Work Samples

  • Megann Horstead

Will County group’s gala benefits local students

On the evening of Saturday, Feb. 24, Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Will County Black Diamond Chapter hosted its inaugural masquerade/casino night gala

The event, held at the Tinley Park Convention Center, was a first for the Will County group.

“We wanted to do something big to benefit the kids with scholarships,” said Karen Dilligard, president of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Will County Black Diamond Chapter.

Dilligard said the group is newer to the community, and it has only been existence for two years.

“We want to bring awareness to Top Ladies of Distinction and what we do in the community to support teens,” Dilligard said. “People always say Top Ladies of Distinction is one of the top-kept secrets in the community.”

Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Will County Black Diamond Chapter is part of a national-level organization whose mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of youth and adults through community-based programs and projects.

Some initiatives of note include community beautification, community partnerships and a back-to-work initiative for women.

In the past, the group has supported a number of organizations, including the NAACP, UNCF, NCNW, sickle cell disease research, March of Dimes and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Guests played casino games throughout the evening. Elsewhere, they enjoyed live music and dancing.

Anyone who played casino games tried their hand at winning gift baskets, and members of the Will County group donated 13 of them, all of which were available for viewing.

Tickets to the event were $75, and the funds raised are to support the Will County Black Diamond Chapter’s Top Teens scholarship program.

The gala brought in an estimated 250 guests this year.

“It’s going to be an annual event,