On November 10th, more than 400 guests toasted the mission of Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services at the Four Seasons Hotel-Chicago for their fourth annual FLIGHT gala that raised more than $300,000, a fundraising record for the gala. This year’s FLIGHT gala theme featured an Evening in Paris. Guests got first-class treatment at this benefit that sends kids with cancer to camp programs such as the nonprofit’s popular Summer Camp, in addition to the other ten
camp programs. Many of these programs are provided at no cost to the families.
The evening featured French-inspired cuisine and decor, a French wine bar, silent and live auction, program emceed by Camp One Step board member and WSCR radio host Dan Bernstein, and dancing all night to music by the Becca Kaufman Orchestra. In addition, a one-of-a-kind painting that depicted campers’ hands together with the symbolic camp bracelet done by artist Brendan Cooney was auctioned off at $6500. The highlight of the night was the moving program that featured some of the Camp One Step campers that witness the magic of this nonprofit firsthand. This year, 10 year- old Lucia “LuLu” Sammarco took the stage to talk about her life with Camp One Step. The crowd also sang happy birthday to camper Lulu.
Three organizations were honored this year for their outstanding service to Camp One Step:
• The Richard Schwebel Award honored Big Bikes Helping Little Tykes. They have been supporting Camp One Step for over fifteen years. Big Bikes Helping Little Tykes is a humanitarian, social organization founded to augment the financial needs of Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services. Under the direction of Kevin O’Meara and Bill Humphrey, they lead a large group of bikes and volunteers from Duke’s Beef in Bridgeview, IL traveling by motorcycle and cars to Summer Camp each year to visit with kids and make a large donation. To date, they have raised almost $400,000 for Camp One Step. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the first Big Bikes Motorcycle Run to Summer Camp.
• The Hospira Foundation Award honored two organizations this year:The Distillery Project talented team, generously donated most of their time to lead the organization’s rebranding efforts and develop the Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services name and logo. The Distillery Project is an independent, creative and strategic agency located in Chicago’s West Loop. Since 2012, Jokes4Miles has been generously donating their time and services for several years to the organization, capturing images from Camp One Step programs and developing videos which share the magic of camp.Jokes4Miles is a privately funded, innovative cancer organization that provides laughter, comfort and guidance to families facing cancer.
The event would not be possible without its generous sponsors such as Northwestern Mutual as the event’s Wine Sponsor and Katten, Muchin, Rosenman, LLP is co-sponsored the evening’s reception. TheFLIGHT committee included Mary Cortopassi, Chris Cortopassi, Donna DeSimone, Nick DeSimone, Sam DeSimone, Tina DeSimone, Celeste Giannini, Danielle Goldman, Linda Graves, Barb Guzzardi, Joseph Guzzardi, Rich Guzzardi, Jeff Infusino, Joseph Infusino, Sue Infusino, Lauren Kavanaugh, Lauren Kunkel, Megan Milligan, Doug Prafke, Nikki Prafke & Julie Wilson.