CVLS' 50th Anniversary Gala was a Success!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

View photos from the event here!

THANK YOU for helping CVLS net nearly $130,000 at our 50th Anniversary Gala.  Your support means that CVLS will handle more cases and that more people—the poor and working poor of Chicago—will be able to get the legal help they could not otherwise afford. 

Turnout at our Gala was fantastic. Two-thirds of past board presidents joined dozens of former board members. They were joined by scores of volunteers, some new, many from years back, all mingling and swapping stories. The crowd was treated to performances by comedian Pat McGann of Zanies Comedy Club and an ensemble from the Second City performing a selection of skits.

Several of our founders and notable supporters were honored for their outstanding contributions to CVLS’ success.

  • CVLS’ founder, John M. Ferren, now a judge in the D.C. Court of Appeals, received our Founders Award along with fellow original CVLS volunteers John Morrison, retired from Kirkland & Ellis, and Cameron Avery, retired from K & L Gates.
  • The Honorable Hubert Will was honored posthumously for providing CVLS with cy pres funding as seed money for an endowment. His gift, grown 3-fold in twenty years, continues to serve as a base of financial support. Judge Will’s family attended the event and graciously accepted the award.  
  • Wesley Walton, one of CVLS’ first board presidents, received our Leaders Award for providing a steady hand during those early, rocky days.
  • Deputy Director Phil Mohr and Board of Directors president Folarin Dosunmu recognized Margaret Benson for her efforts as CVLS’ Executive Director.

Our silent auction alone raised nearly $15,000. A basket of items made by some of CVLS’ talented staff turned out to be the most popular item with 18 bids. Thank you to volunteer and occasional CVLS newsletter contributor Costa Nikolaides, winner of these eclectic treats.

Other popular silent auction items included the Books & Brunch package of gift cards to Open Books and Wildberry, an autographed Patrick Kane jersey, a Kindle Paperwhite, a night out at the Wit hotel and a cooking class from Chopping Block.

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of our 50th Anniversary sponsors, organizations that donated to our silent auction, artists displaying their work, our performers throughout the night, each and every one of our volunteers and of course, all the event’s attendees!

We are proud to continue the mission John Ferren started when he founded CVLS 50 years ago - to fight for equal access to justice. 

If you missed the event, you can still support CVLS! Please consider making a donation by clicking here: