Redefining Possible 6th Annual GCYC Benefit Luncheon was a Great Success!


Thank you for investing in the next generation of leaders

Nearly 500 Chicago civic and business leaders gathered on Friday, October 12, 2018 at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park to advance out-of-school time enrichment, academic enhancement, and college success initiatives at the Gary Comer Youth Center. David Simas, CEO, Obama Foundation and Breana Brown, GCYC Alumna, shared their unique views on how to come together as engaged citizens to create new possibilities for youth on Chicago's South Side.

Featured speakers

David Simas

David Simas is the Chief Executive Officer of the Obama Foundation. A native of Taunton, Massachusetts, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2007. Simas then joined President Obama’s administration in 2009 as a Deputy Assistant to the President, working with senior advisors David Axelrod and David Plouffe. In 2012, he served as Director of Opinion Research for President Obama's reelection campaign. Following the reelection, Simas returned to the White House as Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. Simas holds a B.A. in political science from Stonehill College and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. He serves on the national board of directors of OneGoal and lives in Chicago with his wife, Shauna, and their two daughters.

Breana Brown

Breana graduated from Gary Comer College Prep in the inaugural class of 2012. She went on to become the first in her family to graduate from college, earning her bachelor’s degree in English Studies from Illinois State University (2017). The leadership skills she developed at GCYC and as an UtmostU Peer Alumni Coordinator for ISU Freshmen have positioned her for a fulfilling career. She is currently an Admissions Counselor at Lincoln College.

Thank you to our sponsors


BerbeeWalsh Foundation

Comer Family Foundation

The Lucas Family Foundation

Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Foundation


BMO Harris Bank

The Rooney Family

The Rosenfield Family

Urban Partnership Bank


The Jentes Family

Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation


Bernstein Private Wealth Management


Courtney & Guy Comer

Stephanie Comer & Rob Craigie

Diverse Facility Solutions

Janet & Craig Duchossois

Adrian Foster

The Furlow Family


Joan M. Hall

Harris Family Foundation

Jacobs Group, Inc.

Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel & John H. Krehbiel, Jr.

Loeb & Loeb, LLP

McClain & Canoy, LLC

Merit Advisors

Lucinda & Allen Sabbag

Mary & Charles Shea

The Jane & David Stone Charitable Trust

Ella D. & Richard P. Strubel Fund


Make It Better 


Monica Carney, Co-Chair

Clare G. Golla, Co-Chair

  • Bob Barnett
  • Kathy Bresler
  • Kimberly Coady
  • Francie Comer
  • Courtney & Guy Comer
  • Stephanie Comer & Rob Craigie
  • Yvonne Derrig & Devon Bruce
  • Lou Ebling
  • Rebekuh Eley
  • Emily & Ross Emmerman
  • Adrienne Gibbs
  • Michael Gray
  • Gordon Hannon
  • Barbara Jackson
  • Margaret Jones
  • Caryn & Harlan Kahn
  • Ari Levy, MD
  • Cheryl Lulias
  • Marci & Norm Malter
  • Harriet Meyer
  • Greg Mooney
  • Kimberly Mulcahy
  • Susan Newman
  • Joyce & Rudy Nimocks
  • Christine Raguso
  • Trisha Rooney
  • Elias Rosario
  • Gary Rozier   
  • Ayoka Noelle Mota Samuels
  • William Schleicher
  • Bonnie Shifrin
  • Amy Stender
  • Julia & Errett Van Nice

Thanks to our many supporters and inspiring speakers who helped our 6th annual luncheon to become our largest and most successful to date.

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Breana Brown and David Simas

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