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The Woman’s Board

The Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center has a remarkable history supporting Rush’s mission for the last 132 years and continues to do so today. Each year, The Woman’s Board organizes a number of service and philanthropic initiatives, the highlight of which is the board’s annual fundraising Fashion Show — the longest continuously running charitable fashion show in the country.

Pictured right: The 2016 Fashion show chairs (left to right) Anne Tucker, Mindy Kelly and Susan Merlin.

The Woman’s Board also includes two different supplementary groups, both active in Chicago's northern suburbs: The Auxiliary of the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center and The Junior Board of the Auxiliary of the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center.

Current initiatives

The Annual Spring Luncheon is another longtime fundraising event, now coming up on its 23rd consecutive year. Funds raised by the 2017 Spring Luncheon held on May 11 will be directed to community outreach programs supported by The Woman's Board, including the board’s principal project for this year, Rush's School-Based Mental Health Program. This effort will build a community-based mental health screening and treatment network to support children, families, front-line community members and first responders in underserved neighborhoods surrounding the Medical Center campus within these three Chicago public schools:

  • Simpson Academy For Young Women — a school serving pregnant teens and teen moms in grades sixth through twelve.
  • Orr Academy High School — a leadership school focused on college prep.
  • Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School — a four-year medical vocational training high school for allied health fields.

Through proceeds from the Spring Luncheon, as well as fundraising efforts throughout the year, the Woman’s Board is honored to support the implementation of Rush’s School-Based Mental Health Program, while also addressing critical research, programmatic, patient and social service needs across the Medical Center and in the Chicago community.

The Auxiliary of the Woman’s Board hosted the annual North Shore Cooks’ Tour on September 27, 2017. Proceeds from the event will support Rush's School-Based Mental Health Program.  An invitation-only event, guests enjoy an intimate tour of each of the homes and a wonderful luncheon hosted in the Garden Room at the Winnetka Community House.  In addition, guests can delight in the purchase of delicious home cooked soups, entrees and baked goods from the Cooks' Tour gourmet-to-go entrees. Learn more about the Cooks’ Tour online.

Recent efforts

In October 2016, The Woman’s Board raised $800,000 through their 90th Fall Fashion Show, adding to more than $33.4 million raised by the board since it began keeping records of all fundraising efforts in 1974. Proceeds from the 2016 show were directed to the Road Home Program: The Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush to support an innovative effort that connects veterans and their families with specialized mental health care, peer-to-peer outreach, counseling and resources they need to transition from military to civilian life. A $15 million challenge grant from Wounded Warrior Project® has presented Rush and Road Home with an unprecedented opportunity to reach more vets in need by creating a two-for-one match on $7.5 million in philanthropic gifts. Proceeds from the show went toward the match. 

The Fall Benefit and Spring Luncheon are just two of several Woman’s Board endeavors.

Through proceeds from The Woman’s Board Gift Shops at Rush and contributions from corporations, foundations, two auxiliaries and the individual board members themselves, The Woman’s Board supports a broad range of patient care, education, research and community initiatives at Rush.

Learn more about the Woman’s Board on their website.

Questions? Contact Michelle Boardman, director of auxiliary groups, at (312) 942-6884 or michelle_a_boardman@rush.edu.

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