Volunteering has provided resident key to community

After five moves, Kassandra Fisher and her family settled down in Hinsdale in 2018 to put down lasting roots. She quickly sought out service opportunities to connect with her new neighbors.

"The best way to meet people is just to jump right in and get involved," Fisher said.

She accepted an invitation to attend Tablescapes, the annual fundraiser put on by the Infant Welfare Society-Hinsdale Auxiliary. She went away not only introduced to network of like-minded ladies but also to a cause that touched her heart.

"I was just so impressed with the event," Fisher said. "Once I learned more about Infant Welfare, then I just thought this is not only a great event but such a great organization."

Installed as IWS-Hinsdale Auxiliary's president last June, Fisher is now leading the 2024 edition of the benefit, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at The Drake Oak Brook (see Page 20 for details). Past attendees accustomed to competing for one of 10 or so distinctive table settings, however, are in for a fresh approach next month, she revealed.

"This year there's only one table that has place settings," Fisher said.

Instead, this year's "Ooh La La"-themed event features fewer tables but more items to use in entertaining. Fisher said the idea was to make it more experience-driven.

"One of the tables comes with a deejay, one comes with wine tasting," she explained. "That was our way to be a little innovative this year."

All the proceeds from the event support the Angel Harvey Family Health Center in Logan Square.

"(IWS) started as just infants, but now it's providing medical services for entire families," Fisher said. "They provide every health care service you can imagine. They're about to open a pharmacy so patrons there don't have to go somewhere else."

She recalled her first visit to the center reinforcing the importance of the auxiliary's philanthropic work.

"Once you walk in, you're like, 'This is why we do this!' You can really see where all of our fundraising dollars go, and we know that that money is put to such great use," Fisher said.

She also has come to appreciate the way each volunteer's talents contribute to making Tablescapes a highlight of the calendar.

"I think everyone in our group has something different to offer," she said. "I love seeing that come together."

Visitors can enjoy vendor shopping and food tastings from local restaurants, as well.

Fisher said her family has found a true home in Hinsdale - and even became devotees of paddle tennis.

"When we first got her we were like, 'What's going on in those cages?' " she recounted. "I understand it now.

"We love Hinsdale. It's a great community and lots of opportunities to get involved," she continued.

In addition to raising funds, Fisher hopes Tablescapes raises people's awareness of the medical center and its holistic impact. Once wait staff at the event venue asked if their relatives living near the Angel Harvey center could use it. Yes, they were told.

"There's an energy involved when you're there of knowing this is a great event, and it's doing something great," Fisher said.

- story by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean