Dear Friends of Hopeful Heart,

It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter to you. As you may recall, Lyn Larsen and Kerry Hughes created the idea for Hopeful Heart in 1991. The original mission was to provide fast and non-complicated financial help to people in the performing arts who developed life threatening or terminal illnesses. The primary focus for fund raising was an annual concert at Marian and Jasper Sanfilippo's beautiful home in Barrington Hills, IL. During those early days, there was fairly limited opportunity to go to an event there so we had overflow crowds during the first 12 to 14 years of our concerts. Over the past 8 or 9 years, the number of events offered at the estate has increased dramatically and the opportunity to tour there has become easier due to all the marvelous musical programs the Sanfilippo Foundation offers.

In a very positive light, the face of medicine has changed for the better in the treatment of HIV, stroke and cancer. The need for short term help that we started offering has also changed. Though it might be hard to imagine, we've had a difficult time finding individuals to receive our monthly grants of financial help. Because of this we increased the scope of our mission and have for the last number of years also made substantial grants to the Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin and to the Howard Brown Clinic in Chicago.

For the past 7 or 8 years, Hopeful Heart has given out grants in amounts larger than what was generated at the yearly concerts. For this reason, at our last meeting in July, the Hopeful Heart Board of Directors decided by a majority vote to cease our operations and start the process of dissolving our Charity. The Board also voted to provide the current grant recipients with a financial buffer of an additional 2 years worth of funds to be paid in a lump sum. After the official dissolution takes place, we will (by law) donate our remaining funds to other worthwhile 501(c)(3) charities.

Though I'm saddened by announcing the end of Hopeful Heart, I can take pride in knowing that so many people were helped during our almost 25 years of existence. I'm also pleased to let you know that all the monies raised from our annual concerts and from donations went directly to help our grant recipients. None of our directors ever received compensation for their services and the only expenses we had were for the production of the concerts themselves.

Hopeful Heart was successful thanks to your support by attending our concerts and through additional financial donations. Please know that your participation helped the lives of many deserving individuals who, through no fault of their own, struggled financially due to illness.

I'd like you to be aware that Greg Leifel, the Director of the Sanfilippo Foundation, will be contacting you to offer the option of being notified of future events at Sanfilippo's.

Thanks to all of you for your support, kindness and love,

Gib Petzke, President
Hopeful Heart, Inc.