Little Company of Mary Hospital’s (LCMH) Foundation hosted its annual Crystal Heart Ball on Saturday, February 4, 2017, at the Field Museum. The Masters of Ceremonies were Little Company of Mary’s very own baby alum, Patrick Elwood with WGN News Chicago, along with Nancy Loo, also with WGN News. More than 800 guests danced the night away to the musical stylings of the Indigo Orchestra while experiencing international cultures and observing artifacts from all over the world. This premiere gala, the largest on Chicago’s Southwest side, raised more than $445,000. Final proceeds will benefit the Behavioral Health Department at Little Company of Mary Hospital.
The 2017 Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award was presented to Ed and Amy McNicholas – Live Like John Foundation. On March 31, 2010, Ed and Amy’s 15-year-old son, John, woke up complaining of a headache focused over one eye. Before he could even finish explaining the pain, John began vomiting on the bathroom floor. In the emergency room, their worst fears were confirmed: A brain tumor. Ed and Amy went into fight mode with the mission to save their son. Unfortunately, John passed away on January 7, 2011, only 10 months from his diagnosis. Today, it has been Ed and Amy’s mission to raise awareness and change the experience for those who follow them down this unimaginable path by offering guidance and resources to those families who are forced to endure the same journey they endured. They strive to offer comfort, peace, empathy and, ultimately, a cure.
The way John McNicholas lived his life to the fullest and faced his illness with courage and grace has inspired many to “Live Like John,” which led Ed and Amy to start the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor (Live Like John) Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Live Like John Foundation is involved in several local fundraising events each year, including: Annual Softball Tournament, Beverly Hills Turkey Trot, Go Gray in May, Dizzy Dinger Challenge, and a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Fundraiser, to name just a few.
Ed and Amy’s mission is to work toward advancements in both the care and treatment of pediatric brain tumor patients by facilitating coordination of information between patients and providers, improving the quality of life for patients and funding specifically targeted pediatric brain tumor research and treatment options to achieve their ultimate goal: the eradication of pediatric brain tumors.
The 2017 Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence was presented to Rev. Charles T. Rubey – Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) Program. Rubey established the program in 1979 after working with families who had gone through grieving the loss of a child from suicide. The LOSS Program is a free, non-denominational program that supports individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide and is offered by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago in collaboration with the Diocese of Joliet. Funding for the program comes from places such as United Way, private foundations and charitable contributions.
LOSS offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where survivors of suicide can openly talk about feelings and experiences. There are programs available to both children and adults in cities all over Illinois, including: Chicago – Downtown, Des Plaines, Wheaton, Joliet, Mundelein, Worth, Inverness, Kankakee, Wilmette, and Cary. Services provided by the LOSS Program include: Individual therapy for children and teens, ages three to eighteen; Family counseling; Peer support groups; Parent consultation; and school and community debriefings when a suicide has occurred. The goals of the LOSS Program are to provide a warm, nurturing network of other survivors, educate members about the grieving process and support each individual’s unique struggle to regain hope and strength.
Drs. Michael and Karen O’Mara were the chairs of this premier fundraising event with co-chairs Joe and Mary Ann Pedota. Guests at the ball enjoyed signature butterfly martinis followed by a gourmet meal prepared by Blue Plate Catering. The hospital Foundation raffled a Grand Prize of a Luxury Vacation to the Galapagos Islands for Two ($15,000 value). The Grand Prize raffle winner was Rose Kubush. For more information on Little Company of Mary’s Foundation, or to learn how you can donate to Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Behavioral Health Department, please visit www.LCMH.org/foundation.