Books & Brunch reaches new high

Becky Moats, Maureen Hegarty, Laurie Cleary

2014 Books & Brunch co-chairs 

The 18th annual Books & Brunch 2014 on Tuesday, November 11 raised more than $135,000. A five minute challenge, netted a quick $7,142, which was matched to $14,284 by a generous but anonymous member donor.  Every event surpasses the previous year, with a substantial increase in revenue and record attendance. We are happily bursting at the seams thanks to our faithful master of ceremomies, NBC 5 Newscaster Dick Johnson, and a compelling line-up of authors: Dorie Greenspan, who whetted our appetite for all things French especially food;  Rebecca Makkai, who's burning up the media waves with rave reviews for her Chicago-based novel The Hundred Year Old House, Chris Rylander, who made us long to be young adult readers again, and Melanie Wagner, who took us on her journey as a sommelier while pregnant.

2014-15 Board

Front row: Maureen Hegarty, Ricki Lessig, Fernanda Valentino, Mary Parsons

Back row: Meg Cooper, Sue Farrell, Inga Haveric, Maria Garino

We were thrilled to be joined by members of Assistance League of St. Louis

Pictured above with Meg and Laurie

Jolynn Waichulis & Marilyn Krafthefer 

Laila Alamuddin & Diane Mrozek

Janelle Barcelona, Director of Development - DuPage PADS, with Betty Cronin

Jan McGivern, Marie Raffl, Sue Farrell 

Maddy LaRocco

Jeanne Eber & Linda Legner

Maureen Hegarry and Laurie Cleary with Michele Kovach, Bella Cosa Jewelers

Cora Brown & Leslie Oroc, World Kitchens Corelle

Jeanne Hanson, Executive Director of Belmont Village, Guest Author Merle Garton Phillips,

Meg Cooper,  Carlene Motto, Executive VP Sales & Marketing, Laurie Cleary 

Merle greeted guests 

and signed copies of Beautiful Pebbles 

Carlene Motto with Brianne Zitko & Karisti Shankle, Belmont Village Community Relations 

Micki Rush & Guest

Becky Moats & Guest

Deb Newman (right) & Guest Author

Books Signings

Chris Rylander

Dorie Greenspan

Rebecca Makkai

Melanie Wagner

Heather Laughman, Rebecca Makkai, Melanie Wagner, Dorie Greenspan,

Chris Rylander, Linda Legner

Sharon Smith, Marianne Cortopassi, Irene McClendon, Laurie Laga

Pat Mrozek (center) with Guests

Micki Rush & Anne Mueller

Trish Reider & Susan Brodie

Marie Rossi (right) & Guest 

Maureen & Katie Hegarty

Margaret Bennett, Renee Cooper, Jennifer Stout & Donna Brickman, Hinsdale Bank & Trust 

Marianne Cortopassi & Deena Voellinger

NBC 5 Newscaster Dick Johnson with Authors 

Carol Simlar, President & CEO, and Janelle Barcelona, Vice President Development, DuPage PADS

Jan Tuthill & BJ Chimenti

Sally Rozak (second from left) & Friends

Pat Mrozek & Guest

BJ Chimenti, Jenifer Fabian & Jan Tuthill

Jennifer Ward & Ellen Pfoetz

Marie Freier (center) & Friends

Heather Laughman, Meg Cooper & Guest

Jan McGivern & Friend

Mary Kay Shukis, Amy Brown & Patricia Keeling of Catholic Charities, Sandra Ver Beek

Mary Kay and Sandra with Bridges Communities Case Managers Molly Howieson & Robyn Mason, Yvonne Naese, Director of Operations

Mary Kay and Sandra with Caroline Kline & Amy Moran, Helping Hand Center

 Marianne Cortopassi with former District 181 teachers Barb Johnson & Theresa Wilke

Eileen Hanley, Joy Aaronson, Community Development Coordinator, Metropolitan Family Services, Patricia Van Hoegarden

Dick Johnson opens the program

President Heather Laughman talks about Assistance League 

Nancy Newell receives Ada Edwards Laughlin award, named for Assistance League co-founder

Ann Marie Andexler, former Bridges client and New Start kitchen recipient speaks with hope about her life and experiences

Linda Legner introduces authors

Melanie Wagner

Chris Rylander


Rebecca Makkai

Dorie Greenspan

Judy Casten, Ly Hotchkin, Jan Tuthill 

Judy Caribeaux, Executive Director,  and Robbie McCoy, Director of Resource Development, Family Shelter Service 

Marguerite Spangehl, Felicia Moore & Yuan Huang, COD Scholarship recipients, Fernanda Valentino 

Janie Gold, Mary Kay Pauritsch, Terri Diorio

Nancy Newell and Sister

Ada Edwards Laughlin award winner