The Cove School Finds Its "Spark" at Benefit Gala

The Cove School Finds Its "Spark" at Benefit Gala

Under the theme of “Be The Spark,” The Cove School and its unbelievable community were that and much more at their joyous Annual Benefit. The event drew together Cove parents, alumni, faculty, board members, and corporate sponsors, as well as friends and guests, to celebrate and raise funds for the school, which for over 70 years has continued to provide the highest level of support for students with learning disabilities.

The event took place on Saturday, February 23 at Loews Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. With 500 people in attendance, the room was filled with an incredible joy and spirit. Cove is so grateful for its many supporters, most of whom have had their lives touched by the school in one or more ways. During the evening, benefit attendees had the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. Electronic bidding made the silent auction lively and competitive until the very last minute! Live auction packages this year included unparalleled local adventures, a connoisseur wine collection, and unique travel experiences, including trips to Paris, the Bahamas and New York City! This year’s “Golden Paddle Raffle” winners were Gregg and Kim Berman of Lake Zurich, who won a paddle valued at $5,000, which they used to bid on a 16-person weeklong lake house getaway in Harbert, Michigan. Dinner, a paddle raise, and dancing to the sounds of “Standing Room Only” were also part of the evening. The Benefit grossed over $630,000.

Leading the way as the Event Chair this year was Courtney Jack of Winnetka. Debra Johnson of Barrington and Shana Peretz of Deerfield chaired the live auction. The Silent Auction Chair was Lisa Foley of Winnetka. The Alumni Chairs were Rebecca Blase of Northbrook and Betsy Crosswhite of Wilmette. The Benefit Advisors were Lisa Flanagan of Winnetka and Beverly Petersen of Winnetka.  Betsy and Howard Ellen of Vernon Hills were the High School Liaisons, and Amy Goldenberg of Vernon Hills was the Junior High Liaison. Finally, the Young Professionals for Cove (YPC) Chairs this year were August Klatt of Chicago and Nicole Weldzius of Chicago. All of these individuals have worked incredibly hard to bring in larger than ever donations for this year’s event.

The Cove School is grateful for its corporate sponsors who helped underwrite the event. They included: Academic Approach, Barnett Capital, American Chemet Corporation, CIBC, Drinker Biddle, BMO Wealth Management, Seyfarth Shaw, Gonnella Baking Company, Grane and HCI Equity Partners. “Friends of Cove” included: ABC Pediatrics LLC, Eyes on the Lake, The Culver Family, ISBS, The Medel/Wiedmayer Family, The Novar Family, The Weicher Family, and Queue Marketing Communications Group.

This year, Cove honored two exemplars of stewardship to the Cove Community, Board Members Rob and Lisa Flanagan, with its annual Prism Award. Since their daughter Natalie joined Cove in 2009, Rob and Lisa have been active in every aspect of service to Cove, and have been instrumental in transforming the school into what it is today. Rob is a partner at Seyfarth Shaw. Lisa and Rob have three children, Alex, Noah and Natalie, and live in Winnetka.

To support Cove or find more information, please contact Stephanie Sanderman, Director of Development, at or at (847) 562-2100.