Our annual benefit for runaway and at-risk youth, Spirit of Youth, is always a great event. This year’s Roaring ’20s version was especially enjoyable.

The National Runaway Safeline’s (NRS) annual benefit for our runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth call center, Spirit of Youth, is always a great event. This year’s version was especially enjoyable. Our theme, combined with our generous donors, our fabulous board of directors and their guests, associate board, as well as the generous donations from our restaurant partners, made this a night to remember.

Situated in the Red Lacquer Room of the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, this year’s theme was the “Roaring ’20s.” Flappers and gents strolled into the room, dressed in vintage outfits, complete with headbands and fedoras, ready to celebrate our work and mission.

Event co-chairs, Troy McDonald Kane and Joyce Sapir, opened the festivities with introductions and our live auction. Our auctioneer, Gary Lehman, lit up the crowd with his enthusiasm as he auctioned off one of the several great donated prizes.

The night included a variety of entertainment. Music filled the room from our jazz duo, a magician performed tricks around the room, and we premiered our new public service announcement, created with the help of the Family and Youth Services Bureau. We also showed the trailer for “The Homestretch,” a powerful documentary on homeless youth who are fighting to stay in school and graduate, despite a lack of stable housing.

Video: “The Homestretch” Trailer

Board Chair, Christina Van Pelt, shared some heartfelt words about her love and support of our organization and recognized our staff, volunteers and board members for their service. Kind words were shared by many of our wonderful supporters throughout the evening, their passion for our work coming through so effortlessly.

Our Executive Director, Maureen Blaha, presented this year’s Spirit of Youth Award to Anne ed Mare and Kirsten Kelly, the filmmakers of “The Homestretch.” They expressed their gratitude and thanked the organization for their support for the film, which has been seen by more than one million viewers.

The evening wrapped up with the announcement of the silent auction, and raffle prize winners. Our co-chair persons thanked the attendees, who enjoyed the last of their cocktails and took home gift bags announcing October 16th as the date of Spirit of Youth 2016.

Thanks to all the people and organizations involved in making this event as enjoyable and successful. NRS’ call and online center cannot operate effectively without your support, and we cannot wait for Spirit of Youth 2016! For information, you can email us at communications@1800RUNAWAY.org.

ALSO, you can still contribute to our mission by participating in our online auction! Consider putting in a bid on one of our fabulous prizes!




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