During the 98th annual September Gala held Friday, September 7, the Woman’s Board honored Elizabeth H. Connelly, life trustee and JPMorgan Chase’s head of Healthcare, Higher Education and Not-for-Profit Banking, with the 2018 Pauline K. Palmer Award for her dedication over the past 14 years to the children and families we serve.

From 2010-13, Liz chaired our Board of Trustees and launched the $58.5 million Every Child Campaign, the largest campaign in our agency’s 135-year history. Liz continues her passionate commitment to children and families as a life trustee of Children’s Home & Aid and in her continued service as chair of the Every Child Campaign.

“Liz’s personal generosity, the generosity of the business community she has inspired and the support from her friends has been nothing short of remarkable. Because of her bold leadership and generous spirit, the children we serve have a better future,” said Nancy Ronquillo, president and CEO of Children’s Home & Aid.

In addition to her work with Children’s Home & Aid, Liz also serves on the boards of the Polk Bros. Foundation, Catholic Extension, the Shedd Aquarium, Steppenwolf Theater, Harris Theater, the Chicago Network and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Woman’s Board member and author Andrea Thome was the master of ceremonies at the gala where over 300 guests gathered to support our early-childhood programs. The black-tie event was held at the Union League Club of Chicago and featured music by The Stu Hirsh Orchestra.

The Pauline K. Palmer Award is given to outstanding members of the community who advocate for and are active volunteers on behalf of children. The award was named in honor of Pauline K. Palmer, daughter-in-law of famous Chicago matriarch Bertha Honoree Palmer, first president of what is now known as the Woman’s Board of Children’s Home & Aid.

The gala raised $500,000 to benefit the Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child & Family Center, Marletta Darnall Schaumburg Child & Family Center and Jerri Hoffmann Carpentersville Child & Family Center. In the last decade, the fundraising efforts of the Woman’s Board have gone to support early childhood education and have raised more than $6 million towards the cause. We’re incredibly grateful to the members of the Woman’s Board and many generous donors and sponsors for making this wonderful evening possible.