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Charity Season Begins

Looking for an opportunity to feel philanthropic? You've got choices.

Last week we were trapped in our own driveways. It was the North Shore Half Marathon, and since the signs were only posted at every corner of every street for weeks and weeks prior to the event, and since this has been an annual event for only 33 years, naturally, it took us by surprise.

Just kidding. This year, we were prepped and ready. We moved our cars at dawn so that we could actually use them and get to our own charity fun run in Elk Grove Village. Unlike the half marathon, our Foundation Fighting Blindness event covered a mere 5 kilometers. But it was enough. 

‘Tis the season for charity events. A glance at any community calendar features a veritable cornucopia of summer fun runs, half jogs, slow walks, wife carries, stair climbs, egg tosses, bi-tris, why-tris, beauty contests, sister throws and more.

For anyone willing to mark themselves with a sharpie, there is no dearth of opportunity to sweat and exert in the name of fun and philanthropy.

But what if spandex and hydration drinks aren’t your thing? What if you’re looking for a summer event that isn’t a race? And what if your ideal venue isn’t a gravel path, but a garden path?  Or what if you want to put on a pair of heels for a change?

Okay. Forget even getting outside. What if you want to get in touch with your inner Gladys Kravitz and look inside some of the most beautifully decorated homes on the North Shore? There’s still an event for you. The Chicago Lighthouse’s Annual House & Garden Walk is around the corner… literally. And it’s not too late to get a ticket.

True confession… there was a time when we first moved to the North Shore and we were content with our houses. We didn’t know basements had the potential to become home theaters with adjacent indoor putting greens, nor were we aware that master bedroom closets were available in tandem “his” and “her” styles. 

We were young, and still in the “slash” stage of life. You know, the time when every room had a double/triple purpose. Our homes featured things like an “office/guest room” and “empty space/one-day-will-be-the-living-room room” and a “basement/playroom/laundry/exercise room.”

Those were the days. We were happy, sitting around the blue-plaid formica kitchen table (which was shaped like a piano). Sometimes we’d buy a glossy magazine promising fulfillment via textiles sold by the yard at the Mart, but really, who lived in those homes? 

Then we started going on House Walks. We saw what could be done with a little fabric, some fabulous art and a lot of good taste. We’re not saying we don’t have great taste… or fabulous art, but let’s just say we’re still figuring it all out and collecting ideas along the way. 

Join us, won’t you? This year’s House & Garden Walk will take place on Wednesday, June 27 between 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. The walk begins at the North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Road in Glencoe, and features tours of four elegant homes in and around Highland Park, with a fifth “refreshment” house designated for some of the tastiest baked goods you’ll ever enjoy. 

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $60. Please contact Special Events at 312-997-3679 or e-mail events@chicagolighthouse.org to purchase an event ticket. 

The Associate Board is a group of women from Chicago and the North Shore who have joined together to raise awareness about the services offered at The Chicago Lighthouse.  Since 1986, the Associate Board has raised over $1.4 million for children, seniors and family support services.  This year marks the 26th anniversary of support from the Associate Board.

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