Thursday, January 16th, 2014, was just as one would expect a day in Chicago to be in the post-holiday blues of winter. It was cold, it was snowing, it was a dark day and then a darker night. The slick ice had us all picking our ways slowly and carefully along the sidewalks...
However, in the Ramova Room of the Benton House's activities building, the Benton House staff found themselves warmed by many things – the hot, delicious soup served by Nana, the smiles and laughter of attendees, and most importantly, the incredible show of support from our community on a cold and blustery night.
The Benton House has survived for over a hundred years strictly because its neighbors and friends have decided that it should. To see once again that this is still true moves us just as much this time as it did the time before, and the time before that. Seeing the friendly faces of Bridgeport (and beyond) going out of their way to make their city a better place by helping others is yet another affirmation of the good hearts and strong wills of the folks we are lucky enough to know.
Thanks to all who participated and attended, Benton House can continue providing food for a hundred families a week, host after school programs for dozens of youths, hold educational events, house a senior exercise class, and so much more!
We cannot extend enough thanks to Nana for providing an array of soups made of organic and locally-sourced ingredients for free. This is not the first time Nana has supported us, and we are beyond grateful for their dedication to playing an active and positive role in their community.
Benton House would like to thank all of the attendees, including Commissioner John Daley. We also want to extend gratitude to the business leaders of Bridgeport and volunteers who conceived of and helped organize the event. Thanks to them, we raised enough money to cover our operating costs this month. Our raffle (for a $50 gift certificate for Nana – also donated in kind!) raised $140 for our high school robotics team 4551. Last year was 4551's first, and they earned the the “Highest-Seat Rookie Award” at the Midwest Regionals, only barely falling short of qualifying for nationals.
In the next several months, we will continue to do one new fun and exciting event per month in partnership with local business leaders. The next is slated for February 13th. As the season progresses, there is talk of Jackalope, Maria's, Pleasant House, karaoke, Pi Day, and more. Keep your eyes peeled. See you next time!