Like every other nonprofit and organization, Margaret’s Village has been forced to be creative in order to navigate the brave new world combining social distance and fundraising.

The organization has come up with an online virtual gala, only one hour long but packed with amazing people, an enlightening round-table discussion, heartwarming awards, exciting silent auction and raffles—and a dash of music.

During the gala on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 7 to 8 p.m., Margaret’s Village will honor two special individuals with the Sr. Margaret Traxler Award, named for its founder.

Both have made a difference in the community and supported the mission of Margaret’s Village.

The gala will recognize Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her leadership in the city of Chicago, particularly with the Solutions Toward Ending Poverty (STEP) initiative, a comprehensive and community-focused approach addressing both the symptoms and root causes of entrenched economic hardship in Chicago.

Also honored will be INVEST South/West for bringing together government, businesses, philanthropic organizations and community groups to make coordinated investments in 10 neighborhoods, including Englewood and South Chicago.

Sr. Donna Liette CPPS will also be recognized. Liette has been the director of services for women at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation for the last 10 years. She works with mothers who have lost children to gun violence, to prison or both. Dedicated and indefatigable, Liette also leads workshops on restorative justice.

Jazz from the trio, Trifold, will be performed for about 10 minutes before the event begins. After the welcome from Master of Ceremonies, Beverly actor Dan Riley, there will be a virtual round-table discussion, entitled “Building Our Village With a Grateful Heart,” that will feature diverse voices and points of view from the Chicago human-services sector about homelessness, education, hunger and the systems that underpin them.

Margaret’s Village is well known for providing interim housing for homeless families since 1989 and is a leader in its field.

The two awards will follow, as well as a brief talk by Margaret Village’s Executive Director Angela Hicks. Finally, there will be a brief live auction, a silent auction and raffles. All prizes will be awarded instantly via smart phones.

The evening will conclude with a song, “Big Strong Woman,” written and performed by Beverly resident Lisa Martirena, whose mother, Jean Vanier, has been honored in the past by Margaret’s Village.

To find the gala page and to register, visit the website at

While a $100 donation is recommended, no admission is required. The Zoom link will be texted to all who register about 24 hours in advance.

Auction and raffle items are now live on the website for browsing. After registration, bids can be placed, and raffle tickets can be purchased.

For information regarding sponsorships of the event, contact Development Director Cassandra Cooke at