United Way of Metro Chicago Luncheon Unites Chicago Changemakers; Honors Philanthropic Leaders

Annual Stronger Neighborhoods Awards Luncheon recognizes David Casper, Nicor Gas and Don V. Villar for their continued philanthropic efforts


Chicago, Ill. - May 30, 2024 – United Way of Metro Chicago hosted its annual 2024 Stronger Neighborhoods Awards Luncheon in celebration of the commitment of business, civic, nonprofit and community leaders working alongside United Way to build a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. United Way’s event at the Hilton Chicago brought together changemakers across industries and raised more than $1 million to support their work creating thriving communities throughout the Chicago region.

“Our incredible partners continue to lead by example and invest in our neighborhoods, building communities where people have what they need to thrive,” said United Way of Metro Chicago President and CEO Sean Garrett. “Dedicated civic leaders like David Casper, Nicor Gas, Don V. Villar and our many other generous partners are committed to working with us as we lead transformative community initiatives and create opportunities for all our neighbors throughout the Chicago region.”

As part of this year’s event, United Way honored three of the Chicago region’s most distinguished philanthropic leaders for their role in exemplifying what it means to live united.

  • David Casper, Chairman of the Board, BMO Financial Corp., received the 2024 Andrew J. McKenna Leadership Award in recognition of his commitment as an influential business and philanthropic leader whose selfless actions have encouraged others to step forward and improve the quality of life for countless individuals and families in the Chicago region.

  • Nicor Gas received the 2024 Corporate Leadership Award, accepted by Wendell Dallas, President and Chief Executive Officer, in recognition of their steadfast partnership with United Way and dedication to embodying a culture of giving back to the communities where their employees live and work.

  • Don V. Villar, Secretary-Treasurer, Chicago Federation of Labor, received the 2024 Community Leadership Award for his commitment to strengthening communities across the region.

The event was co-chaired by Arbor Investments / The Purcell Companies, David C. Blowers, John A. Canning Jr., Linda Coberly, Lester Crown, Wendell Dallas, Jim Denny, Robert B. Ford, Darrel Hackett, Teresa Wilton Harmon, Torrence L. Hinton, Travis C. Hunter Jr., Timothy Knight, Randy Lyon, John W. Madigan, Carina Markel, Michael O’Grady, Christopher A. O’Herlihy, The Honorable Bruce and Diana Rauner, John W. Rogers Jr., Chris Reyes, Patrick G. Ryan, Michael J. Sacks and Scott C. Swanson.

Sponsors of the event include BMO, the Crown Family, John W. Madigan, Nicor Gas, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan and the Sidley Austin Foundation. To view a full list of sponsors and for more information about the event, visit LIVEUNITEDchicago.org/Stronger-Neighborhoods.

For more information about United Way of Metro Chicago and how you can donate towards creating a stronger, more equitable Chicago, please visit LIVEUNITEDchicago.org.


About United Way of Metro Chicago
United Way of Metro Chicago brings together business, government, philanthropic, individual and community leaders to deliver funding and resources while amplifying the expertise of nonprofit organizations across greater Chicago. We help individuals meet their basic needs and work alongside neighborhood partners to address local priorities and create communities where all people can thrive. United, we are building a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. Learn more about United Way of Metro Chicago at LIVEUNITEDchicago.org.

Media Contact
United Way of Metro Chicago – Kris Adamik, 312.906.2291, kris.adamik@LIVEUNITEDchicago.org

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