The Wood Family Foundation’s 5th Annual Storybook Gala


On Friday, September 20, 2019, the Wood Family Foundation hosted our 5th annual Storybook Gala at Chicago’s historic Union Station. Inspired by the storybook character of Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon, the evening was truly magical thanks to more than 300 cherished partners and sponsors who joined in the festivities. We took up the metaphorical purple crayon together and began writing the next chapter of the Wood Family Foundation’s middle school-focused Pitch In program.

Esteemed emcee, friend of the Foundation, and actress/writer/producer Bonnie Hunt welcomed everyone into Harold’s world, sharing whimsical and comedic memories from her own childhood. Then, WFF Executive Director Laura Muriello presented our annual Pitch In For Excellence Award to Doug Scott, President of A Better Chicago, a venture philanthropy firm that made a significant investment in the future of our Pitch In program. In his remarks, Doug pointed to how Pitch In fills a “truly unmet need” in Chicago’s middle school space. He noted how “there are many people telling the story of Chicago. Pitch In is actually writing the next chapter with middle school students.”

Together, thanks to the generosity of so many in the room with us, we successfully raised over half a million dollars to fuel the next phase of Pitch In’s growth. Our eight one-of-a-kind Live Auction packages, auctioned by Mr. Jim Miller, made for some scrappy and exciting bidding wars, and then guests focused on how their support could catalyze the future of Chicago middle schoolers across the city by participating in a high-energy direct appeal.

We prioritized the health and safety of our supporters and friends by cancelling our 2020 Storybook Gala scheduled for Friday, September 18, 2020, but check back periodically for updates about future in-person events we look forward to sharing with you!

Event Leadership


Sarah & Kerry Wood

Laura Ferris Anderson & Matthew Anderson

Host Committee

Jill & Andy Blackburn

Colleen & Brendan Carroll

Jessica Dunne & Brian Reshefsky

Stephanie & Dave Free

Rachel Haley

Bonnie Hunt

Sarah & Alex Pearsall

Daisie & Michael Siska

Lorraine Swiatly

Kendra & Matthew Thornton

Rosemary & Paul Wormley

Board of Directors

Kerry Wood

Sarah Wood

Graham Allen

Laura Ferris Anderson

Adam Damerow

Matthew Dillig

Tony Hoban

Abigayil Joseph

Tom Ricketts

John Ver Bockel