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A Chair Affair Brings a Night of Fun and Philanthropy to Naperville

June 18, 2015

2015ChairAffair 276_resized for webOn June 12, Bridge Communities proudly presented the second edition of A Chair Affair, a unique opportunity to appreciate and celebrate beautiful artwork through the transformation of chairs, stools and benches. From May 21 to June 11, 2015, chairs were on display at retail locations in Downtown Naperville, where the community was encouraged to visit, view and vote for these fun, whimsical, funky and avant-garde chairs.

These beautiful pieces of artwork showcased the creative talent of local artists and were supported by generous sponsors who made this event possible. Friends of Bridge Communities enjoyed this exciting evening of delicious food and cocktails, a silent auction, and a high-energy live auction of the top 10 People’s Choice chairs selected by your vote. This year’s People Choice Award winner with the top number of votes was Debbie Graham and her masterpiece, “Inspiration from the Heart.”

All proceeds from the event directly support homeless families in DuPage County in the Bridge Communities Transitional Housing Program.

Thank you for joining us and helping us change lives!

Want to see more photos from A Chair Affair? Visit our album on Facebook!

For information on how to become an Artist or Sponsor for the 3rd Annual A Chair Affair please contact Chad Pedigo at (630) 545-0610 ext. 19.

Meet Allison’s family in Bridge’s Connections Newsletter

May 28, 2015
BridgeMar15 74What if you had to flee from your own partner in order to keep your children safe? It’s a scary thought, and one that’s close to home for many Bridge families, including Allison’s.
In our Spring issue of the Bridge Communities newsletter,”Connections,” you’ll learn why Allison and her daughters had to escape an abusive home. You’ll see the strength and determination they needed to make it in the Bridge program. And, you’ll see why a little help from friends like you has made all the difference in the world for their family.
This issue also features success stories of many Bridge families, plus updates on programming at our Learning Resource Centers, info on three new Bridge buildings, and more.
None of this would be possible without you! Thank you for connecting Bridge families to a better future.


Garden Walk returns on June 20

May 18, 2015

GardenWalk Logo

Spring into summer with the Glen Ellyn Garden Walk! Enjoy a self-guided tour of some of the most beautiful gardens in town. Tickets are $25 (advance) / $30 (door) and includes entrance into six private gardens and one bonus Park District garden, self-guided tour map, Master Gardeners on-hand from University of Illinois extension, raffle opportunities from many local eateries and establishments, and presentations at select gardens. All proceeds benefit the homeless families served by Bridge Communities.

Glen Ellyn Garden Walk
Saturday, June 20, 2015
10 AM-4 PM
Tickets $25 in advance/$30 day of event
Purchase yours today at

A Chair Affair Returns to Naperville!

April 30, 2015

AChairAffairLogo2015Don’t miss one of the most unique parties of the year and your opportunity to find one-of-a-kind artwork for your home! Back for its second year, Bridge Communities combines artistic talent with a great cause to present A Chair Affair in the Naperville community this spring. From May 21-June 11, the 30 chairs, stools and benches redesigned by local artisans will be displayed in storefronts throughout Downtown Naperville.

Starting on May 21, patrons and community members are encouraged to visit local retailers to view these pieces of art, and then vote for their favorite on The top 10 pieces of art collecting the most votes will be featured in a live auction on June 11 at Wentz Concert Hall. This exciting gala event will feature an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and desserts, as well as an opportunity to bid on all the chair artwork in silent and live auctions.  All proceeds raised through the event will benefit homeless families in DuPage County assisted by Bridge Communities.

All artists creating the 30 chairs for A Chair Affair hail from the DuPage County area, and bring a wide range of art experience with various media, including paint, textiles, sewing, woodwork, stamping, embellishments and more.

“We’re thrilled to bring A Chair Affair back to Naperville this year,” says Amy Van Polen, Bridge’s Resource Development Director. “The outpouring of support and excitement from the community warmed our hearts last year, and it was a fantastic experience for the artists, sponsors and businesses in the community. We can’t wait to do it again.”

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information about A Chair Affair, please call Chad Pedigo at (630) 545-0610, ext. 19 or e-mail him at Tickets for the June 11 event are $40 and may be purchased online at or by calling (630) 545-0610, ext. 19.

Thank you, Soup & Bread Glen Ellyn!

April 21, 2015

soup and bread logoOn Saturday, April 18, the first Soup & Bread Glen Ellyn event was held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to benefit the families served by Bridge Communities. We would like to send a warm and huge thank you to the following people for this wonderful event:

-Organizer Extraordinaire: Mary Elizabeth Lane

-St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for hosting it in their beautiful Mahon Hall.

-Reverend and Mrs. George Smith

-David Dornblaser, the facilities manager and organizer at St. Mark’s

-The music makers:  Szurko Trio: Rose Szurko, Ray Smith and Scott Carlton; Eric Dinse

-All of the Soup Chefs: Tina Hilt Rudins, Jennifer Bell, Patrick Foley, Torrie Fernald, Susan Keehn Watts, Stacy Schmidt Holloway, Margo Matthew and Amy Bendigkeit

-Bread Bakers and Dessert Makers: Jeanne Enright, Torrie Fernald, Linda Ferrone Mirabella, Joan Harmon, Jennifer Baldwin, Rogeriques,Thomas Watts, Ann Marie Pesavento Andexler, Jennifer Mitton Cox and Karen Travis

-Jim Grotelueschen as our beverage donor

-Lisa Sieber Hoofnagle: Jack of all trades!

-Boy Scout Troop #44 and Debora Felsenthal for helping with setup and cleanup

-Mary Anne Peandro Hoffstad and Cookies By Design for the creative cookie basket raffle

-Eric Friedemann Photography


All Community Members who attended! $2200 was donated and will go directly toward connecting homeless families to a better future.

We look forward to the next Soup and Bread Glen Ellyn providing hope and homes for Bridge Communities families–we’ll keep you posted!

Thank you for volunteering with Bridge!

April 14, 2015

nvw_2015_logoIt’s National Volunteer Week, and there’s no better time to celebrate service, and celebrate those who have built and bolstered Bridge Communities: amazing volunteers like you.

Bridge was founded by volunteers, volunteers grew the ministry to a point where it was a viable organization, and today, volunteers like you are the heartbeat of Bridge Communities. The use of volunteers is one of the tenets that Bridge operates on, and simply put, we could never accomplish our mission and goals without you.

Your compassion, dedication and commitment has improved the lives of more than 700 homeless families, and we’re forever grateful. Thank you for all you do!

Our 2015 Honorees: Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives

March 23, 2015

This year, two very special DuPage County women will be honored on Friday, April 24 at the Bridge Communities Spring Luncheon: Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives, and we wanted to share a little bit about them with you:

PHendershotWith a passion for helping people identify their strengths and the types of environments that capitalize on these talents, Peg Hendershot is the executive director of Career Vision in Glen Ellyn. She sets the strategic direction for their career programs, which are based on this not-for-profit organization’s extensive research on aptitude-based career decision making. Prior to joining Career Vision in 1982, Peg ran an outplacement agency and managed a program for hard-to-serve youth and disadvantaged populations. She also chaired DuPage County’s Education to Career Initiative and served as vice president of the DuPage County Workforce Board. Peg finds her work with Bridge Communities particularly rewarding. Having been a single mother of four young sons when she came to Career Vision, Peg understands first-hand what it takes to raise a family. She also knows how important it is to find work that plays to one’s strengths — a key to success and satisfaction, both in career and life. We are thrilled and honored to award Peg Hendershot the Transforming Lives Award.

Ann Marie photoAnn Marie Andexler, mother of four, came to the Bridge program in a desperate need of housing for her family and could not afford the expenses on her own. Thrilled to be accepted into the program, she took advantage of every opportunity to help her and her children. She continued to strive to improve life for her family and was accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program becoming a home owner in Glen Ellyn. She has moved up in her career and is now holding a salary position at her company. Ann Marie has felt in her heart to give back to others as she has been given and she continually volunteers with both Bridge and Habitat. With her voice of encouragement, she has spoken of her heartache and how love, care and dedication can bring a new hope in other’s lives. We are incredibly proud of Ann Marie and delighted to award her the Life Transformed Award.

A limited number of tickets are still available for our Spring Luncheon on Friday, April 24 at the Danada House in Wheaton. Click here to purchase yours today!

For more information about our 2015 event, please contact Chad Pedigo at (630) 545-0610, ext. 19 or


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