Major gift pushes OSF “Angel Ball” beyond $3.75 million

Nearly 1,200 people attended the 2013 Angel Ball on Jan. 12, a once-every-five-years gala that raised $3,751,600 to benefit the continuing health care mission of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

The evening at the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom included a major gift announcement from the Forest Park Foundation. The foundation is donating $2.5 million to the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center now being built on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center near downtown Peoria. It is scheduled to open in April.

The gift, named in memory of Hassie Rutherford, mother of Forest Park Foundation board member Dr. William Rutherford Jr., will be used for interprofessional education and faculty development at the center.

Proceeds from the Angel Ball benefit the OSF Endowment Fund. This year’s gala, on the theme “Oh, What a Night,” featured entertainment by The Midtown Men, the original singing group from the Broadway show “Jersey Boys.”

“The Angel Ball is a unique opportunity to celebrate the mission of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, which has been making a major impact on Peoria and central Illinois for more than 136 years,” said Tom Hammerton, vice president of the OSF Saint Francis Foundation. “The funds raised will help ensure that we continue to serve with the greatest care and love for decades to come.”

The evening’s brief program included a welcome by Sister Judith Ann Duvall, OSF, major superior of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, who called OSF employees and benefactors “family.”

“God sent you to our Sisters,” said Sister Judith Ann. “That makes you precious in His sight and in ours, and we treasure each and every one of you and hold you in our daily prayers.” She expressed confidence that, despite challenges, “the God who called us to this ministry of love will sustain us.”

Adapting the night’s theme, she added “Oh, what is yet to come!”

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