Concern Worldwide Presents 2014 Thanks for Giving Gala Nov. 15 At the Wit Hotel Hosted by HGTV’s Kevin Grace Honoring Ethan Austin, Founder & President of GiveForward

Kevin-Grace-WEBConcern Worldwide, a non-governmental, international humanitarian organization committed to the relief, assistance and advancement of the most vulnerable people in the underdeveloped countries of the world, will hold its annual Thanks for Giving Gala on Saturday, November 15 from 8:00 p.m. to midnight at the Wit Hotel, 201 North State Street, Chicago.  Kevin Grace from HGTV’s Design Star and ABC’s Windy City Live will be the emcee.  This event is hosted by the Concern Leadership Network, an affiliated group of service-minded professionals who support Concern’s mission through outreach and event-based fundraising. Annually at the Gala, an individual is honored who is using their talent, vision and voice to bring attention to the plight of those in need and recognizing them with the Spirit of Concern Award. This year, the Concern Leadership Network has selected Ethan Austin, Co-founder and President of GiveForward, to receive the 2014 Spirit of Concern Award. GiveForward is an online fundraising website allowing the easiest way to raise money for a sick loved one online. GiveForward meshes technology and transparency together in this platform that raises significant funds, over $130,000,000 to date. www.giveforward.com.

More than 250 guests attend the event annually and enjoy an evening of dancing and music by DJ Matt Roan, delicious food, and open bar generously donated by Diageo, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Goose Island.  The event will feature a raffle with prizes including two passes to WXRT’s private concert series.  Other items include sports tickets, Jet Blue airline tickets, spa gift cards and more!  The Concern Leadership Network Steering Committee co-chairs are Molly McShane and Brittany Siciliano.

Funds raised from the 2014 Thanks for Giving Gala will support Concern’s emergency response programs that help refugees in South Sudan.  Since December 2013, the humanitarian situation of South Sudan has deteriorated due to a civil war.  Experts now anticipate an approaching famine in the region.  Concern is focused on providing emergency food assistance and access to food to prevent malnutrition and disease, and has identified the following top priorities:  camp management, food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection and coordination of refugees.

Tickets are $125 and are on sale now at www.concernusa.org   For sponsorship information please contact Kim Majewski at 312.431.8400 orkimberly.majewski@concern.net.

Concern Worldwide works in 25 of the world’s poorest countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean and has saved countless lives, relieved suffering and provided opportunities for a better standard of living for millions of people. www.concernusa.org