Thank you to all who attended our 2014 Bet on The Harbour benefit!
We had a fabulous time with our supporters, made some wonderful memories, and (most importantly) raised essential funds for our programs!
Harbour Beacon of success honoree
Shannon was in her first year of college when she became pregnant with her first child and found herself without a place to live. Despite the challenges that were before her, Shannon had always been a strong and independent girl and she knew she wanted the best for her child. While on the waiting list for The Harbour, Shannon continued to work toward her future by earning her CNA certificate. After moving into her own apartment through The Harbour's Successful Teens/Effective Parents (STEPs) program, Shannon enrolled in Sanford Brown College. As she was working full-time, going to school, and raising her son, Shannon's Therapeutic Case Manager, Mary, provided support and guidance to ensure Shannon and her family would have a solid foundation for the future.
"Mary was always there helping me and looking out for me, and we created such a wonderful bond. She always reminded me how strong I was and that I could do anything I could put my mind to. I am so grateful to have had someone who was so open-minded and kindhearted to be my mentor through good times and bad", Shannon says.
Now 23 years old, Shannon has much to be proud of - two beautiful children, a loving relationship, and a career. "Without The Harbour, I probably would have had a late start in life and I'm happy that I was given this opportunity. I appreciate what The Harbour has done for me and I hope that the program continues to help young girls and young moms that need support to succeed in life", says Shannon.
bobby mayer commitment to youth honoree
Laura Prestidge led a double life growing up. To the outside world, she was a good student and active in sports. However, her home life was troubling, to say the least. By age 16, she had been kicked out of the house for the last time and was running out of options for what to do next. This became Laura’s first introduction to The Harbour. After a short stay at the Shelter, a few months later, she started in the Transitional Living Program. Being a part of The Harbour enabled her to complete high school, continue to participate in Track and Field and Cross Country, and save enough money to pay part of her first year of college.
After completing nursing school, she became a member of the Harbour’s Board of Directors as a way to give back to a program that gave her so much. She served on the Board for six years and even though she was traveling around the country working as an emergency department nurse, she continued to travel back to the Chicago area to participate with The Harbour. In addition to being a Board member, Laura volunteered to speak at Life Skills Group about nursing and the importance of college. With the assistance of her now husband, Laura also cooked Thanksgiving dinner for girls at the Shelter.
Laura’s commitment to ensure children and youth are taken care of has not stopped since her time with The Harbour. In addition to continuing to practice in an Emergency Department in a poor, underserved area of Chicago, she volunteers on the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team to assist with providing medical care to communities who have been torn apart by disasters. She currently works as the pediatric preparedness coordinator for the State Emergency Medical Services for Children program. In this role, she works to ensure that hospital, pre-hospital, school nurse and public health professionals throughout Illinois are prepared and trained to care for children and youth during disasters.