Highlights from the 2024 Haymarket Gala: Believe

Nearly 500 guests gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the historic Hilton Chicago for Haymarket Center’s third annual Gala on Saturday, May 4. Donors, volunteers, and staff came together to celebrate Haymarket Center’s work as a leader in the field of treatment for substance use disorders and behavioral health. The event raised nearly $600,00 to support Haymarket’s mission.

With dinner, dancing, video testimonies, awards and a lively auction featuring confetti cannons scattered around the ballroom, the night truly felt like a reminder of the joy Haymarket Center can bring to patients who come here to get help in their recovery.

Irika Sargent, CBS news anchor and long-time volunteer for Haymarket Center, emceed the night, passing the mic to our incredible Gala Chair Thad Wong and Co-Chairs Heather Way Kitzes and Myles Mendoza.

While it doesn’t take personal experience to feel a personal connection to the work Haymarket Center does, each of the Gala Chairs shared their own experiences with disordered alcohol use. Each hoped that their own experience with recovery, and their own happy, successful, and most importantly – fulfilled – lives after recovery could serve as an inspiration.

Each Gala Chair also recognized that while the people who helped them along their recovery journey made their lives now possible, not every person who struggles with substance use disorder has people they can rely on. As Thad expressed, he considers it his responsibility to use what he has now to make sure that people have support of their own, the support of Haymarket Center. Former Haymarket Center patient Kat also shared her incredibly powerful story of treatment and recovery. Kat credits grace from God that she, at 33 years old, found the strength to face the fear and find recovery. “The big change that had to happen for me to make it through this program and remain sober was that I became honest.” When she got honest with herself, when she engaged with Haymarket Center’s evidence-based treatment programs centering Kat the whole person, not just her substance use disorder, she found her recovery.
Watch Kat’s story

This year’s Gala also recognized Michael and Carol Bilder, Deputy Governor Grace Hou, Adler University President Raymond Crossman, and Tonja Pastorelle for all that they have done for Haymarket Center and the larger field of Substance Use Disorder treatment and recovery.

From everyone here at Haymarket Center, thank you so much to everyone who made this year’s Gala such a beautiful experience. And for everyone who couldn’t make it this year, Haymarket Center can’t wait for you to come next year!

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