BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
An update from Sister Rosemary Connelly—surely Chicago’s most effective can-do leader—a spring fashion show by Bloomingdale’s Old Orchard, a pop-up Bloomingdale’s boutique, and a performance by the Misericordia Heartbreakers had the 600 guests at the Misericordia Women’s Auxiliary’s annual luncheon in a blissful buzz recently at the Hilton Chicago.
Illustrations by Kristine, a Misericordia resident, captured the theme of feminine, floral fashion while images of her rainbow tulle creations were backdrops paying tribute to the life-changing institution Sister Rosemary created almost 50 years ago.
Co-Chairs Margaret Dillon, Katie Seignethaler, and Tracy Winslow and Auxiliary President Claudia Miquelon welcomed guests to the jubilant celebration. In addition to the popular pop-up shop and runway presentation, Bloomingdale’s sponsored a luxury raffle of seven fabulous prizes including several shopping sprees at the Old Orchard store.
At the event, Sister Rosemary announced that fans of Misericordia’s Hearts & Flour Bakery will be able to shop this fall at an additional location at 6124 North Ravenswood, which will even have a drive-thru! The beloved bakery provides delicious treats as well as jobs for persons with intellectual disabilities.
The luncheon raised over $200,000 for Misericordia, which serves over 600 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing quality residential living, training, and employment services. Until 1975, when Sister Rosemary launched her revolution, disabled people received only custodial care.
Surely no Chicago organization has a more committed or stronger volunteer team than Misericordia. We asked one if its most effective members, Deborah Early, to tell us more about this transformative organization:
“As the parent of a resident, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity that Misericordia provides for my son to live a rich and rewarding life. This life is possible only because of the vision of Sister Rosemary, the devotion of the staff, and the commitment of countless volunteers and friends of Misericordia who work tirelessly.
“Government funding alone would allow survival, but the funds raised by our dedicated community permit, in Sister Rosemary’s words, ‘a life worth living’ for our 600 vulnerable residents.”
For further information about Misericordia, visit misericordia.com. For great opportunities to see Misericordia in action and to purchase delicious food and great gifts and plants, visit their Greenhouse Inn for lunch or Sunday brunch, Hearts and Flour Bakery, Heartstrings Gift Shop, or the Twice Blest Thrift Shop.