IVCA Mourns a Key Contributor

IVCA Mourns a Key Contributor

August 17, 2011

IVCA Mourns a Key Contributor

On July 22nd Debbie Beitler died.  Debbie was the wife of IVCA Founding Member and former Chairman Steve Beitler.  Debbie was 56 years old but lived a full life that included education, the arts and philanthropy and two beautiful daughters.  She also loved nothing better than a good party.

Debbie played a key role in the establishment of IVCA's Annual Awards Dinner.  In 2002 Steve asked her to - œhelp-  organize the first annual dinner.  - œHelp-  was code for plan all of the logistics of the event.  No one knew how many people might want to attend the event so Debbie was charged with organizing a - œhigh-end-  event for an unknown number of people.  Debbie arranged for the event to be held at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater facility where the room was packed and every aspect of the event occurred flawlessly.  The actual awards were beautiful - “ cast by Tiffany; the food was delicious, the speeches personal and memorable.  We were fortunate to hear from a special guest invited by Steve Beitler - “ State Senator Barack Obama, who was considering a run for the U.S. Senate but was concerned he might not be able to raise the money required.

I attended the event as a guest of Steve Beitler.  At that point I knew nothing about IVCA but surmised that it must be quite an organization to put on such a high end event.  Four months later I was working at IVCA and realized how nascent the organization really was - “ Awards Dinner appearances to the contrary.  The next year I worked directly with Debbie on the Annual Awards event, this time held at the Ritz Carlton where it was again oversubscribed.  It is to Debbie's credit that that first event has now been successfully repeated (in a much larger venue) eleven times. 

In addition to her volunteer work with IVCA, Debbie actively supported and chaired many fundraisers for local organizations including The Joffrey Ballet, the Ravinia Festival, Children's Memorial Hospital, The Goodman Theater.  Debbie Beitler seriously knew how to turn a good time into an opportunity to do good. 

IVCA is grateful for Debbie Beitler's help when we really needed it and I am grateful to have called her a friend.

Maura O'Hara