Imagine yourself shopping in a quaint, swanky boutique downtown Chicago with dozens of delicious potential ensembles draped over your arm. Then imagine shopping for a cause, your retail therapy having a positive impact on others. All of a sudden you’re feeling very Mother Theresa as you try on a Robert Rodriquez dolman sweater dress in one of the boutique’s appropriately proportioned dressing rooms. It’s an amazing feeling right? Now add cocktails to the mix, and you can almost imagine the ambrosial atmosphere of the fundraiser hosted by Sarah Wood, wife of Chicago Cubs pitcher, Kerry Wood, on November 10th, 2011.
Lucky for you, the boutique I had you imagining so vividly before is not fictional, but pure 24 karat fact, and is none other than the Intermix boutique at 841 West Armitage in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Intermix, established in 1993 by Mr. Haro and Mr. Khajak Keledjian in New York, has since become quite contagious spreading to metropolitan hot spots like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. The lovely Mrs. Wood could not have chosen a more flattering venue for her fundraising event. Intermix has the perfect amount of class, edge, and style. With its minimalist modern features, white walls, hard wood floors, and track lighting that seem to provide spot lights by which to shop under. The boutique houses designers from Adrienne Landau to Zack Posen, and has more varied treasures than one could imagine in such a petite store.
Sarah Wood’s vision was to host an evening of shopping, styling, and cocktails in support of the Wood Family Foundation, a foundation she created with her husband. Intermix was introducing its most refreshed fall and winter collections that evening with 10% of the proceeds from that night’s sales designated to benefit the foundation. The Wood Family Foundation, from here on out referred to as the WFF, is a non-profit that works to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago by raising funds and awareness for children’s charities and the causes they support. The WFF acts as an advocate for children in the Chicago community, inspiring others to join them in their mission of giving children the resources they need to survive in this world.
Sarah and Kerry Wood had been raising and donating money for various existing charities for about 15 years before they decided to form their own. In June of 2011 they launched the WFF, the umbrella under which events like the Kerry Wood Strike Zone, a celebrity bowling fundraiser that raised over $400,000 this year, are held. Where do all of these proceeds go you ask? Well Mrs. Wood informed yours truly that she believes in the importance of transparency when it comes to the allocation of funds for any fundraiser. The WFF’s funds are supporting the building of a play room for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. The funds made possible a back to school drive in Englewood, and a partnership with NBC Chicago to host a coat and toy drive this December. The WFF will also be building a high school baseball stadium by Lane Tech High School, near Wrigley Field, so that inner city children will not be burdened with the arduous commute to the suburbs for baseball practice.
Not surprisingly, the evening was a complete success. The silent auction provided an opportunity to bid on items like a jersey, photograph, and baseball set autographed by Mr. Kerry Wood himself, cocktails at Underground nightclub, 2 tickets to the Joffrey Ballet, and an Intermix gift card. Of course the auction had more items to bid on, but I wouldn’t dream of making anyone more envious for not being in attendance than they already should be. The expectations for that night’s proceeds were eclipsed by the actual amount of funds raised for the WFF. This again was not surprising, given the amazing support and turnout that Mrs. Wood received as well as the abundance of $235 thermal tees, $1,725 rabbit fur bomber jackets, $200 jeans and other not-so-inexpensive apparel available for purchase. “It’s for the kids, it’s for the kids!” one woman exclaimed as she snatched up an adorable pair of Brian Atwood boots. For the kids indeed! The combination of fashion patrons with good hearts, healthy bank accounts, and an even healthier cocktail had much to do with raising an impressive amount of money for Chicago’s youth.
Kudos to the absolute genius who decided white wine and colorless cocktails were most conducive to the safety of thousand dollar merchandise. And kudos to Sarah Wood for helping orchestrate such an amazing event; supporting a good cause in the most fabulous way she knew how.
For more information on the Wood Family Foundation please visit www.woodfamilyfoundation.org.