Archives for category: Events

To our annual fundraiser supporters,

With our annual fundraising event—Race to Save Young Lives at Arlington International Racecourse—behind us, I want to on reflect what the event and our supporters mean to me personally.

Looking at the bigger picture, several factors made the event more successful than ever.  Starting the planning early was helpful, but I attribute the success to hard work that included many hours of planning and soliciting, and your overwhelming support. Together, my team and I worked harder than ever on our outreach, and it all paid off as you came through for us.

As if the contributions of our sponsors and donors weren’t enough, we had the biggest turnout ever! I felt so grateful, and so blessed. We welcomed both new and returning guests at Arlington. Our closest friends and new partners filled the room. We invited school representatives and family members to help us highlight the vital and necessary SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program.

As I addressed our friends at Arlington, I was overwhelmed not only with gratitude, but also with hope. Public speaking makes me nervous, but I know how important our message is and that motivates me to speak loud and clear: help us fund 30 new schools with suIMG_0319icide prevention education in the 2015-16 school year.

I’m happy to report our goal was met.

With the generous outpouring of contributions from our annual event Race to Save Young Lives, we just might reach 100 schools and educate more than 100,000 students by the school year’s end.

So I want to take this opportunity to extend a most heartfelt THANK YOU to our sponsors and silent auction donors for understanding the importance of our work and for your partnership. We could not do our work without you.

We thank the following corporate sponsors as follows…

Event Sponsors:joannesmom

  • Hospira
  • JMG Wealth Management
  • Mt. Prospect Volkswagen — Countryside Volkswagen/Subaru
  • The Warranty Group
  • Carol and Chris Garavente
  • Colon McLean and Matthew Holt
  • Nancia and Larry Weiner
  • Deede and Ed Wittenstein

Partner Sponsors: Daniel Callistein, LCSW (individual and family psychotherapy), Gendell Family Foundation, Beth and Jeff Izenman, John D. Jawor, Cynthia and David Rosenbloom, Susan and Howard Schoenfeld, Jackie and Bill Shiner

A list of all our silent auction donors is shown below.

I thank you again for your commitment to suicide prevention, and for your generosity. We look forward to partnering with you again.


Joanne Meyers
Elyssa’s Mission

TY_auction donors


Starting Tuesday, April 2nd, the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at Northwestern University will host their annual Paddy Murphy Week, a week of events honoring the traditions and brotherhood of SAE. The week features a variety of events including Tuesday’s kick-off carnival and profit-sharing dinners at several local restaurants.

This year, the brothers of SAE chose Elyssa’s Mission to benefit from their philanthropy. Elyssa’s Mission founder, Joanne Meyers, and one of our board members will join the members of SAE on Friday to accept their donation and make a speech. We are honored that SAE chose Elyssa’s Mission as this year’s Paddy Murphy Week charity, and we hope you will join us in making their week a success. A video about the week and a schedule of events on or near Northwestern University’s campus are listed below.

Tuesday April 2nd

Kick-Off Carnival (4-8pm on the sorority quad)

Food Trucks on University (Babycakes, Chicago Cupcake, Wagyu Wagon)

Live Music (possibly Asterik, Thunk, ZBT band Ric Cross among others)

Dunk Tank

“Paddy Cakes” (pie a brother in the face)


Wednesday April 3rd:

Cheesies Profit-sharing (11 AM – 3 AM)


Thursday April 4th:

Potbelly’s Profit-sharing (5PM-8PM)


Friday April 5th:

Buffalo Wild Wings Profit-sharing


Saturday April 6th:

Reveal of winners at SAE Temple (4-6PM)

DJ booth

Live raffle of donated items

Speech from Joanne Meyers and Elyssa’s Mission Board Member

This Saturday, March 2nd, David and Jill Coltun of Highland Park will host a community fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) at The Alley in Highwood, IL. The event begins at 7:30pm and will feature live music from the band Not for Profit. The $10 suggested donation at the door will go directly to the Illinois Chapter of the AFSP.

Though AFSP is a national organization, your donation will support their work here in our home state. From the AFSP website:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

Steve Goldstein, owner of The Alley, has generously donated the space for the event. Featuring great music, food, and a raffle, the event promises to be a good time in support of the important cause of suicide prevention. We are excited to see the community coming together to raise awareness and funds, and we hope to see you there this Saturday night!

For updates, please see the event’s Facebook page.

cheeseland randy richardson

A talented local author, a powerful new novel, and a great cause: Randy Richardson will hold a meet the author and book signing of his young adult novel Cheeseland on Thursday, March 14th from 7:00-8:00pm. The event will take place at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL. Mr. Richardson has generously pledged a portion of the proceeds of every book sold to Elyssa’s Mission to support our mission to prevent teen suicide. He will celebrate this commitment with a check presentation at the event.

The story of Cheeseland focuses on a topic close to home for Elyssa’s Mission: the novel follows teenagers Lance Parker and Daniel McAllister as they reel from the shock of a close friend’s suicide. The two high school seniors from suburban Chicago head north on a road trip to Wisconsin to attempt to recover and make sense of their friend’s tragic death. As the protagonists navigate the journey from adolescence to adulthood, they uncover the ugly truth behind their friend’s suicide while learning important lessons about friendship and loyalty.

Author Robert W. Walker (Titanic 2012, Bismarck 2013, and Children of Salem) praised Richardson’s handling of the serious issues raised in the novel, saying, “the author handles them with a sensitivity and a dramatic touch that rivals Nicholas Sparks.” Fran Lewis hails the novel as one with “a plot that will definitely keep you glued to the printed page from start to finish.”

To meet Randy Richardson and purchase a signed copy of Cheeseland, please join us at The Book Stall for this event. To learn more about the novel, visit the website at


elyssa's mission extraordinary gifts event clarkson lodge

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our 2012 Extraordinary Gifts Event, whether you were a vendor, volunteer, or attendee. The event was a success with over 140 people attending to preview and purchase special designs and creations from local vendors and artisans. With a fire roaring at the Clarkson Lodge, hors d’oeuvres plated and wine flowing, a great time was had by all who attended.

elyssa's mission extraordinary gifts event guests

With offerings from hand-knit scarves to paintings to vintage jewelry, Extraordinary Gifts helped guests find exactly that for the special people on their holiday lists. Most guests left the event saying that they were able to get a lot of their holiday shopping done with the one-of-a-kind gifts at the event.

Elyssa's Mission Extraordinary Gifts Event Shopping

And with that we are already beginning to plan for next year… we can’t wait! If you would like to see more photos from the event, please visit our Facebook page and “like” us to stay up to date on future events and programs.

“Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

We may not be ready for snow just yet, but with the days growing a little colder, we can be thankful for cozy chairs by the fire, warm conversation with friends, and the opportunity to give back to our community. Bring your friends and family to this year’s Extraordinary Gifts event for some quality time–just make sure you do your holiday shopping when their backs are turned! Our annual evening of stunning artisan gifts will take place on Thursday, December 6th from 5:30-9:30pm at the Clarkson Lodge in Northfield, IL.


Today’s spotlight reflects the joyous, charming spirit of the holiday season: our featured designer is Erin King of Francis Ellis Candles. Erin’s products are eco-friendly–they are biodegradable, free of chemicals and GMOs, not tested on animals, and also happen to be kosher and vegan. In addition to burning bright, the high-quality wax used to make these candles can be used as a moisturizer. While Erin’s scents cover a range from lavender chamomile to Vermont maple syrup, we are especially excited to announce that she has made special candles for Elyssa’s Mission. Erin is dedicated to working with charities and we are thrilled to showcase the special scents she has created for the Elyssa’s Mission candles: organic peppermint, amaretto nutmeg, and frosted pine.


We hope you will join us for Extraordinary Gifts on December 6th and see (and smell!) Francis Ellis Candles for yourself. But don’t worry–if you live out of state, you can still support our cause. These candles will be available on Erin’s website after the event, and half the proceeds will continue to go to Elyssa’s Mission to support our work in education and suicide prevention in the Chicagoland area.

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