Gala at the Farmstead

Refuge for Women Chicago hosted our annual “Gala at the Farmstead” on Thursday, September 15, 2022 to raise life-transforming funds for survivors of sexual exploitation. More than 180 attended the Gala and we have raised more than $58,00!

If you were unable to attend the Gala but would like to partner with Refuge for Women, please consider making a donation!

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Thank you to our keynote speakers and entertainment for the evening.

Judge Joseph G. McGraw is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A. – 1978) and Northern Illinois University – College of Law (J.D. – cum laude 1985). Judge McGraw was elected as a Circuit Judge in 2002. He was the Presiding Judge in Boone County from 2002 – 2003. He has served as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division from 2004 to present. Judge McGraw served as Chief Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2017. Judge McGraw served as the Chairman of the Illinois Conference of Chief Judges from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2018.

He is the current Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality, and an active member of the Illinois Supreme Court Special Committees on Judicial Ethics, the Access to Justice Committee, the Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee, and the PreTrial Practices Data Oversight Board. Judge McGraw is co-chair of the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council Steering Committee.

In 2015, Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman asked Judge McGraw to develop an approach to combat human trafficking that could be replicated in Illinois courts. At the Supreme Court’s direction, Judge McGraw began studying how different jurisdictions attempt to combat human trafficking. He visited a number of jurisdictions to study their efforts first- hand. Judge McGraw convened a multidisciplinary team to evaluate how to best impact human trafficking in the Rockford region. This led to the development of Path Court where the full spectrum of needs and challenges facing human trafficking survivors is being addressed. Judge McGraw hopes these initiatives might someday become a national model.

Deputy Chief Linda Hooten has been employed with the Huntley Police Department since December 2001. After two years as a patrol officer, Deputy Chief Hooten transferred into the School Resource Officer position at the Huntley High School for four years. She was promoted to Sergeant in July 2008. During her employment with the Huntley Police Department, Deputy Chief Hooten has attended many trainings throughout her career with a focus on family violence. Some of her certifications include being a juvenile officer, forensic interviewer, peer support officer, and evidence technician. Deputy Chief Hooten previously served as the Investigations Sergeant, where she helped develop and implement county-wide protocols for domestic violence and sexual assault investigations. While serving as a Patrol Sergeant, she oversaw the department’s Field Training Program, Bicycle Officer program, and acted as the coordinator of the Police Peer Support Program. In 2012, Deputy Chief Hooten graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA.  

Additionally, Deputy Chief Hooten was an active member of the 22nd Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council and acted as the local coordinator from 2018-2022. She coordinated many county and state-wide training events on family violence topics to include domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Her passion includes bringing awareness and education on these important topics to first responders, our community members, and beyond.  

In July 2021, she was promoted to Deputy Chief and is currently assigned to the Huntley Police Department’s Patrol Services Bureau, which oversees the daily operations of the uniformed patrol division.  

Deputy Chief Hooten graduated from Western Illinois University with a double Bachelor of Arts in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and Psychology and a minor in Public Communications and Human Relations in May 2001. She continued her education and received a Master’s Degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University in May 2008.

Griffin Williams

Born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, Griffin Williams discovered his love of music through listening to his mother’s old records and later singing and playing in church. After studying vocal performance at North Dakota State University, he began working in worship ministry in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. His repertoire consists of an assortment of acoustic pop, oldies, and classics.

Special thanks to all our sponsors!

Would you like to be a Refuge for Women event sponsor? Download our sponsorship packet HERE.

For additional information, please contact Meredith Hodge at

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