HARVEY | A sold-out crowd of 400 attendees gathered last month at the Tinley Park Convention Center to celebrate Restoration Ministries’ 25th anniversary.
Emceed by South Holland dentist and founding board member Dr. John Sullivan, the night commemorated 25 years of service to Harvey and neighboring communities by highlighting the ministries’ thriving after-school programs as well as honoring the successful graduates of Restoration Ministries’ faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation residential programs, Harvey House and Tabitha House.
Founding board member Ronnie Colosimo, CEO and president of Oak Lawn Toyota, received the evening’s greatest distinction as the gala’s 25th anniversary honoree for his unwavering support and dedication to Restoration Ministries’ cause to bring hope to the hopeless.
The gathering began with a reception hour that gave guests the opportunity to interact with children from the ministry’s various after-school programs. Installations were set up in the back of the venue to mirror the actual spaces of the programs. Attendees were able to delve into a good book in the Reading Room, play against members of the Chess Club, watch students on the potters wheel and admire students’ work from the Gallery of the Arts, and learn to throw a left hook with the boys of the Harvey Boxing Club.
Following the reception, dinner was served and the program took place. Video testimonials featuring some of Restoration Ministries most poignant success stories provided tangible evidence of the positive strides the ministry is making all over the Chicago and Northwest Indiana region. According Ronnie Colosimo, the official honoree of the night, it is the exact reason why he continues to support Restoration Ministries.
“I have seen firsthand how God works through the staff and volunteers at Restoration Ministries to aid those who feel helpless and hopeless," he said. "I am humbled to receive this distinction tonight and I am reminded of the thousands of lives changed for the better by Restoration Ministries.”
In his keynote speech, Colosimo stressed the importance of perseverance through commitment and trust in God during trying times saying, “God provided exactly what we needed and here we are today, celebrating 25 years of his work in all of our lives.” With an unspoken but unmistakable theme of gratitude and joy for the past 25 years, Restoration Ministries looks forward to what God has in store for the future.
As the evening came to a close, Executive Director Ray Banks briefly but movingly shared his testimony with the crowd and reminded everyone why Restoration Ministries exists: it is for the next generation — to support the hungry and weary right now so the next generation can prosper into contributing members of society.
The event brought in $295,000 for Restoration Ministries. For more information, including ways to volunteer or make a charitable contribution, visit www.restorationministries.net.