It Feels Like Family: LIFT LOCAL 2014

By LIFT on May 2, 2014

Categories: Events, Our Work


“I am so inspired and believe we can make very real change in Chicago,” LIFT’s CEO and Co-Founder, Kirsten Lodal, said at LIFT LOCAL on April 10.

The third annual LIFT LOCAL was a smashing success. Over 300 supporters, LIFT advocates, and community members convened at Salvage One to commemorate another successful year of lifting people out of poverty for good in Chicago.

Guests enjoyed a fun-filled and engaging night at one of Chicago’s most unique venues. They savored a custom menu of appetizers and drinks provided by Sodexo Catering, celebrating Chicago’s food culture. Guests were given a taste of the LIFT experience by decorating “milestones,” small stones to give LIFT members as a token of encouragement, and taking LIFT’s groundbreaking Constituent Voice surveys. Additionally, attendees were able to capture the excitement of the night with a one-of-a-kind photo booth from ActionBooth which captured action shots of guests (check out the photos here).

“What I love about this event is that like the LIFT model, it’s about relationships,” said Caroline Degennars, LIFT-Chicago Regional Advisory Board Member.

During the upLIFTing Award presentation, two incredible examples of the LIFT spirit were recognized for their inspiration and resilience. LIFT member Ray received the upLIFTing Commitment Award for his hard work and dedication. After being featured in a video that followed his daily routine, including working with LIFT on his resume and job search, Ray accepted his award on stage.

“LIFT helped me stay positive and channel my inner strength,” Ray said. “I am accepting this award on behalf of everyone who is working hard to improve their lives.”

Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., President and CEO of Loyola University Chicago and LIFT-Chicago Regional Advisory Board Member, received the upLIFTing Leadership Award. Sonia Ramirez, a LIFT advocate and student leader at Loyola, presented his award.

“Father Garanzini understands how important LIFT is as a civic engagement platform for students like me,” Sonia said. “As I have built relationships with LIFT’s clients, staff and my fellow volunteers, LIFT has been nothing short of a transformative experience for me. I am so proud that Loyola’s President continues to stand with LIFT and with our neighbors who are facing life’s ‘shaky ground’ moments.”

Aside for being a wonderful evening of celebrating commitment and service, LIFT LOCAL 2014 raised $185,000 in total due to generous donations from event sponsors, host committee members, and individual donations. This year’s sponsors included Loyola University Chicago, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Grosvenor Capital Management, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Sodexo, Make It Better Magazine, Pistil & Vine, Uber, Ariel Investments, Baird Foundation, Comcast, Mark Battrell Photography, Global Printing, and ManpowerGroup.

“My favorite thing about LIFT LOCAL is the energy and the friendliness. It feels like family,” said Sol Anderson, LIFT-Chicago’s Director of Programs. Relive the event by checking out the photos here.