The most Christmas of Christmas parties just wrapped..." /> $1 million raised for WINGS, which supports victims of domestic violence

On the Scene
John and Rita Canning mingled with guests at the WINGS benefit this morning./photo by Shia Kapos 1

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.”

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One Response to WINGS holiday party raises $1 million–and good cheer

  1. Pingback: O'Connor family helps raise millions of dollars for Chicago nonprofits

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