West Cook YMCA

You’re Invited to the 2016 West Cook YMCA Annual Gala!

Oak Park Country ClubABOUT THE EVENT

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Oak Park Country Club (click for map)
2001 N. Thatcher Ave.
River Grove, IL 6017


The West Cook YMCA’s Annual Gala is an evening dedicated to celebrating Spirit, Mind, and Body. The event is held at the Oak Park Country Club in River Grove. The evening begins at 6:00 pm with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and live music followed by an elegant dinner at 7:00 pm and ending with a live auction.

6:00 pm: Open Bar, Hors D’oeuvres, Live Music
7:00 pm: Plated Dinner & Program with Live Auction

$150 per seat reservation $1350 per table of ten seats

Mail or drop off reply card by November 4, 2016

RSVP Today!

Check out our invitation for more details. You can RSVP today by filling out the reply card and emailing Tara Lenardi at tlenardi@westcookymca.org. You can even purchase your tickets today. Just choose the Gala as the campaign. Don’t forget to send your reply card to Tara.

Can’t Attend? Here are some ways you can still support our event:

Raffle Tickets
Buy a raffle ticket for $50 for a chance to win.
1st place: $1,250
2nd place: $500
3rd place: $125
* you do not have to be present to win
Donate for our Live Auction
We are looking for great experiences to auction off during our live auction. When filling out the donation page, please choose the Gala as the campaign to designate your gift. You have the option to make a one-time gift or a monthly gift.
Sponsor the Gala
There are three different opportunities to sponsor the Gala through a dinner sponsorship, program ad sponsorship, or as a table sponsor. Check out our sponsorship page for more details.
Donation in lieu of attending
You can donate today to our financial assistance program.



The West Cook YMCA raises support to strengthen our community through programs and activities focused on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. Thanks to the support of community members, the West Cook YMCA is able to improve the well-being and health literacy of almost a 1,000 children, adults, and seniors who otherwise would not be able to participate in Y programming. 

Become a Sponsor Today!



Jorge Perez is the Sr. Vice President of Programs and the Y Experience for YMCA of the USA in Chicago, IL—where he leads a team that supports local Ys in their efforts to impact the lives of 22 million individuals annually. His experience includes 20 years at YMCAs in Dallas, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and as CEO of the YMCA of Southwest Illinois.  He has served in multiple national/state-wide roles including: YUSA Board member, Emerging Leaders Leadership Network (Executive Champion), Multicultural Leadership Development Institute (coach/speaker), and the Illinois State Alliance.

Jorge (a native Texan) and his wife Amy have two daughters: Olivia and Isabel. Jorge holds 2 Masters Degrees in Christian Education (Dallas Theological Seminary) and Business Administration (University of Dallas).


Danielle Villari SwetsDanielle Villari Swets received her degree in Management from Indiana University and is currently the Hospital Systems Manager at American Cancer Society. She has worked there for five years and her professional interests include event planning, promoting the 80% by 2018 initiative, and creating strong partnerships with hospitals in the Chicago area.

Danielle lives in Oak Park with her husband, ten year old son, and two year old puppy. She is a volunteer for Imerman Angels and Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Kristin Carlson VogenKristin Carlson Vogen is the President & CEO of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in August 2014, Kristin worked at Bank of America/U.S. Trust as a philanthropic specialist. In her current and prior roles, Kristin provides subject matter expertise on private foundations, donor advised funds, and endowment management for public charities. As leader of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, she engages with families and community members, as well as local social impact organizations, to ensure the vitality of the local community remains robust and diverse through partnerships within and throughout.

Presently, Kristin is a Board Member of The Cara Program and a Trustee of Window to the World Communications, Inc. (WTTW 11/WFMT 98.7). She chairs the Kids Advisory Committee and is a member of the Planned Giving Advisory Committee for WTTW/WFMT as well. Kristin has served as adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago, teaching in its Not For Profit Program. Kristin was named 2015 River Forest Villager of the Year by the “Wednesday Journal” for her work with the Community Foundation. In 2015, Kristin was the inaugural recipient of the ALDE (Association of Lutheran Development Executives) Chicago Chapter Outstanding Leader Award.

Kristin earned her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, and B.B.A. in Human Resource Management from Abilene Christian University. Kristin lives in River Forest with her husband, Shawn, and three children.

ABOUT our EMCEE for the night

Alfonso GutiérrezAlfonso Gutiérrez works as a news anchor for Noticiero Telemundo Chicago, which airs Monday through Friday at 4:30 PM, 5:00 PM, and 10:00 PM on Telemundo Chicago/WSNS, the local station which serves the Spanish speaking community of Chicago.

As part of Noticiero Telemundo Chicago, Gutiérrez reports the latest and most important news for Chicago area viewers. Gutiérrez first joined Telemundo Chicago in 2003, when he worked in the creative services department as an intern.

Before joining Telemundo Chicago as a full time anchor, Gutiérrez worked as a reporter and morning segment presenter at Telemundo 25 Denver, KDEN in 2006. Gutiérrez also worked as producer and host of a radio show at 89.3 FM-WHFR in Detroit, Michigan, which proved to be a challenge as it was the only Spanish-language radio show in a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community. These early beginnings were combined with Telecommunications studies at Henry Ford College in Michigan.

Gutiérrez has received two Emmy Awards for his journalistic work in a series of special investigations for Telemundo Chicago. He has been nominated an additional 6 times to the Emmy for his work as reporter and producer. Gutiérrez received his Bachelor’s degree in Video and Film Production from Columbia College Chicago.

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Gutiérrez advocates for the success of young students, inspiring them to become future leaders. For several years, Gutiérrez has supported Fundación Necahual, whose mission is to empower children and young adults who have been in vulnerable situations and need cultural and education resources.

To learn more about Alfonso Gutiérrez, please visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/alfonso.telemundo and follow him on Twitter @alfonsoreporta.


Contact Us

Tara Lenardi  |  tlenardi@westcookymca.org

255 S. Marion St., Oak Park, IL 60302
708 383 5200