October 9, 2020: Every year for over three decades Meals on Wheels Chicago worked with our generous partners in the hospitality industry to throw a one-of-a-kind culinary event that raised much needed funds for our home meal delivery program. Celebrity Chef Ball is one of Chicago’s original and longest running culinary fundraisers and is an annual tradition for many of you. Because of your generosity and the incredible support of chefs, local restaurants, mixologists, and sponsors, this event has raised millions for Meals on Wheels Chicago since its inception.
Today would have marked the 32nd Annual Celebrity Chef Ball, but instead of speaking to you all in a crowded hall as you watch some of the city’s top chefs prepare a six-course meal right in front of you, we are addressing you here instead. This year is full of new challenges for all of us, and as you can imagine, it is challenging for Meals on Wheels Chicago as well.
When the pandemic shut the world down this past spring, the need for home meal delivery increased dramatically. Meals on Wheels Chicago increased enrollment in the program by 67% almost overnight! As the organization did everything it could to help as many people as possible, leadership also made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel all in-person fundraising events for the year, including Celebrity Chef Ball. As of today, over 10,400 people are receiving meals and not one person was ever put on a waitlist. Meeting this new demand is only possible with the incredible generosity of our community of supporters – of people like you.
There’s no doubt that tonight would have been a good night for Meals on Wheels Chicago. Hundreds of us would have attended Celebrity Chef Ball to show our support, increase awareness, and most importantly, raise funds for this vital program. Today we ask that you please make a gift to Meals on Wheels Chicago in honor of the amazing event that could have been. This program delivers so much more than a meal. It gives people renewed hope and security, which these days is more valuable than anything else. Please donate to Meals on Wheels Chicago today!