GiGi's Playhouse Plans To Move Gala To Rosemont Hall
By LAUREN BARRY
Journal & Topics Reporter
Rosemont is becoming the fundraising destination for a successful local non-profit organization.
Next year, GiGi’s Playhouse, an international network of Down syndrome achievement centers, will move its annual Chicago-area gala from Oakbrook Terrace to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
Organization founder Nancy Gianni of South Barrington told the Journal the group had outgrown its previous space, which hosted over 800 guests last year.
Over $200,000 was raised Sunday, June 11 to help fund free programs offered at Gigi’s Playhouse locations throughout the country and in Mexico during the Down Syndrome Achievement Center’s 14th Annual Chicagoland 5K Fun Run, 1-Mile Walk and Dash event at Rosemont’s MB Financial Park. According to Gianni, over 2,000 runners participated.
“We had an amazing event,” Gianni told village trustees during a presentation Wednesday, June 14. “Our families took over the whole MB Financial Park.”
During the fundraiser, attendees were offered discounts at MB Financial Park restaurants. Tables on the restaurant patio were used as “basecamps” for participants, said Gianni.
Gigi’s Playhouse has been featured on national TV programs and has the only network of Down syndrome achievement centers in the country. Gianni was inspired to create the program when her daughter Gigi was born with Down syndrome.
Last year, 30,000 children and adults benefited from programs at the organization’s 32 locations, said Gianni.
Residents in the Journal coverage area can visit nearby GiGi’s Playhouse locations in Chicago and Hoffman Estates.