Written by Elizabeth Shure and Neal Zucker
Photgraph by Michael Roberts

We are in our thirties. We have jobs. We have families. What we don’t have is spare time, yet we manage to squeeze in a few hours every week to volunteer. Regardless of how hectic our schedules, we get involved. We’re passionate about our community and we love Chicago.

There are many reasons why more and more young people are making time to volunteer. While there’s a social aspect to volunteering, the primary driving force is the opportunity to give hack. Volunteering provides a high level of personal enjoyment associated with making a difference.

Some have the impression that this generation of doers’ sole philanthropic mission is to n designer digs and see-and-be-seen at galas, as opposed to raising awareness and funds for charity. Glitzy dilettantes? Hardly.

Today's Chicago Woman: The New Philanthropists

Many of today’s young volunteers are following in the footsteps of their parents. From the time we were children, our parents instilled in us the importance of community service. To us volunteering is as natural as brushing our teeth. We do it. We don’t even think about why.

Yet we want to make an impact. We understand the importance of fund-raising to support cultural, educational and social programs that can improve the quality of life in Chicago. We recognize how raising money for medical research can literally make the difference between

We are also looking ahead. We want to provide a better life for our children, our grandchildren. At a time in our society when there’s so much wealth, we also recognize the sad fact that there are a growing number of men, women and children in need of such basics as food and shelter. There’s so much to do.

These young professionals stand out for the endless hours they devote to work Chicago’s philanthropic community:

LESLIE BLUHM, co-founder of Chicago Cares Inc., an umbrella organization created to “make it easy to make a difference.” Since its inception in 1991, Chicago Cares volunteers have contributed more than 400,000 hours of service to Chicago through more than 9,000 service projects.

PEGGY BODINE, president of The Junior League of Chicago.

SUSAN KELLER CANMANN and JOHN D. FORNENGO, co-founders of the Guild of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

DAVID FEIN, co-founder of 37 Friends, an auxiliary hoard of Gallery 37.

ADRIAN GARIBAY, president of Chicago Gateway Green.

BRiDGET HARTIGAN, executive director of the American Ireland Fund.

MELLODY HOBSON, member of numerous nonprofit boards, including the Chicago Public Library.

ALISON and BOBBY MITCHELL, co founders of the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundations Junior Board.

JIM O’CONNOR, JR., founder of the Field Associates of the Field Museum of Natural History.

GIGI PRITZKER, who is bringing the first annual “Dream Halloween®” fantasy fund-raiser to Chicago this month. Created for the entire family, this event will benefit the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

TRISHA ROONEY, who has co-chaired with Pat Ryan, Jr., the annual Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC) fundraiser at the Saddle & Cycle for the past eight years. in collaboration with Pat Ryan. this powerful twosome has been responsible for raising over $1 million to further the efforrts of this successful organization.

PAT RYAN, JR., who in 1991 created ICTC, a volunteer service program that brings together dynamic young women and men to work in the spirit of helping others help themselves. ICTC places outstanding recent college graduates as classroom teachers and coaches in inner city Chicago schools. The program, based loosely on the Peace Corps, is highly selective and recruits members from the nation’s finest colleges and universities.

Others who have made generous donations of their time and talent include: Amanda Larsen Puck, Betsy Bradley, Greta Huizenqa Glesen, Noreen Heron, Grant DePorter, Drew McNally, Brian White, Michelle Atwater, Laura Robinson, Estelle Waigreen, Nora Daley Conroy, Beth Eachus, Tim Foufas. Robin Segal, Jon Segal, Lara Shipp. Steve Traxier, Jackie Harris, Bob Levinson, Robin Berger, Courtney Thompson, William Harqrave, Andrew McNally V, Mimi Carr Killioren. Andrew Shure, Liz Livingston Howard, Kim Dobbins, Leonard Goodman, Denis John Healy, Brian Satherlie, Chris and Christy Corrigan, Bryan Glazer. Jill Katz, Debbie Lund, Lori Kaufrnann, Emmett Holden, Bill Friend, Stace Glick, Amanda Prizant, Julia Eidelman, Scott lnbinder, Todd Stern, Brad Falk, Karen Klutznick, Elizabeth Lewis, Elizabeth Pruett, Susan Lyons, LB. Pritzker, Shawn Donnelly, and more.

On the political front , these Chicago Professionals are worth watching: Comptroller Daniel W. Hynes, State Representative John Fritchey, and State Senator Lisa Madigan.