2012’s host family was the Cuiching Family from Lemont, whose story touch many firsthand at the 2012 Cocktail Party this past April or when seen in their video on our website. The Cuiching’s are a warm and loving family that has been dealt quite a few blows over the last year; the largest being daughter Ellie’s brain tumor. With several surgeries under her belt at the age of 7, Ellie still has a long road ahead of her.
For our 20th Anniversary we wanted to give big and Ellie was our inspiration. A day of fun was planned for the family before the event even began. The day began with a limo ride to the hotel. Then a few hours to play at the Hyatt Lodge pool with toys donated from One For The Kids. “The facility was awesome” Kyle (Ellie’s Mother) said when asked about their stay. “Ellie and Jack got to swim before the event and then again the following morning.” It was their favorite part of the day.
When the party began that evening, the family was greeted by an amazing turn out of over 400 people. Many friends and family, but an overwhelming amount of strangers there to help a family they had never met. “Every time I think of the event it puts a smile on my face” Kyle told us. She recalls fondly the night out with her extended family as the highlight of this year. “ The band was amazing , and we had a great time dancing with family and friends all night.” The surprise was late night cheeseburgers brought out on silver platters, which were also a Cuiching family favorite.
After a great night of dancing, it’s back to the real world for the Cuichings and summer vacation for their children. Ellie and Jack are standing up in a relatives wedding this summer in California, thanks to donated frequent flyer miles from Kyle’s amazingly supportive sister. They are also able to visit husband David’s family on their trip. With money raised from the Cocktail Party this year large repairs can be made this summer on the Cuichings home. The home has flooded several times, causing structural damage. Kyle wanted to give a special thanks to Dan Irwin, a One For The Kids board member, for reaching out to local officials in Lemont regarding their home. The city of Lemont came out to the property and was able to repair the street, so the Cuichings home would no longer flood.
Just in time for summer the family has recently received some more good news. Ellie had an MRI the week of the cocktail party and we promised a follow up on her progress. We are happy to say the tumor has shown no sign of growth for the first time since she was diagnosed. This is amazing news, which could mean her chemo treatments have been working. The family is overjoyed and that stands, as a much needed boost of confidence for Kyle and David. “ Ellie inspires me on a daily basis. I think of Ellie and how much she has endured but yet still goes to school and does not complain.” The journey for Ellie is not yet over and One For The Kids will keep you updated on her progress. Check our website for event photos and the Cuichings video story.
More About The 2012 Cocktail Party Benefiting The Cuiching Family
The 4th Annual One For The Kids Cocktail Party, was held on April 28th at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, located on the McDonald’s Campus. The bash, also celebrating One For The Kids 20th Anniversary, was the largest to date and raised a record high of 97,000 dollar before expenses. Over 400 guests arrived to the sounds of Craig Lanigan on piano and the voice of Elliot From, an amazing performance artist.
As the guests moved into the large ballroom they were surprised to find an entire wall draped in sheets and Elliot painting live, playing with the audience and tricking them. His impromptu art creations were auctioned off that evening and raised over 6,000 dollars of One For The Kids. As the performance art was cleared away, the dancing began. The endless, intoxicating sound of the Paul Windsor Orchestra took guests to their feet in awe. Even Tim Smithe, made famous by his furniture stores commercial jingle, hit the stage for a cameo performance.
Their was a brief pause in music for the introduction to the 2012 host family, the Cuiching’s, as well as the three charities that One For The Kids donates to every year; Benton House, Special Olympics Chicago, and The Heart Institute for Children (THIC). The video is available on our website in its entirety. As the announcements ended, the guests were left to absorb the evening’s humbling message of gratitude in their own way. A musical reminder that this was a celebration of success quickly broke through the silence.
As the evening continued, guests were able to wander the large party area in search of treasure. It was not buried, but in the open for guests bidding pleasures. The Silent Auction was a buzz, with large ticket items like a trip to Hawaii and Dave Mathews signed guitar, the tables were inundated with bids. Let us not forget the crowded Martini Bar were you could customize your Martini and watch it chill down the luge. A cigar bar, candy bar and wine tasting were also open throughout the event.
As the party began to sail towards the finish, guests were surprised as waiters with silver trays delivered McDonald’s Cheeseburgers to every guest. Children were excited, but then again so were the supposed mature attendees, as laugher spread around the room and seconds were demanded. As the music slowed and guests began to the leave the fun was not over. Every guest was given some party favors for the road including the signature popcorn gift baggy.