When my dad opened his first restaurant, Eli’s Ogden Huddle, on Chicago’s
west side, he put up a sign that said “if you have no money, we will feed you
free.” He thought that he would keep it up for a week; it stayed up for years.
That was the type of person that my dad, Eli. was, and it was the way he taught
me to be.
One of our critical missions at Eli’s is making a difference in the
community. Yes, we have an obligation to make a profit as that pays our bills
and our salaries, but we also have an obligation to use our business and our
knowledge to help others. With so many big businesses merging or moving out of
town, the opportunity is great for us to make a difference. We do it with our
time and committing our resources to helping some of the neediest organizations
prosper and make a difference.
One of our longest term and special relationships is with the New Horizons
Center for the Developmentally Disabled. We became friendly with New Horizons
over 18 years ago and our associate, Patti Carroll, is now on their Board. When
we started, we were in our first bakery on Dakin Street about one half mile
south of our current bakery. We were fortunate to move to Eli’s Cheesecake World
almost 8 years ago, which is just east of the New Horizons property, and they
are still working on building a new home.
As you can see by the description below, New Horizons is a very special place
for a student population of kids and adults, who are profoundly disabled. New
Horizons serves a center of the lives of the families who can’t mainstream their
children because of their condition. New Horizons doesn’t get a great of
publicity, but we have watched it prosper as it makes the lives of its students
Our goal is to celebrate the construction of the new New Horizons, which will
be directly next to us on currently vacant land, with the dedication of the Rita
Tierney Social Hall, which would be a place for families to gather. We have
dedicated the proceeds from the Eli’s Cheesecake Festival to New Horizons for
several years and we look forward to the Festival being very successful for New
Horizons this September.
There is nothing better in business than seeing the difference we have made
at New Horizons and our other special partners.
|New Horizon Center for the
Developmentally Disabled is a not-for-profit corporation chartered by the state
of Illinois which serves the needs of children and adults with severe and
multiple disabilities. Students who are enrolled in the program have been
referred by their local public school. New Horizon Center provides educational
programs that will stimulate each student in the least restrictive environment.
The focus of the Adult Training Program is to provide goal-oriented programs
that will enhance each adult’s daily life skills through community and
recreational activities. Adult decision-making is stressed.You wont see
desks, chalkboards or pencils – but as you pass a classroom you will see
teachers helping a child to lift his head with dignity and pride. You will also
observe children learning how to feed themselves while other children are being
taught how to stand up and walk tall. Some children are taught singing in order
to communicate their needs. Here at New Horizon Center, each student is looked
upon as an individual with needs and desires. Teachers make them feel important
and wanted. Through their eyes, each child has abilities not disabilities. Every
small gain the student makes is rewarded with a big hug and a smile.
You wont see desks,