All posts by Judith McLean

We won, we won, we won!  Thanks to you, AHK tallied enough votes to win $24K of Solid Good from Baird Warner’s Good Will Network.  Their contribution is earmarked for Emergency Respite Care in Chicago or Naperville.  We really appreciate the extra effort everyone put forth to make this happen, over 800 votes of the total number [3,000] were cast for Almost Home Kids, and we were one of five charities chosen to receive the donation.

About The Good Will Network
Everyone at Baird & Warner takes pride in being part of something bigger – part of a community that works together to make Chicagoland a better home for everyone. The Good Will Network was created in 2002 to help those who need it most, with a focus on sheltering women and children.
Baird & Warner donates millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to nonprofits. Each time an agent sells a home or a Key Mortgage Services loan is processed, a donation goes directly to The Good Will Network. We also match contributions our employees make through their payroll contributions.

This year our signature Chicago gala will have a Parisian flair as we enjoy our 7th annual Share the Care Ball at the historic Drake Hotel. Please join us for dining and dancing to benefit  Almost Home Kids at the Share the Care Ball, an Evening in Paris.

When: October 26th at 6:30 PM
Where: The Drake Hotel
Featuring the Ken Arlen Orchestra

This years award honorees are:
Share the Care Champion: Rebel Roberts and Distinguished Donor: Grant Thornton

Featured Live Auction Item: Paris – The City of Lights
Business Class flights for two to Europe aboard United Airlines, Three Nights in Paris at the Hotel InterContinental Paris Le Grand, French Culinary Lessons at La Cuisine Paris, Private Tour of the Museum of Impressionism in Giverny, and Admission for Two to the Monet House

Tickets are $350 each – click here to reserve yours now!

For sponsorship information, please contact Liza Larsen at

The official ribbon cutting for the brand new Almost Home Kids at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois took place recently and is the precursor to the actual opening – when children will be admitted – on September 24th, 2018!

We are thrilled to see all the many months (and years) of planning come to fruition in the form of a beautiful new home close to the hospital, and convenient for families in the Central Illinois area.

With 12 private rooms, and ample space both inside and out, this Almost Home Kids not only looks great, but will be very functional for the clinical staff and very comfortable for the kids.

Kudos goes to everyone who put in the hard work to see this project through, and loads of thanks to the many donors and supporters that stepped up to make it happen. Of course, as with all Almost Home Kids, we rely on the ongoing support of the community and the generosity of individuals, local businesses and corporations to see our programs continue to thrive – for more information on how to support Almost Home Kids in Peoria, or any other questions you might have about career opportunities or volunteering, please email Jen Shinnick the Site Director at

Loads of thanks to the over 200 very generous attendees who joined us at last weeks 2nd annual Cocktails for a Cause – over $60,000 of much needed funds were raised thanks to AHK parent Kevin Shea and AHK President Council Member Angela Figg and their amazing organizing committee, tons of fantastic sponsors and awesome donors.

Almost Home Kids could receive $24 K of Solid Good

Back by popular demand, Baird Warner’s Good Will Network is donating a $24,000 grant to 5 charities. Almost Home Kids has been nominated, and we need your help to place in the top five. This will allow us to provide much needed services and safe shelter for Chicagoland children with medical complexities. Cast your vote for us at 

This year, you can only vote one time for each email address that you have.  Help us tally as many votes as possible.  The contest runs 8/1/18 – 8/31/18 – anything that you can do to spread the word would be super helpful – please share with your network.

Wish list registries are a great way for the community to help the children at Almost Home Kids at OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Not only will the items on the wish list be used by children during their stay at Almost Home Kids, many of these items will be given to families in need once their child is ready to transition home.

Target Registry:

Amazon Registry:

The new Almost Home Kids at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois is scheduled to open in September 2018.

Please contact Jennifer Shinnick for more information at (309) 422-6831 or  

Last year AHK parent Kevin Shea and President Council member Angela Figg co-hosted a wildly successful cocktail event at River Roast – Cocktails for a Cause. Over $60,000 much needed funds where raised for Almost Home Kids thanks to the generosity of over 200 attendees.

This year the event is on in August, at the same venue and with the same hope for success.

When: 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM on August 23, 2018
Where: River Roast, 315 N. La Salle Street, Chicago

To buy tickets, or secure a sponsorship, please visit: If you have any questions, please email Liza at

Thank you to the sponsors who already stepped up to support AHK at this fantastic event.


Last week’s Summer Tasting Soirée was a big hit with the many AHK supporters who are also wine aficionados. We raised over $34,000 for AHK while being treated to an amazing variety of excellent wines thanks to Anthony Minne from Plum Market, Peter Schwarzbach from Vin Chicago and WTSO. Thanks to Anthony we also had some of Chicago’s finest Sommeliers to help unlock the mysteries of wine tasting to the newbies attending, as well as enhancing the experience for those in the know.

As if that wasn’t enough, the writer/director and producer of the highly acclaimed documentary series SOMM were our hosts for the evening. Jason Wise and Christina Wise were incredibly generous with their time and made our Soirée a night to remember.

Huge thank you to the 150 very generous attendees that joined us for the evening at Blue Plates gorgeous Larkin Hall event space in the West Loop, and loads of thanks to our amazing Soiree Committee – Karin Prangley, Julia Chappell, Michelle Baker, Bregan Herrold, Eileen Rainey, Jen Horsley, Marita Sullivan, Sophia Worden, Susan J. Schwartz and Sarah Tromans who put on a fabulous event.

We were thrilled to have Corboy & Demetrio, CIBC, Brown Brother Harriman and Sullivan Reporting sponsor the event as well as all the in-kind support from Southwest Airlines, Wittefini, Beam Suntory, Blue Plate, Wine ‘Til Sold Out, Paul Hobbs Winery, the Winebow Group, Vin Chicago, Plum Market, Willamette Valley Wine and Coopers Hawk.

Thank you to everyone who made it out to YAB’s awesome No Place Like Home event last month. It was a roaring success with over $25,000 raised to benefit Almost Home Kids.

Special thanks to Roxana Gavriliuc (YAB President), Mo Crinion (Vice Chair) and Naz Salehitezangi (Secretary) as well as all the YAB members who pitched in and helped with the event.

Event sponsors CA Ventures, Plante Moran, Youtech Associates, First Midwest Bank and Tito’s Vodka made a significant difference to funds raised and DJ W_Dervish kept the night rocking with some amazing music.

Please join Writer/Director Jason Wise and Producer Christina Wise as they introduce us to the filming process of their third documentary in the award winning SOMM series, and talk about wine and all its complexities.

The event benefits the programs and children at Almost Home Kids, and is a must for any wine or film enthusiast.

Ticket price includes premium wine tastings, full bar, heavy apps and dessert.

When: THURSDAY, JUNE 14 at 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: LARKIN HALL, 1362 W Fulton Street Chicago
Street and nearby parking lots are readily available

Tickets: $125

Once in a lifetime Raffle Prize: Win two tickets to a screening of Somm: Part 3 (prize include VIP pre-screening drinks, VIP seating and a VIP after party with the cast and crew). Raffle tickets $100 each

Featured winemakers include:
Paul Hobbs Winery
Craft & Estate
Frederick Wildman & Sons
Willamette Valley Wine Association

as well as hand picked favorites by the Proprietor of Vin Chicago and the Sommeliers of Wine Til Sold Out.