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“Dinner with Friends” to seed Little Friends Giving Tree holiday program

Little Friends® will kick off its 2018 Holiday Giving Tree program with its first “Dinner with Friends” event at CityGate Grille, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. All gratuities collected will seed this year’s Giving Tree holiday meal and gift program.

Diners will order from CityGate Grille’s full dinner menu while Little Friends celebrity servers work the room, with the support of CityGate Grille staff, to raise funds via tips. Live entertainment will be provided by local artists, Conor and Ryan Ashe.

“Our ‘celebrities’ will team up with CityGate Grille staff, earning tips to support our annual holiday giving program,” said Little Friends VP of Advancement, Renee Miklosik.

“Anticipate a lot of healthy rivalry and hearty revelry among our celebrity-server teams who will be working for those tips, and for bragging rights,” added Liz Doyle, Branch Liaison at Cross Country Mortgage—Naperville and Little Friends’ Auxiliary Board Member.

Each year businesses throughout the western suburbs volunteer to host Little Friends Giving Trees to help clients and their families in need celebrate the holiday season. The program’s support ranges from providing families with holiday meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas, to gifts for under the tree.

“The harsh reality for families that support a loved one with autism or another developmental disability is that they will spend $17,000 more per child every year than they would if they had a neuro-typical child. Our families are often emotionally and financially exhausted,” said Miklosik. “Yet when asked what help they need, their requests are not grand or complicated. They would like to have a holiday meal for their family; they’d like to put some presents under the tree. This program will assist more than 50 clients and nearly a dozen families.”

“We are thrilled to play a part supporting a longstanding program and an upstanding local organization,” said CityGate Grille General Manager Jonathan Cook. “It’s a great cause and promises to be a great time too.”

From Nov. 12 to Dec. 7, Giving Trees will be located in businesses throughout the western suburbs. To participate, simply take a tag, purchase and wrap the requested gift, then return the gift with tag attached to its original location. A list of Giving Tree locations will be posted on the Little Friends website, in early November.

CityGate Grille is at 2020 Calamos Ct. at CityGate Centre, on Rte. 59 between Ferry Rd. and I-88 in Naperville. Call 630-718-1010 to make your reservation for the Nov. 8 Dinner with the Friends.


Fulfilling Lives–Regardless of Challenge. Every one of our clients has a right to a fulfilling life of dignity, independence and respect. So do their families. That right is universal, regardless of challenge. At Little Friends, we empower clients with autism and other developmental disabilities to thrive in our community. Our groundbreaking programs and nationally-renowned staff provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so our clients can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments. Visit us at


CityGate Grille is an American steakhouse and private-event facility that features USDA Prime meats, seafood and a unique selection of Grecian favorites, located in Naperville’s CityGate Centre at Rte. 59 and Ferry Rd., along I-88. Beyond its main bar and dining rooms, CityGate Grille offers semi-private dining, and its Terrace Room indoor-outdoor private event facility. It features live music on the weekends. Menus, live music schedules, reservations, and private dining and event information are at


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