Fall 2015 Gala Guide

By / Culture / September 10, 2015

Find out how to support your favorite local cause this season.

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September 18
American Cancer Society’s Skyline Soiree
Hosted by the Associate Board of Ambassadors, the event supports the American Cancer Society, which strives to transform cancer from fatal to preventable. Guests — including B96’s Showbiz Shelly and “Project Runway” alum Kate Pankoke — partake in wine-themed games and party favorites like giant Jenga. 7-11 p.m., City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. For tickets ($125, $140 at the door), visit Skylinesoiree.org.

September 19
Arthritis Foundation’s Freedom of Movement Black Tie Gala
The black-tie event honors Rush University Medical Center’s Dr. Aaron G. Rosenberg, and Emily Elizabeth Wegmann, an Elmhurst seventh grader suffering from systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis. 6 p.m., The Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton. For tickets ($375), visit Affreedomofmovement.org.

September 19
Chicago Botanic Garden’s Harvest Ball
The beautiful fall ball — co-chaired by Katie Kirtley and Erin Ritchie — supports the building of a brand-new educational display garden. 6 p.m., Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe. For tickets ($550), visit Chicagobotanic.org/guild/harvestball.

September 19
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Ball
Riccardo Muti conducts the orchestra in John Corigliano’s “Campane di Ravello,” Elgar’s “In the South” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures from an Exhibition” at this annual ball, co-chaired Shelley Ochab and Raj Fernando. 7 p.m., Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan and Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe. For tickets (starting at $1,250 for the gala, $45-$135 for concert only), call (312) 294-3185 or visit Cso.org.


Audience Architects’ Gala

Why go: Join 200 guests in celebrating and supporting Chicago’s dance community. The event features video highlights from the dance season and a fun photo booth.

Who you’ll see: Co-chairs Abby McCormick O’Neil and Carroll Joynes — plus honorary chair Michelle Boone — head up this 10th anniversary celebration.

Who’s onstage: A jazz quartet performs during dinner and, later, Sarah Solotaroff Mirkin is honored with the inaugural Distinguished Service to the Dance Field Award.

When: September 21, 6-10 p.m.

Where: Greenhouse Loft, 2545 W. Diversey

Tickets: $225. Visit Seechicagodance.com/gala


After School Matters' Gala

After School Matters’ Gala


After School Matters’ Annual Gala

Why go: Help Chicago teens celebrate the achievements they made this summer in After School Matters programs. Students will showcase their work, and proceeds help the nonprofit continue to provide more than 23,000 after-school and summer opportunities.

Who you’ll see: The prestigious group of gala co-chairs includes Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, Cari and Michael J. Sacks and Tina and Byron D. Trott.

Who’s onstage: The highlight of the evening will be a rendition of “Glory” from this year’s “Selma,” performed by teens from various ASM dance and vocal arts programs.

When: September 21, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, 600 E. Grand

Tickets: $1,500. Visit Afterschoolmatters.org/gala


September 21
Goodman Theatre Season Opening Celebration
Proceeds benefit the Goodman Theatre’s remarkable productions and programs — get a preview with a performance of Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced” following the reception and dinner. 5 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. performance, The Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth; Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. For tickets ($500 and up), visit Goodmantheatre.org.

September 24
Ronald McDonald House Charities’ 5th Annual Cocktail Party
Join Women’s Auxiliary Board members — including Candance Jordan, Nina Mariano and Heather Farley Ingram — at this event, which supports families of hospitalized children through RMHC. 6-9 p.m., Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard. For tickets ($150), visit Support.rmhccni.org/fabfive.


Wood Family Foundation’s Storybook Gala

Why go: This inaugural event supports WFF’s after-school mentoring program Pitch In.

Who you’ll see: Chairs Elizabeth Cole, Jacky Ferro, Heather Webster and Laura Ferris Anderson host this Willy Wonka-inspired affair, honoring Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts with the Pitch In for Excellence Award.

What to wear: Let your “Pure Imagination” — the name of this year’s event — inspire a fun cocktail-attire look.

Pro tip: Auction items will be posted on the event website to browse and bid pre-event.

When: September 25, 6:30 p.m. gala, 9:30 p.m. afterparty

Where: Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie

Tickets: $500, $125 afterparty only. Visit Wff2015.myab.co

September 25
A Toast to Charlie Trotter
Kick off Bon Appétit’s Chicago Gourmet at this American Express-hosted luncheon to benefit Charlie Trotter’s Culinary Education Fund. Food Network sensation and chef Emeril Lagasse hosts. 1-3 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago’s Crystal Ballroom, 151 E. Upper Wacker. For tickets ($175), visit Chicagogourmet.com.

September 26
Little City’s Night at the Museum
The black tie optional event celebrates 56 years of Little City — and millions of years of natural history — at the Field Museum, raising funds to provide those with developmental and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to live, work and learn creatively and safely. 6 p.m., The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore. For tickets ($450), visit Littlecity.org/gala.

September 27
St. Basil’s Rising from the Ashes Gala
Celebrate the rebirth of St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church at this black tie optional fundraising fête, supporting the continued restoration of the historic sanctuary, which was affected by a fire nearly three years ago. 5 p.m., The Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton. For tickets ($250), visit Stbasilchicago.org.


Chicago Foundation for Women’s Annual Luncheon and Symposium

Why go: In its 30th year, this annual affair supports the foundation’s honorable mission: to elevate the lives of women and girls throughout metropolitan Chicago.

Who you’ll see: CEO of Bolingbrook-based Ulta Beauty Mary Dillon co-chairs the event, along with attorney and philanthropist Jerry Newton and Diane Whatton, director, U.S. Community Affairs at BMO Harris Bank.

What to wear: This event is business casual — blazers and pencil skirts are perfect.

Who’s onstage: Actress and activist Ashley Judd delivers the keynote address.

When: September 29, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Where: Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, 301 E. North Water

Tickets: $150 and up. Visit Cfw.org

September 29
National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Dinner of Champions
At this 36th annual event, the NMSS will give E. Scott Santi, president and CEO of Illinois Tool Works, its highest honor for his company’s dedication and generosity to people living with multiple sclerosis. 6 p.m., Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, 221 N. Columbus. For tickets ($500), visit Nationalmssociety.org.



October 1
Apparel Industry Board, Inc.’s Leadership Awards Gala
Local fashion champion AIBI partners with the 100 Club of Chicago for this sixth annual celebration of humanitarian, corporate, civic and philanthropic leadership, chaired by Joseph Ahern and Marsha Brenner. 6 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware. For tickets ($350), call (312) 836-1041 ext. 3 or email Aibi@aibi.com.

Rush University’s Woman’s Board 89th Annual Fashion Show

Why go: This historic event, themed INSIGHTS, raises funds for cancer bioinformatics, which helps clinicians and researchers develop new programs and personalize patient care.

Who you’ll see: The event is hosted by Woman’s Board chair Sarah Bogan and sees leading Chicagoans walk the runway in looks from Chalk, Oscar de la Renta, Neapolitan and more.

When: October 1, 6-10 p.m.

Where: Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan

Tickets: $325 ($150 age 30 and younger), $500 VIP and up. Visit Thefashionshow.org


October 3
Museum of Science and Industry’s Columbian Ball
The 35th annual ball attracts nearly 1,000 guests every year, and all proceeds benefit the MSI Annual Fund, which helps the museum bring in new exhibits and educational programs. 6 p.m.-midnight, Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore. For tickets ($750), visit Msichicago.org/columbianball.


 Chicago Gateway Green’s Green Tie Ball

Why go: This famous fête brings in the city’s most prominent public figures, politicians and philanthropists, all to benefit Chicago Gateway Green’s Expressway Partnership Program, which helps beautify roads and reduce air and noise pollution.

Who you’ll see: Chicago native and pop singer Matt LeGrand performs, and Mannie the Frenchie — the most followed French Bulldog on the Internet — makes an appearance.

What to wear: This year’s theme is Studio 54, so throw back to the golden era of disco.

Pro tip: Come hungry: The celebration features bites more than 40 of Chicago’s top restaurants.

When: October 10, 8:30 p.m.-midnight

Where: Venue One, 1034 W. Randolph; official afterparties at The Underground (56 W. Illinois) and Bar Siena (832 W. Randolph)

Tickets: $175, $250 VIP. Visit Gatewaygreen.org/event/green-tie-ball


Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation’s Fall Benefit Luncheon

Why go: All proceeds from this annual luncheon — themed A Brave Legacy. A Brilliant Future. —go toward breast cancer research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Who you’ll see: In honor of the foundation’s 30th anniversary, Meredith Soren Freese, Allison Zisook Goldstein and Stephanie Lieber — all daughters of founding members of LSCRF — host the event.

Who’s onstage: Comedian and actress Maya Rudolph is this year’s keynote speaker. Rudolph’s mother, a Chicago native, died of breast cancer at age 31.

Pro tip: Don’t splurge on that fall bag just yet — the luncheon includes a silent purse auction with new and collectible purses from upscale designers, boutiques and private collections.

 When: October 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan

Tickets: $250. Visit Lynnsage.org

October 17
Friends of Conservation’s Conservation Ball
Hosted by event chair Reute Butler and co-chairs Vonita Reescer and WMAQ-Channel 5’s Zoraida Sambolin, the animal-themed affair features famous zookeeper and naturalist Jack Hanna and some of his wildlife friends. Proceeds aid East African Maasai Mara communities in preservation of ecosystems and wildlife. 6:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware. For tickets, ($400 — $300 age 35 and younger — and up) visit Friendsofconservation.org.

October 17
Gilda’s Club Chicago’s Night of a Thousand Noogies
Second City cast members perform, but this event isn’t just about the laughs — it also raises money to support more than 350 free activities for cancer patients and their families each month at Gilda’s Club Chicago locations. Be ready for some celeb-spotting: In past years, local and national public figures with Chicago roots have made appearances, such as comedian and actress Jane Lynch. 7-11 p.m., Park West, 322 W. Armitage. For tickets ($75, $125 VIP), visit Gildasclubchicago.org.

October 17
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls’ Ringside for Mercy’s Sake
The 24th annual black tie charity boxing gala benefits Mercy Home, a foundation that has provided support and programs for kids in crisis since 1887.  6 p.m.-midnight, Chicago Marriot Downtown, 540 N. Michigan. For tickets ($500), visit Mercyhome.org/ringside.

October 21
Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner
Calling all bookworms: At this event benefiting the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library, an author or artist with ties to the city is seated at every table. Famed composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim receives the Carl Sandburg Literary Award and novelist and Chicagoan Eric Charles May takes home the 21st Century Award. 6 p.m., UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt. For tickets ($1,000 and up), visit Cplfoundation.org.

October 23
The Field Museum Women’s Board’s Gala
You’ll be keeping history alive, as proceeds from this gala go to preserving and improving the museum’s exhibitions, programs, research, conservation and more. Check out the museum’s newest permanent exhibit, the “Cyrus Tang Hall of China while you’re there. 6:30 p.m., The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore. For tickets ($800 and up),visit Pjhchicago.com/event/thefieldmuseum.

October 23
Chicago Children’s Choir’s Red Jacket Optional
This largest CCC fundraiser of the year is co-chaired by Michael and Meeghan Nemeroff and David and Lesly Koo and features a performance by The Voice of Chicago, the Chicago Children’s Choir premier ensemble. 6 p.m., Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan. For tickets ($500 and up), visit Ccchoir.org.

October 29
Jackson Chance Foundation’s Playing It Forward Ping Pong Ball
Help families with children in neonatal intensive care units with transportation expenses by trying your hand at ping-pong at this charitable tournament. Plus, The Trotter Project hosts a private VIP chef’s reception and tournament (4:30 p.m.) 5:30 p.m., Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, 230 N. Michigan. For tickets ($100, additional $50 to play in tournament), visit Jacksonchance.org.



November 2
Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation’s Chicago Dinner for Children of the Severely Injured
Founding chairs Truman O. Anderson and Brian E. Gannon join a prestigious group of chairs and co-chairs for this event benefiting the Foundation’s commitment to give educational opportunities to the children of severely injured Marines and Navy Corpsmen. 6 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware. For tickets ($1,000 and up), visit Mcsf.org.

November 6
Service Club of Chicago’s 125th Year Gala
The women’s charity organization celebrates its 125th birthday with a live auction, silent auction and raffle, chaired by Anida “Cookie” Cohen and Susan Gohl. 6:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware. For tickets ($450), visit Serviceclubofchicago.org.

November 7
The Renaissance Society’s Centennial Dinner and Gala
Take a walk through the history 20th century Ida Noyes Hall and celebrate artists through time at this 100th anniversary gala, chaired by Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert. 7p.m., University of Chicago’s Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th. For tickets ($1,500 and up), visit Renaissancesociety.org.

November 7
Chicago Children’s Museum’s Gala
Feel like a kid again at the “Amplify the Awesome” event, which supports community learning for children. 6:30 p.m., Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, 600 E. Grand. For tickets ($500, $350 age 35 and under), visit Chicagochildrensmuseum.org.

November 12
American Cancer Society’s Taste of Hope
This event — co-chairs are Jen Larson of Deloitte and and Jeff Liljeberg of Jones Lang Lasalle, among others — benefits the American Cancer Society, the largest community-based health organization, which works to eradicate cancer. Check out what items will be included in the silent auction beforehand at Chicagotasteofhope.org. 5 p.m. VIP, 6 p.m. event, Venue One, 1034 W. Randolph. For tickets ($150 and up), visit Chicagotasteofhope.org.


Chicago House’s Speaker Series Luncheon

Why go: The Chicago House provides a safe home away from home for those affected by HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ marginalization.

Who you’ll see: Olympian, LGBTQ activist and star of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” Caitlyn Jenner serves as the event’s seventh annual keynote speaker.

Who’s onstage: Jenner, the recent recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, will deliver a presentation during lunch about her own inspiring transition, and will touch on the discrimination faced by those in the transgender community.

When: November 12, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Hilton Chicago’s Grand Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan

Tickets: $200 and up. Visit Chicagohouse.org



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