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Anixter Center’s Record Breaking Benefit for Ability Honors Evanston Resident John Syvertsen

Dinner Chair, John Blacketor of Hinsdale with honoree John Syvertsen of Evanston and Anixter Center President and CEO Kevin Limbeck of Chicago with Rob Johnson, principal anchor at CBS 2 Chicago
Dinner Chair, John Blacketor of Hinsdale with honoree John Syvertsen of Evanston and Anixter Center President and CEO Kevin Limbeck of Chicago with Rob Johnson, principal anchor at CBS 2 Chicago
A sold-out crowd of more than 400 gathered at Harold Washington Library’s Winter Garden on May 1, 2014, to celebrate Anixter Center’s third annual Benefit for Ability, “The Power of Design to Transform Lives.” Chaired by John Blacketor, president and CEO of Executive Construction Inc. (ECI), the Benefit celebrated the transformative power of design and the impact it has on people’s lives, especially those with disabilities.

The evening kicked off with a cocktail hour where guests had an opportunity to bid on a design focused silent auction of luxe offerings, including an iconic Barcelona chair, an Airtouch workspace, a sleek Bernhardt Club Chair and much more. After the cocktail hour guests were greeted by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Rob Johnson, principal anchor at CBS 2 Chicago. Johnson welcomed guests and invited them to learn more about the evening’s honoree, John Syvertsen, FAIA, LEED, senior principal of CannonDesign and guiding force behind Open Hand Studio. 
Syvertsen was honored for his steadfast commitment to enhancing lives and communities through design. Guests learned more about his vision and the incredible impact of his work through a poignant video and a heartfelt presentation from mentee, Trung Le, principal of CannonDesign and author of The Third Teacher+. Le’s opus brought the crowd to its feet as they welcomed Syvertsen to the stage for a moving keynote address.  After Syvertsen’s speech, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Limelight Catering.

Later in the evening, guests had an opportunity to support the mission of Anixter Center, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area serving people with disabilities, through a pledge drive. A matching grant of $10,000 from The Sun-Times Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust allowed guests to further their impact through their pledges. Thanks to the unprecedented generosity of the evening’s sponsors, including the Lester and Edward Anixter Family Foundation, CannonDesign, ECI, Motorola Mobility Foundation, Berger Schatz, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinoi, Catherine Nardi and Eric Gastevich, as well as the support of those in attendance, Anixter Center's Benefit for Ability raised $550,000. 

For more information, please contact Sharon Honaker at 773.973.7900 x 257 or via email at shonaker@anixter.org. For more information about Anixter Center and ways to support the organization, please visit www.anixter.org.

One of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area serving people with disabilities, Anixter Center provides an array of services to help those with disabilities and related challenges live, learn, work and play in the community. Through 34 programs and services at 35 locations across the greater Chicago area, Anixter Center and its three divisions—CALOR, Chicago Hearing Society and Lekotek—touch the lives of more than 7,300 individuals annually and advocates for the rights of children and adults with all types of disabilities to participate fully and equally in society. For more information, visit www.anixter.org.

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