Lux Means Light for Chicago Kids and Families—Successful Debut for New Mercy Home “Lux Gala”

Lux Means Light for Chicago Kids and Families—Successful Debut for New Mercy Home “Lux Gala”

Mercy Home debuted its brand-new signature fundraising event, the Lux Gala, on November 18th at Chicago’s Old Post Office.

Using a variety of spaces spread throughout two floors of the exquisitely restored venue allowed for an unfolding and immersive experience for our guests that was high on both spectacle and inspiration. The evening offered non-stop surprise and delight with both staged and free-roaming entertainment, fine dining, dancing, racing and golf simulators, a charitable gaming casino sponsored by Rivers Casino, luxury silent auctions, and an exclusive live auction.

The live auction included a one-week stay in a private villa in the U.S. Virgin Islands, two tickets to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour in Paris, France with hotel suite and airfare, a guided gorilla-trekking expedition on Uganda, and more. The silent auction featured an all-Inclusive stay in Turks & Caicos, stunning jewelry from James & Sons Fine Jewelers, travel packages throughout the U.S. and abroad, and great Chicago staycations. Raffle drawings at the end of the night also sent three lucky guests home with incredible cash prizes and one lucky guest with a shopping spree at James & Sons.

But while feedback continues to come in about the dazzling amenities enjoyed that evening, the gathering’s true purpose was driven home during the dinner program, which featured a moving new video story about Mercy Home alum Sidney Lee. The video, produced again by CBS2 Chicago’s Jim Williams who also served as the event’s emcee, described how Lee went from dreaming of a career in aerospace while growing up in Chicago’s Englewood community, to a safe and supportive stay at Mercy Home, to working as an engineer on the cutting edge of modern space exploration at Virgin Galactic and later Space X.

“Looking up into the sky and seeing the stars,” Fr. Scott reflected, “Seeing light—lux—and saying, ‘I’m going to reach for those stars.’ And by God, he did.

”Following the video, Lee and his wife, Dominique and their daughter Miley took to the stage amid a standing ovation. Sidney Lee then urged the audience to support the Home as generously as possible, so that we can continue to provide pathways to success for kids in challenging circumstances, like those Lee experienced as a young man.

Lee, who now serves on our Ambassadors of Mercy board, reflected on a similar sentiment in the video. “I am a prime example of the difference you are making with donations and your time. And it’s greatly appreciated.”

In the end, the Lux Gala exceeded its fundraising goals and will help make possible Mercy Home’s mission to provide a safe home, healing, education, career development, and more for kids in Chicago.

Lux, defined as a unit of luminance, celebrates the light that Mercy Home and its supporters spread throughout our city by caring for young people who have experienced traumas like abuse and neglect. Fr. Scott echoed this theme in his pre-dinner reflection, a theme that was reinforced by decorations and displays throughout the venue.

Mercy Home provides kids with the tools they need to heal from their pasts and build brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. Many former residents like Sidney Lee go on to give back and make a difference in the lives of others, demonstrating the ripple effect of our donors’ support. Lee, for example, started a mentoring program for African Americans interested in aerospace careers and has mentored other young people, including many living in Englewood today.

“We hear so often about the challenges that too many young people and families face here in Chicago, even that our city itself is in crisis,” said Fr. Scott. “But no matter what is happening outside our doors, Mercy Home has served as a beacon of light and hope for children in need for 136 years. And because we rely almost entirely on donations like those we hope to raise at this event, it’s our friends and donors who are the ones directing that light, calling out to those who need a place like Mercy Home. I am so grateful to them for making this mission possible.”

The Lux Gala is the successor to our signature fall fundraiser, Ringside for Mercy’s Sake, which ran for 28 years until the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancelation in 2020. Since then, in consultation with board members and friends from a cross section of industries, Mercy Home has carefully planned a new event for the post-pandemic era. With our goal of creating a new annual tradition with a long life like Ringside enjoyed, our friends came out and made certain that we started off on the strongest possible footing. That includes all of our guests and all of our generous sponsors, including the Bobby Rahal Foundation for providing a generous pledge match.

We want you to join us!

Keep an eye out for information in the months ahead about next year’s event. It’s one night you won’t want to miss. Best of all, the Lux Gala helps our kids build brighter futures.

Thank You To Our Lux Gala Sponsors

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