As the lighting industry’s largest charitable event prepares for its 20th anniversary edition on July 23, 2022, The H Foundation’s Goombay Bash in Chicago also plans to honor a lighting industry icon with the Guiding Light Award while raising money for basic science cancer research.
Since its founding in 2001 by Hortons Home Lighting and other LaGrange, IL, businesses, The H Foundation and its annual Goombay Bash has been celebrated and supported by a sense of community. This grassroots spirit has underscored the message that “Cancer is Personal,” affecting real people--families, friends, neighbors, partners and patrons. As the event has grown, this definition of community has broadened from LaGrange to Chicagoland to all of Illinois and beyond, driven by the individuals and businesses with direct connections in our day-to-day lives.
In 2017, The H Foundation created an opportunity to celebrate one community for its unwavering and continued support. This was not a community defined by geographic boundaries or blood relations, but no less a family and no less connected to the cause. The Lighting Industry inspired the creation of the Guiding Light Award to specifically honor companies and individuals in the lighting community for their consistent and enduring efforts support The H Foundation’s mission to fund basic science research and find a cure for cancer. The inaugural award was presented to lighting industry companies Generation Lighting, Hinkley, Kichler, Quoizel, Satco, and WAC Lighting. Other recipients include Gregg Garofalo, President of Lighting One, and Maria Mullen, CEO of Hubbardton Forge.
The Guiding Light Award is given annually to an individual or company who exemplifies the leadership qualities that will guide others towards a brighter future in which no one will suffer the hardships of this horrible disease that affects one in three people. It celebrates the community spirit that has used ingenuity to shine a spotlight on and raise money for basic science cancer research. The lighting industry is responsible for approximately 30 to 40 percent of the $10 million that has been raised by The H Foundation to date, and many members of the lighting industry serve as volunteers and cheerleaders for the cause.
The late Rick Wiedemer, former CEO of Hinkley, will be honored with the 2022 Guiding Light Award on Saturday, July 23, during the 20th Annual Goombay Bash at the Navy Pier Aon Grand Ballroom in Chicago. A nearly 20-year supporter of The H Foundation, Rick exemplified commitment to the cause. His generosity and “can-do” spirit combined with his professionalism and leadership qualities helped to grow the support of The H Foundation within the Lighting Industry over the past two decades.
“Rick Wiedemer was a true asset to the Lighting Industry and one of the most humble, generous, and inspiring people I have ever met,” said H Foundation Board President and Owner of Hortons Home Lighting, John Rot. “When asked why he continued to support basic science cancer research, Rick’s answer was simple and consistent: ‘For everyone.’ Knowing Rick, his support was humble and honest, he truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of everyone he met so that they would not have to go through the hardships of a cancer battle.”
Rick’s dedication, ingenuity, and long-term commitment to not only The H Foundation and the Goombay Bash, but to selflessly helping to find a cure for cancer inspired the decision to recognize Rick as the recipient of the 2022 Guiding Light Award.
The H Foundation Guiding Light Award will also be renamed to the Rick Wiedemer Guiding Light Award to honor Rick’s inspirational legacy within The H Foundation and the Lighting Industry.
“Rick was a true leader among the lighting industry and perfectly embodies the spirit behind this award,” said President and CEO of the American Lighting Association Eric Jacobson. “The lighting industry is like a family, and Rick’s passing affected all of us. His leadership and generosity extended beyond the industry into many charitable endeavors, including The H Foundation and the Goombay Bash. Establishing the Rick Wiedemer Guiding Light Award is another way we continue to honor the legacy Rick left behind.”
Tickets are now available to attend the July 23 Goombay Bash, which has a casual Caribbean theme where tropical prints and comfortable attire are encouraged. Tickets are $175, or $300 for VIP seating, and can be purchased at www.goombaybash.com. Donations of cash or items and services for auction are also accepted, and there are multiple levels of sponsorship opportunities available.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Goombay Bash, The H Foundation has an ambitious goal to raise $1 million over the course of the year. A live celebration of this milestone had been delayed due to COVID-19 and this year’s event represents the first in-person Goombay Bash since July 2019.