WINGS holiday party raises $1 million–and good cheer
December 11th, 2016
The most Christmas of Christmas parties just wrapped up at Four Seasons Hotel Grand Ballroom.
Some 200 children and 150 adults celebrated the holiday with a fundraiser for WINGS, a non-profit that operates safe houses for victims of domestic violence. More than $1 million was raised.
The organization was founded by Rita Canning, wife of Chicago businessman John Canning Jr. (he’s also chairman of Wrapports).
Canning called on his many business friends to support the event. Banker Larry Richman was there with grandchildren.
The party was a whirlwind of music by Ralph’s World’s Ralph Covert, little guests constructing gingerbread houses, balloon-twisters, K-9 Comfort Dogs and, of course, Santa.
“Where else can you spend time with your grand-kids and have a vodka,” Canning told me. He and his wife have a combined six children and 10 grandchildren.
For years, Canning rallied his business friends to donate to the cause–J.B. Pritzker, Richard Notebaert, John Rowe, Jim O’Connor Sr. and Jr., Greg Brown, Ron Gidwitz and Craig Duchossois are among them.
As children and grandchildren aged out, Canning realized a good way to keep up the interest is to go to those executives’ assistants–“They know how to fill the tables.”