With gratitude, a fond farewell

Three years ago, we started the Chicago Charity Challenge to motivate and inspire Chicago-area businesses and their employees to give back to the community through a year-long competitive challenge.  Partnered with a charity of their choice, corporate teams since 2014 have contributed over $30 million and 100,000 hours to address issues such as hunger, homelessness, violence, disability and disease, and to help families in many of our most troubled neighborhoods. We could have never imagined the extent of our collective impact!

It has been a great privilege to work with the thousands of employees that have participated in the Challenge each year, and we will be forever grateful for the support of our Board, Advisory Board and Sponsors.

Thank you, above all, to Call One, without whose tremendous financial and moral support none of this would have been possible. Thank you too to the employees of Call One for inspiring the Challenge, volunteering at all our events, and sponsoring our Grand Prize Award. Working with a selected charity throughout the year, you continue to make a significant difference that goes well beyond a day of caring.

We deeply appreciate the constant support of MB Financial Charitable Foundation, which helped develop and sponsored the Community Impact Award, and of BKD, which volunteered all our accounting services and sponsored the Helping Hand Award. Thank you to the Foster Charitable Trust for sponsoring the Issue Impact Award. We are indebted to Mandell Menkes for their many hours of pro bono legal services and for sponsoring our award ceremonies and fundraising events. A big thanks to our true friend Bruce who joined us at the beginning and saw us through to the end.

Thank you to Lisa and Josh at Collision Labs for working with us to develop the GiveTrak program and for building a spectacular website, as well as for providing much sound advice, and to Michelle Damico for garnering media attention for Chicago’s most generous businesses.  We’ll always be grateful to our original Executive Director Susan Hahn, who worked tirelessly to establish our brand, to Executive Director Stacey Rago, who put us on the map, to our wonderful community relations managers Allison Walsh and Liz Allen, and to all our other spirited friends who lent a hand.  Thank you to all our dedicated team captains and charity reps! Finally, thanks to everyone who voted to make us the People’s Choice for the 2016 Chicago Innovation Awards.

As we look to the future, it is our greatest desire that the partnerships we helped inspire live on. We aim now to help another organization take on the Challenge and make it even better.  In the meantime, thank you for all of the memories of service and hope.

Fondly,

Craig & Terri Foster, Co-Founders