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Chicago Lighthouse raises $300K at ‘Seeing What’s Possible’ dinner

The Chicago Lighthouse hosted its annual “Seeing What’s Possible” Dinner on May 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. More than 300 friends and supporters raised nearly $300,000 to benefit agency programs assisting people who are blind, visually impaired and multi-disabled.

Highlights included a keynote address from Chicago writer and poet Rachel DeWoskin, whose latest novel “Blind,” deals with the challenges faced by a teenager who suddenly loses her vision. DeWoskin credited The Lighthouse for giving her important new insight into blindness, which greatly assisted her in writing the book. After the dinner, the author signed complimentary copies of “Blind” for guests.

Attorney Frank Chanen, a longtime Lighthouse board member and former chairman, received the Lighthouse’s prestigious Beacon of Light Award for his extraordinary contributions on behalf of the blind and visually impaired community.

Dr. Janet Szlyk, president of The Lighthouse, pointed out that its recent partnership with the Illinois Tollway has created over 600 jobs at a state-of-the-art Customer Service Call Center, which opened last fall on the UIC campus for talented individuals who are blind, visually impaired, otherwise disabled and veterans.

Making a return appearance at this year’s event was gifted artist Jeff Hanson, whose paintings have been purchased by such celebrities as Elton John. The 20-year-old artist donated some of his artwork at the live auction, with proceeds benefitting Lighthouse programs.

Guests were also feted to the sounds of Lighthouse board member Paul Rink, who played the piano during the reception; the agency’s very own popular group, Vision Quest, who performed via videotape; and the Stanley Paul Quartet, who played a number of dance tunes following the dinner.

For more information, visit chicagolighthouse.org.

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