HOME > Press Release > Little City’s 56th Annual Dinner Gala Raises Over $735,000

Little City’s 56th Annual Dinner Gala Raises Over $735,000

The Fund A Need for Little City’s Fundraiser was Expansion of the Duffey Family Children’s Village

Little City’s 56th Annual Gala, held Sept. 26 at the Field Museum, brought together over 350 of Little City’s supporters and raised over $735,000 for the children and adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities served.

It capped off an especially strong year for Little City with the development of new homes for youth as well as an expansion of the ChildBridge Center for Education therapeutic day school.

The excitement of the evening was the announcement of a $500,000 matching grant from The Coleman Foundation for construction of the 3rd home in the Duffey Family Children’s Village on the campus in Palatine. (The first two of six planned homes opened in January). Along with it, a check for $250,000 from donors George and Dimitra Zervas was announced, which will be part of the dollar-for-dollar match by the Coleman Foundation.

“We are very pleased to have received the $500,000 grant from The Coleman Foundation,” said Executive Director Shawn Jeffers. “It is an honor that will certainly inspire others to provide additional financial support for the completion of our third home as well as the entire Children’s Village.”

The construction of the new home is estimated at $1.7 million, so the funds raised will go a long way to making the third new home possible. Already the first two homes are making a difference for the youth who live there. Each child has his own room, and innovative sensory rooms are designed to serve high-stimulus activities, such as music, crafts and other motor activities, while also adapting to quieter activities like speech therapy and one-on-one instruction.

The Gala also included a silent auction, where artwork from Little City’s artists was available.

Little City thanks the generous sponsors who made the event possible:

Gold Sponsors: Nancy and Tim Desmond and the Albert B. & Audrey G. Ratner Foundation; Silver Sponsors: Breakthrough Technologies LLC, Paramount Staffing, and Zurich NA; Bronze Sponsors: Eleni & Jimmy Bousis, Vernon Carson/Burt Ury, the Gianaras Foundation, Karen & Larry Heisler, Mesirow Financial Corporation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, the Rose/Hockfield Families; Photography Sponsors: The John J. George Family and Celia B. Green; Program Sponsor: Harper College; Showcase sponsor: David J. Pfau; and Official Media Sponsor: Splash.

For additional information, visit www.littlecity.org or contact Ann Meyer at ameyer@littlecity.org or at 847-221-7831.

About Little City
Being a leader for 60 years, Little City continues to be inspirational and transformational in developing its 56-acre therapeutic community in Palatine. From a modest beginning of three homes and 16 residents primarily with Down syndrome, Little City has grown into a recognized leader offering a wide array of innovative services to more than 1,000 clients weekly. In addition to the Palatine location, Little City has a Community Services Office in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, adult service centers in Palatine and Waukegan, and 15 adult community homes and one children’s group home located throughout suburban Cook and DuPage Counties.

Today, Little City’s comprehensive program portfolio includes vocational training and employment placement, foster care and adoption, home-based family support, health and wellness, recreation and therapeutic activities, disability awareness and community education, a day school and an award-winning arts program. Visit www.littlecity.org.


Tina Maraccini, Director of Communications & Marketing
Phone: (847) 221-7855

"There are so many capable and caring staff at Little City, past and present, who have helped Clifford. He has made a lot of progress in mastering his behavior."

Colleen, Mother of a child living in a ChildBridge Group Home