Spread love to help community at benefit fundraisers

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, things are heating up in Hinsdale - especially where benefit fundraising events are concerned.

In thinking about all things pink-and-red-related, I would be remiss not to mention Misericordia Women's League's annual Heart of Gold Benefit, this year titled, "As Gold as It Gets." Since its inception in 1996, the Misericordia Women's League has hosted this benefit gala, which has grown to attract more than 650 guests. This year's sold-out "festive not fancy" event will be held on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Westin Hotel in Lombard.

I had heard of the Misericordia name and knew of its connection with the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, but I decided to look a little more closely at what exactly this organization does. While it is an official Catholic charity, its mission is to provide a community of care to all people - regardless of their faith tradition - who have mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged. Through a spectrum of residential options on its 37-acre Chicago campus, as well as a wide variety of programs in the area, Misericordia serves more than 600 children and adults residentially (as well as their families) from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. The hope is always that each resident can live as independently as possible in their community. Misericordia provides therapy, employment support, health and wellness programs and social and recreational activities to create a full life.

This year's event also honors two local women: Cathy Hofmann of Hinsdale and JoMarie Ferro of Oak Brook. These two longtime friends and supporters of Misericordia have earned the 2024 Heart of Gold Award for outstanding service to the Women's League.

Even though individual tickets are sold out, there are still ways to be involved, including sponsorships, advertising opportunities and split-the-pot raffle tickets. Or you could join the Women's League and connect with more than 180 women from around the western suburbs who share a passion for Misericordia's mission. Find out more at http://www.heartofgoldbenefit.org

Our four-legged friends

While "Heart of Gold" might be a longstanding tradition, the Hinsdale Humane Society will hold its relatively new event - "Unleashed" - from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Tuthill Family Pet Rescue & Resource Center, 21 Salt Creek Lane, Hinsdale.

This year, you're invited to attend either in-person or virtually. In-person guests ($100/ticket) will enjoy all of the elements of the gala - live music, cocktails, appetizers, dessert, live auction and more, as well as the opportunity to take a tour and meet the furry, four-legged friends who are waiting to be adopted. Online attendees can experience all of the animal stories and bid in a silent auction, among other activities, at no charge from 7 to 8 p.m.

You might know that the Hinsdale Humane Society started as a dog pound (the first humane society in DuPage County), and, after a colorful history (including being home to the famous Morris the Cat), now places hundreds of animals in their forever homes. But did you know that they offer a full suite of programs, including three different pet therapy programs (memory care patients, literacy promotion, hospital and hospice visits), behavioral dog training and youth programs (including birthday parties)? In the past week alone, I've seen posts from three different Hinsdale residents who have found lost dogs and taken them to the Hinsdale Humane Society. How lucky are we to live in an area with this resource in our own backyard! For more information about "Unleashed" or other ways to get involved check out http://www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org.

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