Erie House Raises Unprecedented Amount at Awards Dinner


March 4, 2016 | Chicago, IL

Erie House Annual Dinner

The Erie House Future of Promise awards dinner raised more than $545K on March 3, 2016. FILE PHOTO

Erie Neighborhood House hosted its annual Future of Promise ~ Futuro de Promesa awards dinner on Thursday, March 3. The event generated more than $545K in revenue, a boon amidst the ongoing Illinois budget impasse that has affected human service agencies statewide.

“The fact that we are here tonight is a testimony to the resilience of the community we serve and the generosity of all who support the mission of Erie House,” said departing executive director Celena Roldán to a capacity crowd of more than 600 attendees, thanking them for their commitment to the organization. It was her last day at Erie House; next week she begins her new role as CEO of American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Northern Illinois.

This year’s fundraising total eclipsed the 2015 annual dinner amount by $95K and will help alleviate some of the pressure felt as a result of the budget impasse. Erie House shone a spotlight on the educational programs and services it offers in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, and funds raised during the evening will help support some of those initiatives.

The event honored three individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the community: Ed Wehmer, CEO of Wintrust (Community Leader Award); Terrence P. LeFevour, co-founder of McCarthy Ford (Corporate Leader Award); and Juan C. Campos, Secretary–Treasurer for Teamsters Local Union No. 705 (Legacy Award).

Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the event and gave remarks to congratulate Erie House on its impact in the community. He spoke of Chicago's longstanding practice of creating opportunities for immigrants and newcomers to the city. "Because of (Erie Neighborhood House), we are doing that for another generation," said the mayor.

Time was also set aside to mark Roldán’s departure. Erie House board president Patty Perez expressed gratitude on behalf of her board colleagues and the broader community, and she invited Roldán’s twelve-year-old son, Joseph—who spent his formative years in the Erie House child care program—to the stage to present her with a floral bouquet. It was a heartfelt moment that had a palpable effect on those in attendance, even on a markedly celebratory evening.

“Celena has given so much to Erie House over the past 15 years, and we feel like tonight was a fitting sending for her,” says Kirstin Chernawsky, Erie House senior director of development and interim associate executive director. “The awards dinner is a great reminder of the strong community of support that surrounds Erie House—that gives us great confidence as we move forward as an organization.”

For more information on Erie Neighborhood House or to make a donation, please visit or call (312) 563-5800.

PDF Download PDF of press release

NOTE: The total amount raised for the annual dinner was updated to more than $545K after this press release was issued.

Erie Neighborhood House (ENH) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that reaches 18,000 people annually, empowering them to build better lives while strengthening their communities. ENH offers Chicago’s Latinx and diverse low-income residents a range of community-based education programs. With forward-thinking leadership, ENH is committed to continuing its legacy of cost effective, award-winning programming. For more information, please visit

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Brian Paff

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(312) 432-2239

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