2018 Year End Benefit

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Hope Works Community Development invites you to celebrate a year of growth at the Hotel Palomar in the Gallery Ballroom at 6:00 PM on Thursday, November 8th. 

6:00-7:30 PM Cocktail Reception

6:30 - 7:30 PM Auction

7:30-9:00 PM Dinner and Program

Keynote Speakers Erin O'Keefe and Justice Robert R. Thomas

Register for tickets here.

Interested in Sponsoring?

To sponsor this event, read the details below or contact Rebekah King at rking@hopeworkschicago.org.

As leaders in Chicago, you understand how important a job is. Having stable employment decreases the risk of violence, allows for families to thrive, and benefits the economy of Chicago communities. Hope Works is working with individuals to become job ready and to find, apply for, and keep employment.

However, our efforts can’t take effect unless we have the support of everyone in our community.

That’s why we’d like to invite you to sponsor our Year End Benefit on November 8th at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. We’ll be joined by over 200 leaders in the city to celebrate the work that we have accomplished together in 2018 and to look forward to 2019. Erin O'Keefe and Justice Robert R. Thomas will be our keynote speakers, you can read their bios below.

Below are the sponsorship levels for this year. Contact Rebekah King for more details:



$5,000- Event Sponsor
2 tables, with logo displayed, premium seating
Logo printed on event programs and registration.
Logo on online invitation, website, and all event related emails
Verbal Recognition throughout event

$2,500 - Table Sponsor
1 table, with logo displayed
Logo on online invitation and event programs
Verbal recognition at beginning and end of event

$1,000- Event Partner
1 table with logo displayed
Logo printed on event programs

$500- Event Contributor

Logo printed on event programs


Hope Works Community Development is a registered 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.


KEy Note Speakers

Justice Robert R. Thomas

Supreme Court of Illinois

Justice Robert R. Thomas was born in Rochester, New York. He received his B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame in 1974, and was named an Academic All- American that same year. For three seasons, Justice Thomas was the starting placekicker for the University of Notre Dame football team. In the 1973 Sugar Bowl, Justice Thomas kicked the winning field goal in Notre Dame’s 24-23 victory over the University of Alabama, thereby clinching the AP National Championship for the Irish.

Following his graduation from Notre Dame, Justice Thomas played 12 seasons in the National Football League, 10 of them with the Chicago Bears. In the 1977 season, Justice Thomas kicked a 28-yard overtime field goal that sent the Bears to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, and he remains the fourth leading scorer in Chicago Bears history.

While still playing for the Chicago Bears, Justice Thomas enrolled in and attended Loyola University School of Law, where he often was seen studying after practice and between games. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1981, and he spent the next seven years in private civil practice with several firms, including Bochte & Kuzniar; Bochte, Kuzniar & Thomas; John P. Callahan, P.C.; Casey, Kripner and Callahan; and Guerard, Kalina, Musial, Ulrich and Varchetto.

In 1988, Justice Thomas was elected Circuit Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of DuPage County. While with the Circuit Court, Justice Thomas presided over civil jury trials and was appointed acting Chief Judge from 1989 to 1994. In 1994, Justice Thomas was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court for the Second Judicial District, where he continued to serve until his election to the Illinois Supreme Court in November 2000.

Justice Thomas was elected by his colleagues on the Supreme Court to serve as Chief Justice from 2005-2008, making him the first Chief Justice from DuPage County in the Court's nearly 200 year history. Upon his installation as Chief Justice, Thomas acknowledged the path that had brought him there: “Having served in both the trial court and the appellate court, I will never lose sight of the fact that the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court represent a mere sliver of the work that occupies the Illinois courts. Every day, in courtrooms from Lake County to Alexander County, decisions are rendered that will never be published, will never make headlines, and will never be reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court. But these decisions are important, nonetheless. For they, as much as any decision rendered by the Illinois Supreme Court, affect the lives of real people.” Thomas then committed himself to “serving the cause of justice, to walking humbly, and to never losing sight of the tremendous privilege that it is to wear the judicial robe, and to serve the people of this State.”

One of the major accomplishments during Justice Thomas’ tenure as Chief was the establishment of the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, an outgrowth of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Civility, which was formed in 2001. The Commission promotes principles of integrity and civility among all Illinois lawyers and judges. “You hear a lot about how the practice of law is different now than in days past when a lawyer’s handshake meant something and a lawyer’s word was his bond,” Justice Thomas said when recommending the Committee.

“That may be an oversimplification, but in this day and age with competition in the profession for dollars and clients, activities sometimes degenerate into a Rambo-style, win-at-all cost attitude by attorneys.”

Also during Justice Thomas’s tenure as Chief Justice, the Court gave special attention to the implementation of information technologies that advance the services and functions of the Illinois courts. Among the most visible improvements was the streaming of the Court’s oral arguments in video and audio format on the Court’s website. The arguments are posted on the website shortly after they are formally heard by the Supreme Court.

Justice Thomas’s tenure as Chief Justice also saw the Illinois Supreme Court implement for the very first time a program of mandatory continuing legal education for all active Illinois lawyers and judges.

In his time on the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Thomas has authored numerous notable opinions, including People v. Lerma (2016), which held that expert testimony concerning the reliability of eyewitness identifications is appropriate in certain cases; DeHart v. DeHart (2013), which for the first time recognized the theory of equitable adoption in Illinois; Ryan v. The Board of Trustees of the General Assembly Retirement System (2010), which held that, as a result of his multiple federal felony convictions, former Governor George H. Ryan had forfeited the pensions he earned while serving in the General Assembly and as Lieutenant Governor; and People ex rel. Madigan v. Snyder (2005), which affirmed the constitutionality of former Governor Ryan’s grant of “blanket clemency” to all 167 of Illinois’ death row inmates.

In 2006, a Kane County jury awarded Justice Thomas $7 million in damages for a series of defamatory newspaper columns authored by Kane County Chronicle columnist, Bill Page. The case later settled for a reduced amount after Page and the newspaper issued a statement apologizing to Justice Thomas for “publishing statements that the jury found to be false and in relying on sources who, based on the jury verdict, provided information that was not true” about Justice Thomas.

Justice Thomas was named DuPage County Bar Association's Lawyer of the Year in 2001. In 2005, the Illinois Judges Association honored him with their "Professionalism Award.” He received Loyola University's Distinguished Jurist Award in 2006, and was named "Judge of the Year" in 2008 by the Illinois Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

In 1999, the NCAA Honors Committee selected Justice Thomas for the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary award, which recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college athletics career 25 years ago. In September 2012, he was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.

Justice Thomas and his wife, Maggie, reside in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Erin O'Keefe

Executive Director, MIGMIR Fund

Erin O’Keefe is the Executive Director for the MIGMIR fund, which stands for Much is Given Much is Required. MIGMIR is a donor advised fund that financially supports Christ-centered ministries that serve the spiritual and physical needs of individuals in under-resourced communities in Chicago and internationally. In addition to her role as Executive Director, Erin is also a Senior Analyst for the His Fund, a global fund that seeks to invest in Kingdom minded, socially responsible for-profit businesses.  Whether granting to ministries or investing for purpose, Erin is committed to stewarding the capital and talents entrusted to her.

Erin serves on a handful of boards and is able to engage meaningfully with their local ministry and investment partners located in Chicago. She is grateful for a career that allows her to see God at work in powerful ways on a daily basis.  Erin is married to Patrick and is the mother to her 16-month-old son, Brayden.