Friends of Ragdale Host Annual "Heart and Soul" Benefit

Ragdale House

The Friends of Ragdale will host its annual Heart and Soul 2007 Benefit on Saturday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. for the Ragdale Foundation, a distinguished artists' community and residency program in Lake Forest, IL.  The relaxed, fun-filled evening includes a seated dinner as well as live and silent auctions at the historic Ragdale House (1230 N. Green Bay Road).

Ragdale artist-in-residence Meslissa Jay Craig



The Friends of Ragdale is a volunteer organization that raises funds to support the Ragdale Foundation, a non-profit that has provided artists with time and space to pursue their creative work in an uninterrupted environment for over 30 years.  Funds raised at the Benefit will support the residencies of writers, visual artists, composers and interdisciplinary artists.



Ragdale composer Michael Druzinsky

Bestselling author and Ragdale alum Joan Anderson will be the guest of honor at Heart and Soul 2007.  Her memoirs reflect upon her journey as a '' person who wanted to become a scholar of self and soul.'  Anderson has also been a
guest on 'Oprah' and on 'The TODAY Show.'   She will speak about her work as
a writer and the value of her residency experience.

Ragdale writer Cari Luna



Following her remarks, bidding will open for the 'Feed A Starving Artist's Soul' fund, which directly underwrites artists-in-residence at Ragdale.  At last year's Benefit, guests raised their paddles to give over $30,000 in less than five minutes for this important fund, and the entire benefit proceeds exceeded $110,000.  The Friends of Ragdale hope to raise even more this year.


The live auction will offer such exquisite items as a luxurious vacation to Hawaii (including two first-class airline tickets); a stay at a private beachfront estate at elegant Sea Island; and a trip to the quiet Cape Cod cottage of bestselling author (and Ragdale alum) Anne LeClaire.  The silent auction will feature original artwork donated by many Ragdale alumni (including Chicago artists Audrey Niffenegger, E.W. Ross, and Roland Kulla, among many others).  Other enticing silent auction items include a wide array of hot sports tickets (for the Chicago Cubs, Sox, Bears, and more), theater tickets, museum passes, and gift certificates.


Ragdale residents toast at Thanksgiving

To purchase tickets, please contact Ragdale Foundation Director of Development Susan Hoagland at (847) 234-1063 x204.  Tickets cost $150 each before June 8, and $175 each after June 8.

The Benefit Team

Ragdale is located in Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw's Lake Forest country estate, just 30 miles north of Chicago.  Built in 1897, the Ragdale House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1976, Shaw's granddaughter Alice Judson Hayes transformed her family's summer home into an artists' colony providing time and space for artists to create important new work.  Today Ragdale hosts up to 200 artists, writers, and composers each year, making it the largest interdisciplinary artists'  community in the Midwest and the fourth largest in the country.  Noted past residents include Jane Hamilton, Alex Kotlowitz, Audrey Niffenegger, Lawrence Block, and Stephanie Kallos.

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