Nearly 650 people gathered for the 2023 Rosecrance Foundation Annual Benefit, which included an evening of music, food, and stories of hope from supporters and individuals impacted by our mission.
Multiplatinum recording artist Sara Evans, the fifth-most-played female artist on country radio during the past two decades, delivered a powerful performance. The crowd sang along with several of her No. 1 singles, including “Suds in the Bucket” and “Born to Fly.”
The event also included presentation of The Castle Award, Rosecrance’s pinnacle honor, to Bill Thiede. Thiede was the founding chair of The Rosecrance Foundation Board of Directors in 1997 and served on that board for many years, as well as the Rosecrance Health Network and Rosecrance Inc. boards.
He and his family demonstrate to the next generation what philanthropy means and looks like: His son, Brian, is also a Rosecrance board member, and we are grateful for their service.
“Rosecrance is successful today because of the people: the dedicated professional staff, the outstanding support services team, and all the employees,” Thiede said in his acceptance speech. “And equally important are the volunteers and contributors who have endorsed and supported the mission of Rosecrance.
“I have been and will continue to be proud of being associated with Rosecrance. And I thank you very much for the award and I thank the employees who are the essence of the Castle Award.”
As part of the evening’s presentation, Rosecrance Alum Jenna M. shared her recovery story with the crowd, detailing how she learned about mental health and addiction and thrived during treatment and prioritizes giving back and helping others as a Rosecrance Alumni Ambassador.
“I was able to shape my new life around recovery,” she shared. “I’m experiencing the world around me for what feels like the very first time, and I’m having a blast.
“It really took me breaking the stigma of what an alcoholic is, that addiction affects people in all walks of life. It doesn’t make a person less than, weak, or bad in any way. I look at being an alcoholic as a strength of mine, as an ongoing journey of self-reflection, self-awareness, honesty, and willingness. I wake up every day with a positive, upbeat outlook ready to hit the ground running.”
Rosecrance President/CEO Dr. Dave Gomel thanked attendees for their steadfast support of Rosecrance and shared the organization’s four priority pillars: delivering best-in-class care, being the behavioral health employer of choice, improving access to care through growth, and maintaining a strong financial footing.
“I stand in awe of our employees, our clients, and our supporters like you,” Gomel told the crowd. “More than 54,000 lives are better because of your support here tonight, and I could not begin to express that gratitude beside saying thank you.”
The annual benefit has been a tradition for nearly 70 years and is a key fundraiser for Rosecrance. Last year, the Foundation provided charity care support to hundreds of families and nearly $8.6 million in community benefit care to ensure access to our evidence-based treatment and other services in our continuum of care for mental health and substance use disorders.
Special thanks to all our sponsors, including these institutional sponsors at $5,000 or more for supporting the event and the individuals and families we serve.
Life’s Waiting Benefactors: ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing, Kelley Williamson Company
Changing Lives, Saving Lives Benefactors: Bergstrom Inc. Charitable Foundation, BMO, CoyleKiley Insurance Agency, Inc., Rockford Anesthesiologists Associated, LLC, UW Health
Behavioral Health Benefactors: Anderson Automotive Group, Baker Tilly, The Blazer Foundation, Canteen Refreshment Services, Crusader Community Health, DAO Foundation, FurstStaffing, Helm Group, Illinois Bank & Trust, Meirtran, Mercyhealth, Morrison Management Specialists, OSF HealthCare, Rockford Separators, Sjostrom & Sons, Inc., TASC Inc., WilliamsMcCarthy LLP