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Envisioning a Brighter Future

Each year, the Boys & Girls Club of Lake County (BGCLC) hosts an unforgettable late-winter event, complete with dinner, dancing, live music, and the opportunity to support an important cause. As the 13th annual event, this year’s occasion, called “The Crystal Ball,” is sure to be another memorable evening. 

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The Crystal Ball will take place on Saturday, February 23, at the Cuneo Historic Mansion & Gardens in Vernon Hills. The mansion will provide the perfect backdrop for the evening, with its charming and elegant features. Guests are invited to arrive at 6 p.m., to enjoy the cocktail hour while mingling in the historic mansion. As part of the crystal ball theme, fortune-tellers will be on hand to entertain the guests as they visit with one another. Shortly after the cocktail hour, guests will move to the spacious ballroom, which features crystal chandeliers. The second half of the evening will include dinner, a live auction, a brief speech from a BGCLC board member, music from the band Maggie Speaks, and dancing. 

This is the second year that the event will be held at Cuneo Mansion, which proved to be highly popular last year. “It was very well attended and was the best party in town,” says Evelyn Stamelos, event co-chair. Evelyn and fellow co-chair Susan Layton, along with their committee members from Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Highland Park, have also organized seven live auction packages, including Swarovski watches, Chicago Bears tickets, an overnight stay at Hotel Sofitel Chicago, and dinner and wine for 10 at a local Lake Forest resident’s home. 

Evelyn and Susan have both been involved on the BGCLC board for several years. Evelyn joined the committee after her daughter, who is on the Lake Forest High School Varsity Pom Pon team, helped teach dance routines to the BGCLC children during the summer. “When I saw that the kids were so motivated by the high school girls, I thought, ‘I would love to help this organization in some way,’” Evelyn says. In 2011, Susan helped with the annual Christmas Workshop, which gives the children the opportunity to select from a collection of gently used items to give as gifts to their friends and family members. For Susan, the experience was very rewarding. “You feel good helping, and you feel good because the children are excited,” Susan says.

The motto for this year’s event, “Envisioning a Brighter Future for Our Children,” reflects the work that the BGCLC does to improve the lives of children in the area. “It’s very important that our programming is enriching and that the children feel like they’re really gaining something,” BGCLC Chief Executive Officer Cesilie Price says. “We really want to support them in their academic endeavors, citizenship, fitness, and recreation.” 

Funds raised at the Crystal Ball will go directly toward BGCLC programming and will be especially beneficial for the organization’s upcoming summer program. The summer program helps minimize the learning loss that many children, and especially children in underprivileged areas, experience during the summer months. The Crystal Ball, along with the BGCLC annual golf outing fundraiser in September, provide the majority of the funds that are needed to offer complete and beneficial programming for children in the area. 


To buy tickets to the Crystal Ball, visit For more information or to inquire about volunteering opportunities at BGCLC, call 847-473-5990.