Oak Brook Infant Welfare Fashion Show Success

By Oak Brook Magazine Staff

Allison Rosati, Master of Ceremonies

This year, the Oak Brook Chapter of the Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago marks its 50th anniversary. Decade after decade, hundreds of women have gathered at Drury Lane the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for its signature fundraiser fashion show, Mistletoe Medley, showing their support for children and families in need. The Oak Brook Chapter reports that its 2022 “Hearts of Gold” event, held on November 29, raised over $170,000, bringing the group’s cumulative donations to the Infant Welfare Society to an astounding $5 million in 50 years.

For over a decade, Allison Rosati, a well-known media personality and anchor of the NBC 5 Nightly News has served as Master of Ceremonies. She speaks warmly and knowledgeably about the Oak Brook Chapter and Mistletoe Medley. “The most important driving force for me is the sense of community at the event. It struck me the first time I emceed the event. My immediate reaction was: WOW, this is really big.” “My favorite part is the renewal of friendships and familiar faces again and again. It is very powerful to realize that a lot of money can be raised because so many people believe and care. You can feel it in the room. I see people returning because they want to help make a difference in the lives of people who need help.

Pictures front row from L-R, Nancy Nielsen, Heidi Hulzenga, Kim Landego, Merry Cheng. Second row from L-R, Linda Giordano, Laura Sterling, Nancy Aman, Mary Bergstrom, Wendy Tu
Lisa Hutcherson at fashion show 2022

There is a genuine kindness involved.” Allison added, “If you haven’t attended Mistletoe Medley, plan to do so next year. You won’t be disappointed!” Chapter Co-Presidents Marge Tresley and Linda Layland agree and feel fortunate the benefit has a loyal following in the Oak Brook area and far beyond. Marge says, “From the moment our Event Committee began planning this year’s fundraiser, it was all about our 50th anniversary and the people who enabled us to reach this remarkable milestone, starting with the name itself, ‘Hearts of Gold’, a well-deserved tribute to our members, donors, and friends.” Linda continues, “This celebratory mindset affected every aspect of Mistletoe Medley, including our invitations and Ad Book, raffles, centerpieces, our Holiday Boutique, and the fashion show.

Left to right: Linda Layland and Marge Tresley, Oak Brook Chapter Co-Presidents, with Liz Berglund, Auxiliary Co-President
Models show off latest fashions

We wanted this event to reflect the occasion’s significance — to be one for the record books — and we think it was.” The group also expanded its fundraising horizons with a “Giving Week” from December 10-17 among Oakbrook Center locations: C. D. Peacock, Kendra Scott, Lilly Pulitzer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and Antico Posto. Chapter members are understandably proud to mark a half-century of fundraising and friendship. They say hosting an event that brings people together to do good, feel good, and make a difference is a wonderful feeling. Auxiliary Co-President Liz Berglund added that the Chapter’s fundraising has enabled the Infant Welfare Society’s Angel Harvey Family Health Center to considerably expand medical, dental, and child development services. Last year, the Center served nearly 13,000 patients with a wide spectrum of services such as the CHAT Program that provides customized care for children with developmental delays, orthodontia, the new AngelBaby program for mothers/ newborns care, and Comer Sano (Eat Healthy). This program helps high-risk children address obesity before it becomes a lifelong issue.

*Photos by Marcello Rodarte