. "New residences, new services, new facilities and new programs are forever being considered, all in an effort to better the lives of those who currently live at Misericordia and those who will live there in the future."

Development is underway to build houses on the 3.5 acre property to the south of the main campus on Thome Avenue Murphy added. This property will allow Misericordia to reach out to many of the families on its wait list.

Over the past 26 years, the league has raised more than $8 million for Misericordia. Just last year, the event raised almost $1 million.

Guests will enjoy dinner, dancing as well as live performances by the Strawdawg band, the Misericordia Heartbreakers, Onórach Mulhern Geraghty Irish Dancers and the Shannon Irish Rovers.

To purchase tickets, which are $250 a person through Feb. 23, then $275, please visit http://www.heartofgoldbenefit.org.

Deco at the Drake

The Hinsdale Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago's Tablescapes "Deco at the Drake" will take place at a new location this year - one that is a nod to its 1920s Arts Décoratifs theme.

Hinsdale Auxiliary President Laura Preusser, along with benefit co-chairs Linda Davis and Melissa Goebel, chose this year's theme to celebrate and honor the city of Chicago, which Preusser thought visualizes this classic art deco style. A century ago, Chicago's The Drake Hotel was the epitome of this movement, so it was natural for the nonprofit to choose its sister location in Oak Brook to serve as this year's event venue.

More than 400 people are expected to attend Tablescapes, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 12 at The Drake Hotel Oak Brook. The primary fundraising event for the Hinsdale Auxiliary, the luncheon will feature six tablescapes, harking back to the Gatsby Age, including "Speak Easy to Me," "Puttin' on the Ritz" and "Age of Hollywood." All six tables will be auctioned off during the raffle program of the event.

Guests will enjoy a three-course lunch, live music, shopping from more than 20 local boutiques and a silent auction. More importantly, the event's goal is to raise nearly $150,000, with all proceeds benefiting the Angel Harvey Infant Welfare Society of Chicago Community Health Center.

Tickets are $150 a person. To purchase or for more for information on how to support Tablescapes, please visit http://www.hinsdaleiws.com.

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