Author: jmeddy Created: 11/5/2009 12:36 PM
General Organization News Posts

It was a beautiful day on Sunday, October 12th for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! Six runners ran 26.2 miles to support Center for Independent Futures and the hopes and dreams of individuals with disabilities. Many ran their fastest marathon times and set personal records on race day!

Early that Sunday morning, CIF staff members, participants, and supporters gathered at Charity Mile to cheer on Team CIF and the other thousands of runners participating in the Chicago Marathon. The energy was incredible and we cheered with such enthusiasm that most of our voices were gone by the end of the was certainly worth it!

Not only did Marathon Team CIF have a great race day, but they have had a great year. Team CIF 2014 has so far raised more money than the teams in the past three years. In small part, this was thanks to two very successful fundraisers, one at Potbelly’s and another at World of Beer. Thank you to all who came out to support Team CIF at those events. We also had a wonderful and festive Pre-Race Pasta Party, complete with salad, bread sticks, and pasta generously donated by Olive Garden.

Together, Team CIF has so far raised $8,462! It’s not too late tol support their incredible accomplishments by making a donation in their honor:

Click here to make a donation...

Read more for Team CIF Fun Facts...and a link to our race day photos!

Read More »

Middle School kids take a stand for equality in Tellin' Tales Theatre's Six Stories Up in Equality opening November 7 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago.

Disability rights, religious freedom, environmental activism—these are just a few of the topics tackled by middle school kids and their adult mentors in this hilarious and touching original musical, set in Washington D.C. As bullying, gang warfare and violent video games bombard the youth of today, Six Stories Up in Equality challenges the cast and audience members alike to examine family, compassion, and the courage to speak up. This riveting show is completely written, performed and produced by adults and children with and without disabilities.

Six Stories Up in Equality is the final product of an annual mentoring program developed by Tellin' Tales Theatre, now in its seventeenth year. In August, storytellers were paired with middle school students with and without disabilities. Each team was given the mission to explore an equality issue in U.S. history and add their personal stories. In early September, mentors and their apprentices came together to link the six vignettes and draft a final script. All participants will perform Six Stories up in Equality under the direction of Artistic Director Tekki Lomnicki, assisted by Sue Nunamaker and Kate Byard.

Six Stories Up in Equality is geared toward adults and children age nine and up. The show runs approximately 90 minutes with one intermission. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays, November 7, 8, 14 & 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 9 & 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for students. For reservations, call 1-773-935-6875 or visit

Read More »

Here's a great idea for lunch or dinner on Monday, October 20th...

CIF has been selected to be the recipient of Valley Lodge Tavern’s next Monday Community Day. Each Monday, Valley Lodge Tavern selects on organization doing good work in the community to receive 10% of the revenue for the day and night of operation. Organizations are nominated by the restaurant’s customers and we are incredibly excited to have been selected!

Head over to Valley Lodge Tavern, 1141 Central Avenue in Wilmette, on Monday, October 20th, anytime between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. Offering American comfort with a twist of Greek, Valley Lodge Tavern serves craft beer and great food with quality service. Stop in for a burger, steak, chops and more and benefit CIF!

Read More »

Center for Independent Futures is pleased to be one of the organizations participating in the "Best Practices and the Pathway to Resources" Forum presented by State Senator Julie Morrison in partnership with the city of Highland Park. The Forum will take place on Tuesday, October 14 from 9 a.m. - 12 noon at the Highland Park Country Club, 1201 Park Avenue West in Higland Park, IL.

Forum Topics include:

  • Best practice in housing, employment and other services
  • Person-centered approaches
  • Accessing the system
  • Traditional and innovative employment options
  • Training and other community based programs
  • Residential Services

Download event flyer here.

Read More »

Center for Independent Future’s Volunteer Club brings together CIF participants, older adults, and Northwestern University students to engage in volunteer projects. August and September were very busy for our volunteers!

Every year, a group of dedicated athletes - Team CIF - make the ultimate commitment to CIF: to run 26.2 miles and raise $1,000 for CIF programs and services. In August, our volunteers worked to make these last few months very special for Team CIF runners. We wanted to let them know how appreciative we are for their incredible training and fundraising efforts. Volunteers wrote cards of encouragement for each runner and made large posters for race day. We’ll be cheering on our runners at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 12th and will be waiving the colorful posters for each runners as they speed by! For more information about our marathon team, please click here.

In September, a group of volunteers gathered to do a project to benefit the S.I.B.S. Network, the official Illinois chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network. Their mission is to provide support to siblings of people with disabilities in Illinois by connecting them with information, networking opportunities, and resources in order to enhance the quality of life for their entire family. On October 24 and 25, the S.I.B.S. Network, Advocate Illinois Masonic, and Clearbrook will sponsor a two-day Sibshop workshop. To support the workshop, Volunteer Club put together 100 goodie bags for workshop participants. Along with S.I.B.S. Network information and an encouraging note, volunteers packed a S.I.B.S. Network button and lots of candy in each bag before tying it up with a ribbon. The assembly line was quite efficient and we were grateful for the help of several Northwestern University students that are a part of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. We are so grateful for their help and we hope the goodie bags are a hit!

Read More »

The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie is pleased to welcome back Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach to the stage in Handicap This! on November 1, 2014, at 8 p.m.  The ALL-real 2 man show is part theatre-piece, part stand-up comedy routine, and part insight on living with disabilities. With music, humor and honesty, Handicap This! promises to stir your senses, challenge your thinking and wake up your attitude.

As you know, Center for Independent Futures is all about the Hopes & Dreams of individuals with disabilities, and we were excited to learn that Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach have big dreams...and are taking them on the road. "We have Three BIG Dreams," relates Tim. "First, to perform "Handicap This!" on Broadway, in New York City by September 2016. It’s ambitious, and I think society is ready for big-time change! Our show is something we are passionate about and honestly, we are changing lives every time we perform. Second, to have a major motion picture made about our relationship. And third, To Host Saturday Night Live!"

The new performance of Handicap This! is billed as even more hysterical, risky and real that before. So even if you've seen Mike and Tim on stage before, you'll want to come out for the show!

Purchase a ticket today!

Read more about Handicap This...

Read More »

On Sunday, November 23, 2014, Ten Thousand Villages in Evanston will donate a generous 15% of its sales between 1 - 5 p.m. to Center for Independent Futures. The store, located at 719 Main Street in Evanston, Illinois, offers a variety of fair-trade goods from around the world. Holiday and hostess gift possiblities abound – from coffee and chocolate to jewelry, scarves, CDs for kids and much more!

Spread the word...invite your neighbors and friends to shop on November 23rd between 1 - 5 p.m. to benefit CIF! There will be there will be savor and sweet fall treats for customers on the 24th, so stop in and do some holiday shopping. Our thanks to Ten Thousand Villages for their generous support!


Read More »

Two of Center for Independent Futures Resource Partners, Brian Rubin and Sherri Schneider, will be presenting at a "Government Benefits and Estate Planning" presentation on Thursday, November 13, 2014. The presentation is hosted by Linkages and will take place from 10 a.m. - Noon at the Bernard Horwich Building located at 3003 West Touhy Avenue in Chicago.

Sherri Schneider is an expert in Government Benefits available for individuals with disabilities and has advised numerous families on eligibility, application and maintenace of these benefits. Brian Rubin and his son, Benjamin, are well respected attorneys that advise individuals and their families on Special Needs Trusts and Guardianship as well as other issues involved in Estate Planning.

To download a flyer with additional information, click here. To register for this event and/or request special accommodations, please contact Rosann Corcoran, Linkages Coordinator at 773.508.1694.

Don't forget about Linkages October more for the details.

Read More »

Join us for an incredibly inspiring morning! Team CIF supporters are encouraged to root for our runners at the Charity Block Party near the 14 mile-mark of the course. Join us on Sunday, October 12th anytime from 7:30 am - 12 pm at the CIF Cheer Station on the south side of Adams Street between Loomis Street and Laflin Street. Look for us in bright green Team CIF shirts.

Be sure to dress for the weather. We'll have snacks to share with those who come out to cheer on our team. Limited parking is available in a lot on Laflin Street just north of Adams Street, as well as street parking north of Adams. For public transportation, take the CTA green line to Ashland; walk south on Ashland to Adams and then east on Adams to the Charity Block Party (Download Transportation Map). Should you need any help finding the CIF Cheer Station on Sunday, contact Becca at 847.328.2044.

Finally, don't forget to make a donation in support of Team CIF! Team CIF 2014 hopes to raise $10,000 this year, but they need your help us make our goal a reality! Your gift will not only help our runners reach their fundraising goals, but will also help CIF to keep pursuing our mission of supporting individuals with disabilities and their families in our community.

To donate, follow this link. On the Team CIF page, you can donate to the team by clicking the red “Donate to this Fundraiser” button or scroll down on the page and select an individual runner to support.

Good luck to all Team CIF runners–we're all rooting for you!

Contact Becca Kaplan at with any questions regarding Team CIF and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Read More »


Sketchbook Swap Exhibition @ Jupiter Outpost

Opening Reception:
Thursday, October 24th, 2014 • 5 - 8 pm
1139 W Fulton Market • Chicago, IL 60607
On view October through November

The Arts of Life is proud to present the second edition of their annual Sketchbook Swap show. In an effort to build community through art, The Arts of Life artists teamed up for their Sketchbook Swap project. Each of the Chicago artists paired up with an artist from the North Shore Studio and sent a sketchbook back and forth, sharing their work and stories of art making. See and learn more about the process of mutual inspiration by visiting the traveling Sketchbook Swap Exhibition presented at Jupiter Outpost.

The Sketchbook Swap show is presented in conjunction with the 2014 Chicago Artists Month (CAM), the 18th annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant art community organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Read More »

Support our work...

Search CIF

Become a CIF Fan on Facebook! Subscribe to our Blog Get E-mail Updates Contact Us Spread the Word
Subscribe to me on YouTube

2013 Annual Report
Hopes & Dreams Realized Stories
Like CIF on Facebook!

Shop & Benefit CIF

Use Goodshop to support Center for Independent Futures 

Center For Independent Futures