This weekend’s casino night/fashion show event at Lake Forest Sportscars will deliver more than an evening of entertainment.
It will also generate thousands of dollars for charitable organizations.
The event, “Gatsby,” is the inaugural fundraiser hosted by Heal Team 6, a nonprofit organization created by a Green Oaks family to help generate money and awareness for small charitable organizations.
“We’ve always participated by writing checks or volunteering for local charities,” Heal Team 6 founder Steven Esposito said. But, when it comes to some of the smaller charitable organizations, “We noticed a missing link, so to speak,” he said.
“They have the passion and the energy, but just not the resources to raise large sums of money,” Esposito said.
So last year Esposito, who works as a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, decided to step in. He formed a volunteer-run foundation that organizes and hosts fundraising events to benefit specific charity partners.
“It’s a business model to a charity,” he said. "We wanted to make a different in the local community. We get to roll up our sleeves and get involved.”
Esposito leads the organization with five other board members, including his wife Melissa, 20-year-old daughter Stephanie and 18-year-old son Michael. His children are both students at Lake Forest College.
“It’s a great family hobby,” Esposito said.
Team Heal 6 also taps into the local business community. Businesses that sponsor fundraising events get exposure in return. This weekend's event will feature food and drinks from a number of local establishments, including Lovells of Lake Forest, Cooper's Hawk and Market House.
“Everybody wins. There are no losers here,” Esposito said.There’s no risk to the charities, which help sell tickets and secure silent auction prizes, but pay nothing toward the event, he said.
Esposito said he hopes this weekend’s Gatsby event nets $100,000 that will be shared between the two designated beneficiaries.
Air-One Emergency Response Coalition provides helicopter search services to suburban police and fire departments and emergency response agencies. The second organization, Association of the Horizon, runs summer camps for adults with physical disabilities.
Gatsby, which will run from 6-11:30 p.m. Saturday at Lake Forest Sportscars, will include casino games, a fashion show (and on-site store) featuring jewelry and fur coats, a raffle awarding a five-night trip to Los Cabos Beach and celebrity appearances.
“It’s going to be a fabulous event,” Esposito said.
Some tickets remain available, but Esposito said he expects the event to reach its 500-person limit. Tickets are $150. Visit the event website to purchase admission or raffle tickets or for more information.