Our annual gala experience.

Not just another gala: CNE hosts evening centered on relationships, community

Guests enjoy CNE’s annual gala, held at Found in downtown Evanston on June 1.

Sophie’s eyes filled with tears as she shared her story.

“Every time I turned somewhere for help I was told no … [CNE] was an agency that was willing to listen,” she said, in a video shown at CNE’s annual gala, held Monday, June 1.

Sophie, a mother of two, is one of many parents who have come to CNE and overcome the challenges of finding affordable, quality early childhood education programs for their children. These stories illustrated that CNE is no ordinary nonprofit, and the evening’s festivities reflected no ordinary gala.

The gala, held at Found in downtown Evanston, featured seasonal plates from Chef Nicole Pederson and a signature cocktail of house-made cucumber-infused lemonade and vodka.

The format centered around a 15-minute presentation that quickly shared how CNE is impacting the community and how audience members could get involved. Speakers included Board Member Jonny Basofin, Executive Director Andrea Densham and Board President Patrick Fitzsimmons. The rest of the night was devoted to socializing and building relationships with others in the room.

CNE staff host an informationm table at the gala.
CNE staff host an information table at the gala.

The theme of the night, Metamorphosis, was designed to illustrate two ideas: the journey that CNE takes with its families and the journey that CNE takes as an organization as it coordinates resources and builds partnerships within the community to increase its efficiency and impact on families in the Northern Suburbs.

CNE meets families where they are and provides them with access to the resources they need to create healthy, stable homes. We know that children who experience quality early childhood education are more likely to experience continued success throughout their education and career, and less likely to repeat cycles of poverty.

“Early childhood education is the absolute best anti-poverty initiatives that we could possibly have,” Densham said to the crowd June 1. “A mother or father can enter our front door and have someone help them identify not just what the needs of the child are, and what the needs of the parents are as well.”

Click here to view photos of the event.