In the second installment in our Fall Philanthropy Series, we explore the significant impact of corporate philanthropy and fundraising in the lighting industry, showcasing remarkable results achieved when like-minded individuals unite for a common cause.
The H Foundation – Based in LaGrange, Illinois, The H Foundation was established in 2001 by Hortons Home Lighting and local businesses. Their hallmark fundraising event, the “Goombay Bash,” hosted at Chicago’s Navy Pier, is a “party with meaning” where over 1,000 attendees enjoy a tropical-themed evening. The proceeds from this event fund basic science cancer research, enabling projects to compete for government and private funding.
Over the years, The H Foundation has raised over $11 million, a sum that has been magnified by the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University, leveraging it into more than $250 million for cancer research and patient support.
The Guiding Light Award -Inspired by the lighting industry’s unwavering commitment, The H Foundation introduced the Guiding Light Award in 2017. This accolade recognizes companies and individuals in the lighting community who champion The H Foundation’s mission to find a cancer cure. The lighting industry has played a pivotal role, contributing 30-40% of the total funds raised by the foundation.
The inaugural Guiding Light Award was presented jointly to Generation Lighting, Hinkley, Kichler, Quoizel, Satco, and WAC Lighting. Subsequent honorees include Lighting One President Gregg Garofalo, Hubbardton Forge CEO Maria Mullen, and posthumously, former Hinkley CEO Rick Wiedemer, for whom the award is now named. The 2023 Rick Wiedemer Guiding Light Award was bestowed upon Dirk and Shelley Wald, Co-CEOs of WAC Lighting.
Skylar Wald Let’s Beat Cancer Fundraiser – This summer, the Walds’ 9-year-old daughter, Skylar, initiated a fundraiser to support cancer research for The H Foundation. Skylar’s own triumph over cancer, diagnosed at just three months old, inspired her to help other children. The fundraiser gained momentum when Skylar’s personal story was shared during the presentation of the award at the 2023 Goombay Bash.
As of October 11, 2023, Skylar’s “Let’s Beat Cancer Fundraiser” has raised $35,425.63, surpassing the original $20,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted at the link provided above.
Supporting the Cause – The H Foundation offers multiple opportunities for individuals and companies to support their mission to combat cancer by backing research at the Cancer Center. Explore their website for more information and consider contributing or attending one of their events.
In the lighting industry, corporate philanthropy is not just about brightening spaces; it’s about illuminating lives and creating a brighter future. Read the first article in our Fall Philanthropy Series here.