Seven Generations Ahead celebrated its 15th Anniversary on Oct. 5, with many of its long-time supporters and friends on hand to raise their glasses and toast the occasion.
Executive director Gary Cuneen took a few minutes to recall SGA’s early beginnings and how it has grown— moving “from a grassroots organization to one that’s having impact with decision-makers across the Chicago metro area.” Gary credited “great staff, great partners and a great board of directors” and the many individuals in the room that night “who make things happen.”
He cited the Hatch Patch Elementary School garden in Oak Park as an early success story that grew from SGA's help in securing a grant for its first raised beds. The edible garden also celebrated its 10th anniversary this fall.
The evening also paid homage to local food and brews. Tastings from local restaurants NOVO, Carnivore, Karl's Soups, and AutreMonde featured produce sourced from Hatch and other Oak Park school gardens. Beer pairings featured brews from Kinslahger, Oak Park Brewing, Haymarket and Wild Onion.
“We like to be the catalyst, initiate projects, pull partners together,” Gary continued. “Sustainability is hitting the mainstream, which has been our primary focus. It’s going to take all of us to do it.
“We’re really happy with our role— to be a catalyst . . . to able to implement sustainability in whatever place, institution, home, city people are at. . . . We try to do things with quality. We’re about efficiency, and are able to do a lot with our resources. And we establish strong partnerships.
“We’re thrilled that you came out to help celebrate with us. And so happy that all of you are part of this work,” Gary said. He wrapped up by asking everyone to raise a glass in a toast.
The Indianapolis-based band Brandon Whyde & the Devil's Keep then took the stage and played on till the celebration wound down.