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Maternal Health Can Change A Child’s Future! Start Early’s 2023 Annual Luncheon

Start Early President Diana Rauner shares a recap from our Annual Luncheon fundraising event and highlights those who made this year’s program possible.

Diana Rauner May 30, 2023
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Last month, we hosted our 21st Annual Luncheon at the Hilton Chicago, where we welcomed hundreds of supporters to discuss advancing maternal health equity. Through powerful conversations and presentations with experts in the field, we discussed the maternal health crisis and the inequities in the system impacting Black women, alongside the innovative solutions that can save and transform lives.

If you were unable to join us, you can watch the highlights of an incredibly impactful afternoon below.

Quality maternal health can change a child’s future, and when we support the wellbeing of mothers and birthing parents, we set our children up to make an impact for future generations. Ensuring equitable access to quality health care – before, during and after birth – can help prevent maternal and infant mortality and strengthen the developmental systems that enable children to reach their full potential.

As Luncheon Co-Chair Sam Yagan shared, “…we have no choice but to address the issue of inequality at birth. Not just for the sake of the kids and the moms whose lives we improve, but for all of us, and for our own lives to improve.”

I am so thankful for the opportunity to bring parents, educators and early learning professionals together with business and community leaders to discuss the opportunity in front of us to reshape maternal health. And I want to share a special thank you to our Luncheon Co-Chairs, Suk Shah and Sam Yagan, who did an incredible job setting the stage for maternal health experts, mothers, and doulas, who provided the critical perspectives needed to understand the full picture when it comes to maternal health.

We are grateful for the incredible support and generosity of our donors and event sponsors who helped us raise $1.15 million. Every dollar raised helps our young families and sets the stage for them to thrive. You can still show your support by making a donation today. When we come together and invest in early childhood education, we can transform the lives of our future generation.

Luncheon Co-Chair Suk Shah said it best: “Children with quality early learning experiences, who are healthy and prepared, do better when they enter kindergarten. Parents do better, and they’re more prepared to contribute to the strength of their family and their community.”

Thank you for being part of our 2023 Annual Luncheon, and we hope to see you again soon.

About the Author

Diana Rauner headshot

Diana Rauner


Diana Rauner, Ph.D., is president of Start Early, a national nonprofit with over 40 years of experience advancing quality early learning and care to help close the opportunity gap.

More About Diana

2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsors

A special thank you to our generous individual and corporate sponsors who have joined us in a shared mission to close the opportunity gap and ensure every child has a chance to reach their full potential.



Yagan Family Foundation



BMO Harris Bank, 2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsor LaSalle Network, 2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsor

Nancy & Steve Crown | The Crown Family
The Hasten Foundation
Diana & Bruce Rauner
Zell Family Foundation



GCM Grosvenor, 2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsor Oberhelman Foundation & Cullinan Properties, , 2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsor BMO Harris Bank, 2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsor Related Midwest, 2023 Annual Luncheon Sponsor

Marilyn & Larry Fields
Cari & Michael J. Sacks
Diana & Michael Sands



Susan & Stephen Baird
Meredith Bluhm-Wolf & Bill Wolf
The Boeing Company
Noelle C. Brock, Brock Family Foundation
Jacolyn & John Bucksbaum
The Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Dave & Jane Casper
CME Group Foundation
The Duchossois Family Foundation
Cabray Haines & David Kiley
Harris Family Foundation
Ron & Fifi Levin, John & Elizabeth Burke, John & Danielle Didrickson | Goldman Sachs
Make It Better Foundation
The Malkin Family
Charles & Brunetta Matthews
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Catherine Siegel
Michael & Linda Simon
Steans Family Foundation
Sterling Bay
Sunshine Charitable Foundation
Wilson Garling Foundation



Ellen Alberding & Kelly Welsh
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Boston Consulting Group | Vicki Escarra
Jimmy & Eleni Bousis
Sarah Bradley & Paul Metzger
The Brodsky Family Foundation
Mark & Shari Coe | Intrinsic Edge
Erikson Institute
The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation
Fiducient Advisors | Terri & Bob DiMeo
Keith & Rodney Goldstein
Rachel & Devin Gross
Maxwell Gunnill
JP Morgan Chase
David & Gerri Kahnweiler
The Dolores Kohl Education Foundation
Klaff Family Foundation
Learning Resources
Elizabeth & Eric Lefkovsky
Barbara & Dan O’Keefe
Sharon Oberlander
Cathy and Bill Osborn
Plante Moran
Port Capital LLC
Jeanne Rogers & Perry Sainati
Rothkopf Family Charitable Foundation
The Shah Family
Cheryl & Craig Simon
Ken & Kathy Tallering
Robin Loewenberg Tebbe & Mark Tebbe
Laura Thonn
Anne & John Tuohy
Ulta Beauty
Mike & Robin Zafirovski

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