JCC Annual Benefit honors Larry Goodman, celebrates two milestones

(Chicago, Illinois, September 2011)—Benefactor Larry Goodman of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations will be honored at The Big Night, the upcoming benefit event for Jewish Community Center (JCC) Chicago. The event also celebrates two significant milestones, the 90th anniversary of JCC Camp Chi and 100 years of JCC Women’s Auxiliary.

The Big Night will take place on Saturday, November 12, at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom in Chicago. Dinner will be provided by Spertus Kosher Catering featuring cuisine by Wolfgang Puck. All tickets include cocktails, dinner, dancing and entertainment; they can be purchased by calling JCC at 312.775.1834 or visiting www.gojcc.org/benefit.

The Big Night is an integral component of JCC Chicago’s annual fundraising campaign that supports the life-enriching programs and services JCC offers at 19 sites throughout the metropolitan Chicago area. Philanthropic support enables all families to take full advantage of JCC’s award-winning preschools, summer camps and educational activities, and also ensures that no family is turned away from JCC programs and services due to financial need.

Proceeds from the Annual Campaign are critical to JCC Chicago’s ability to respond to a record number of requests for scholarship assistance. For the 2011-2012 program year, JCC has provided over $1.5 million in scholarships, nearly double the amount from previous years.

The legacy of JCC Camp Chi and the JCC Women’s Auxiliary, coupled with the impact of the Goodman Foundations, are the centerpieces of this year’s celebration and fundraiser. As JCC Camp Chi has grown and developed, it has become the Midwest’s premier Jewish camp, providing connections to a vibrant Jewish life and community. The Women’s Auxiliary supported the development of JCC Camp Chi, and its members served as camp counselors at its original location on Loon Lake. Through their volunteer and fundraising activities over the past 100 years, the Women’s Auxiliary has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship support to local children and families.

The Goodman Foundations has had a major impact on the legacy of JCC Camp Chi. In 2006, as a passionate advocate for Israel, Mr. Goodman supported the launch of the Goodman Modern Israel History program. The program both serves as a way to connect teens to the land and culture of Israel and to empower them to combat anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses. As part of the program, 53 twelfth grade campers traveled through Israel this summer to further strengthen their personal connections to the State of Israel.  

Tickets for The Big Night begin at $350 and include cocktails, dinner and dancing; tables and sponsorship opportunities are also available. Entertainment will be provided by Chicago’s world renowned The Second City. For more information regarding JCC Chicago and its services, please call 312.775.1834 or visit its website at www.gojcc.org.

About Larry Goodman

Larry Goodman is Chairman of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations, dedicated to strengthening Jewish life in Chicago, the United States, and Israel as well as improving the quality of life within the Chicago metropolitan area by supporting secular organizations that address hunger issues and promote the prevention of drug abuse. Mr. Goodman is dedicated to improving Jewish life worldwide and has taken a leadership role with numerous organizations which advance this cause. His many affiliations include: Board of Governors of Ben-Gurion University, where he also received an honorary Doctorate; Chairman of the Midwest Region of Israel Bonds; Past Chairman and Executive Board of America-Israel Chamber of Commerce; Board of Joint Distribution Committee; Past Board of Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago: Board of Trustees of Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and Chairman of American Friends of the Be’er-Sheva Foundation.

About JCC Chicago

JCC Chicago is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring a strong and vibrant Jewish life and community for generations to come. Bringing Jewish values to life to more than 24,000 participants, more than 1.4 million times each year, JCC Chicago touches, engages and connects all segments of the Jewish community at all ages and at all stages of life.

Founded as the Chicago Hebrew Institute in 1903 in order to serve the Chicago area’s growing population of Jewish immigrants, JCC Chicago’s core offerings include Early Childhood Services, Children and Youth Programs and Services, Adult Programs and Services, and Day and Residential Camping.

For 90 years, JCC Camp Chi has been an exciting and safe place for Jewish youth to explore the outdoors, build self-esteem, develop new skills, discover their Jewish identity and make lasting friends and memories. Camp Chi opened in 1921 as an all girls camp at Loon Lake in Antoich, IL. In 1952, it moved to its current location on Lake Blass in Wisconsin, and began operating as a co-ed facility. Today, JCC Camp Chi is still located on the same 600 acres of majestic pines and serves over 1,000 campers each summer.

In 1911, the JCC Women’s Auxiliary was founded to address the ongoing social service needs of the Jewish community in Chicago. The group raised funds, developed programs and provided support for women and families in need. It expanded opportunities when little to no other support was available, and 100 years later, their work continues to have great impact. In addition to their many volunteer efforts, their Summer of Smiles Campaign provides over $100,000 in scholarships each year, offering access to JCC Chicago’s camping programs for children who would otherwise be unable to participate.

*Historical photos, current images and video available upon request. Please contact Susan Baum at 847.674.1500 x223