Franciscan gala - Field_Museum_web
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Franciscan Health Foundation invites at-home viewing of virtual gala and online auction from Field Museum

Formal dress is optional, and you won’t have to worry about traffic or parking, as the Franciscan Health Foundations of Northern Indiana and South Suburban Chicago invite the public to participate in the “Make History and Make A Difference Virtual Gala.”

The virtual fundraiser will broadcast from The Field Museum in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 9. The pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m. and the 45-minute broadcast follows at 7 p.m. Guests can watch from computer, tablet or mobile device.

“We have an exciting and fun-filled evening planned for this year’s Virtual Gala, which will allow us to reach a much broader audience than an in-person event as everyone can watch for free. The Foundation’s Virtual Gala will feature an auction with a variety of excellent items, raffle prizes for all who view the program, interactive entertainment and trivia, and holiday music,” said Franciscan Health Foundation Executive Director Laurie Crosby. “The evening will feature Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. Founded in 1894, the museum’s collection has grown to nearly 40 million artifacts and specimens. And we’ll have it ‘virtually’ all to ourselves!”

Among the items collected for the auction are restaurant packages, wine tastings, gifts from local breweries and distilleries, Bulls and Blackhawks tickets, golf packages, autographed sports memorabilia, a boat ride on Lake Michigan and more. The premier auction items will be revealed and featured during the show.

To register for the Franciscan Health Foundation Virtual Gala and auction, go online at

All proceeds benefit the Foundation’s Community Health and Wellness Fund.

“We hope you will learn more about our fund and choose to make a donation to help us ‘Make A Difference’ for those who will greatly benefit from your generosity,” Crosby said.

Communities in the Northwest Indiana and South Suburban Chicago region will benefit from the proceeds of the Gala. The Foundation’s Community Health and Wellness Fund assists vulnerable populations by addressing issues with economic stability, quality education and healthcare access.

One example is school immunizations and readiness. Thanks to support of the Community Health & Wellness fund, Franciscan Health was able to offer school physicals, sports physicals and wellness checks to low-income Southland students this past fall. More than 300 students received immunizations, in Olympia Fields alone, that allowed them to start school right on time with other children. We were also able to provide each student with a backpack filled with the necessary school supplies for a successful year.

The safety of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic was front of mind with the decision to make this year’s Gala a virtual event, but the hope is that by expanding access to a wider audience, the Franciscan Health Foundation will also widen its net of donations and, in turn, assist the most vulnerable members of our community.

Next year’s Gala is scheduled to be held in-person at the Field Museum on Oct. 29, 2022.

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