The Crusader Newspaper Group

Sinai Community Institute to celebrate 30th anniversary at fundraising gala

Photo caption: Debra Wesley, Founder and President of Sinai Community Institute

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Sinai Community Institute will host a fundraising gala from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at CineCity Studios, 2429 W. 14th St. in Chicago. The theme is “Our Roots Are Firmly Planted.”

The event will feature an Oscars-like awards ceremony to recognize the remarkable achievements of SCI’s community members. Entertainment will be provided by dance troupe Movemesoul; singer Meagan McNeal, a finalist on “The Voice;” and classically trained violinist Windy Indie. The evening also will include a “Taste of Communities,” showcasing bites from neighborhood restaurants, and a silent auction of exclusive items, with proceeds supporting SCI’s ongoing initiatives.

“We are thrilled to celebrate 30 years of serving our communities and neighbors on Chicago’s South and Southwest Sides,” said Debra Wesley, Founder and President of Sinai Community Institute. “Our organization has been planting seeds for success for three decades, and we are proud to continue dedicating ourselves to supporting our children, parents, seniors and families. We’re looking forward to an exciting night of food, friends and fun.”

Since 1993, SCI has developed community-based health and social service programs to improve the health and well-being of its clients addressing social, economic and environmental factors. Approximately 14,000 families each year benefit from SCI’s community-based health and social services, from infants to adolescents to adults.

SCI’s mission is to promote health access, equity and well-being in the community members and patients served by Sinai Chicago, one of Chicago’s largest providers of safety net healthcare for low-income communities. SCI envisions a community in which every individual is engaged in their own health, has the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be, and regards Sinai Chicago as their trusted partner.

Serving as event hosts will be actress, director, playwright, educator and activist Regina Taylor; Michelle Relerford, co-anchor of NBC-5 Chicago’s “Today” show; and radio and television talent Bioncé Foxx.

Award presentations will include:

  • The President’s Medal of Honor: Benn Greenspan, Ph.D.
  • Community Investment Award: North Lawndale Employment Network
  • Tikkun Olam Award (Repairing the World): Dr. Aleta Clark “Englewood Barbie” and West Side United
  • The Tree of Life Award: Taller de Jose
  • Leadership Award: One Lawndale Collaborative presented to Rodney Brown and Luis Gutierrez
  • Youth Hero Award: Chicago AMACHI Mentoring Program presented to Dr. Betty Green
  • Children Today Leaders Tomorrow Award: N’Dia Palmore.

Serving as gala chairpersons are Ashley Rice, President, CineSpace Film Studios; Steve Koch, Former Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago; and Michele Hoskins, CEO, Michele Foods. The Gala Host Committee consists of Abraham Morgan, Abe Thompson, Albert Grace, Barbara Bates, Carol Kay Bell, Joseph Harrington, Kristina King, Phillip Koch, Leslie Davis, Leslie Mitchel Bond, Rachel Sternberg, Roberta Rakove, Michael Scott Jr., Wynona Redmond and Vince Williams.

Platinum gala sponsors are Alex S. and Patricia M. Pissios and Family. Gold sponsors are Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Steans Family Foundation, Sodexo and CineCity Studios. Silver sponsors are Leslie Mitchel Bond and Rob Bond, Old National Bank, Polsinelli, Rush University, Rachel and David Sternberg, Wintrust Bank, Allied Universal Security Services and Microsoft Philanthropies. Media sponsors are NBC-5 Chicago/Telemundo and iHeart Radio.

VIP and general tickets are available at A VIP reception will take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The main event will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

About Sinai Community Institute

Sinai Community Institute (SCI) provides programs aimed at promoting family and community health, early childhood development, community partnerships and workforce development opportunities. SCI provides social support services to 14,000 families annually, improves access to health services, and engages individuals through holistic case management services that reflect the voice and cultural context of our communities.  

About Sinai Chicago

Sinai Chicago is a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, includes seven member organizations serving the West and Southwest Sides; Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has 3,500 employees, over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 654 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs.

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