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Together we’ve raised $1.27 million to date to Mpower children and families across the greater Chicagoland area!

More than 500 supporters joined Metropolitan to celebrate the strengths of our families and communities the at the 38th annual Mpower the Night gala at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.

Emcee Alan Krashesky, news anchor with ABC 7 Chicago (the event’s Television Sponsor), kicked off the evening, and incoming Board Chair Ashley Duchossois Joyce shared her own welcome to the guests, whose support helps us, one family at a time, become a better city and a greater metropolitan area.

We were pleased to honor one of the families empowering Metropolitan Family Services, the Tony Hunter Family, with our “Family of the Year” award. In presenting the award, CEO Ric Estrada and Mpower the Night Gala Chair Richard Price – Executive Chairman of Mesirow Financial and a Co-Chair of the Campaign to Mpower Families – each shared how Tony Hunter’s involvement with Metropolitan has personally encouraged them. Tony, a long-standing board member and a Co-Chair of the Campaign.

Tony accepted the award by thanking his own family, and of course, showing off photos of his grandsons. He spoke about success in terms of investing in people and ideas. “It’s easy to lean in when you find a purpose that aligns with your passion,” he said. “I believe every child deserves the opportunity to succeed and thrive. I know Metropolitan is making a big difference, and provides a ray of hope to break the vicious cycle many families find themselves in.” Learn more about Tony in our honoree feature.

Metropolitan employs more than 1,000 staff, and Mpowers more than 93,000 lives. During the program, just a few of those people shared their stories.

  • Lakisha Hanson, Senior Program Supervisor for the Altgeld Teen Leadership Program, introduced two of our teens, Amaria and LaShyra.
  • Nathan Wright, Case Manager with the Gerst Family Young Fathers Program, introduced one of the program’s graduates, Stacey.
  • Judie Caribeaux, Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation for Metropolitan Family Services and the former Executive Director of Family Shelter Service, spoke about the impact of our merger.
  • Vanessa DeReef, Training Director of the Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, spoke about the expanding cycle of professional learning in the Metropolitan Peace Academy.

The night’s celebration of empowerment didn’t end with the program; the Mpower After Party, presented by Mesirow Financial, gave even more people the opportunity to join in the festivities.

Together, we Mpower.