Welcoming 418 guests and supported by 36 sponsors, the 2017 SOS Gala at the Hyatt Regency Chicago broke records for attendance and support, raising almost $300,000 for Connections for Abused Women and their Children. The fun and inspiring evening was made even better by the event's emcee, Natalie Martinez of NBC-5 Chicago, and guest speaker John Rugel, Senior Vice President for Allstate Insurance Company. John left the audience spellbound as he told his own personal story of a childhood tormented by the physical abuse of his mother by a drunken father.

John also received this year's Champion Award from CAWC on behalf of Allstate Insurance Company. Based in Chicago, Allstate Insurance Company is a leading advocate against domestic violence. Allstate is also behind the annual crowdfunding campaign “Purple Purse Challenge,” which raises millions of dollars for nonprofit agencies that serve victims of domestic violence.

Top sponsors for this year’s SOS Gala included the Chicago Bears, Equity Residential, Nordstrom, Allen Oremus, The Sidley Austin Foundation, and Northern Trust.

Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC) provides services that are critical to saving lives and breaking the cycle of violence that exist within families. Those who need CAWC’s services are often those with the least resources to draw upon to help them find solutions. CAWC helps survivors of domestic violence by providing emergency shelter, legal advocacy, counseling, and other essential resources to help single women and mothers with children to escape abuse and increase their safety, rebuild their lives and restore their hope. Last year, CAWC’s Greenhouse Shelter provided a safe refuge for 142 adults and 154 children escaping domestic violence. Our 24-hr Hotline received 3,950 calls. CAWC is the first nonprofit organization in the Chicago area to provide these services for survivors of domestic violence. CAWC celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2017.

For those who like to plan ahead, the date for the next Sounds of Silence Gala has been set for Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Please mark your calendar!