Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has long been an advocate for Chicago youth education, and on June 27, she was awarded for her efforts. More than 200 guests joined Preckwinkle at the second annual Chicago Debate Commission’s Make Room for Debate luncheon at the University Club of Chicago (76 E. Monroe), where Preckwinkle accepted the Champion of Debate Award and presided over a heated debate between four top students from the commission’s debate league.
More than 350 partygoers soaked in the natural beauty of 26 gardens sprawled across 385 acres at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s (1000 Lake Cook) ninth annual Summer Dinner Dance June 21. Co-chaired by Maria and Bill Smithburg, Colette and Tom Smithburg and Cate and Rick Waddell, the black-tie bash began with sparkling rosé cocktails in the English Walled Garden, followed by dinner in the Language of Flowers tent, decorated with pink roses, green hydrangeas, green cymidium orchids and purple lisianthus.
Poker tables, blackjack and roulette set the scene at Union Station (210 S. Canal) June 22 for the Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem’s 41st annual gala. The party — themed “Diamonds and Dice … How Lucky Can You Get?” — attracted more than 500 business, healthcare and civic leaders for a silent auction, raffle and live entertainment from the Steve Edwards Orchestra.
On June 19, Navy Pier celebrated its newest attraction: City Porch, a seasonal restaurant perched on the southeast end of the pier. More than 200 guests, invited by Splash, packed the interior and patio, sampling bites from the menu and mingling with owner Manolis Alpogianis.
The Illinois Eye-Bank, which recovers corneal tissue to restore eyesight to more than 1,000 Illinois residents each year (plus more than 1,000 people in other countries), hosted its 15th annual Gift of Sight gala June 27. The event, chaired by Dr. David Donnersberger and emceed by the Sun-Times’ Bill Zwecker, honored Northwestern University ophthalmologist Dr. Robert Feder and Splash editor/publisher Susanna Negovan for the work they’ve done in their fields.
More than 550 theater buffs helped mark the opening of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2013-2014 season at its annual gala June 17. Greeted by actors dressed in elaborate costumes from the upcoming season — and surrounded by the theater’s sweeping skyline views — attendees enjoyed a three-course dinner, followed by a performance in the Courtyard Theater.
Congressman Aaron Schock took a break from Capitol Hill to spend time with 250 guests at AJC Global Jewish Advocacy Chicago’s Civic Leadership Award Dinner June 18. Co-chairs Lester Crown, Tyrone Fahner, James Gordon, David Helfand, Penny Pritzker and J. Christopher Reyes welcomed guests to the Ritz-Carlton Chicago (160 E. Pearson) for dinner.
The business community supporting Chicago’s most celebrated street — the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association — hosted its members at a quarterly luncheon June 26 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (540 N. Michigan). Local power players, including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Harry Caray’s managing partner Grant DePorter and Macy’s VP Andrea Schwartz, attended the lunch, which included a discussion with Sun-Times parent company Wrapports chairman Michael Ferro.
Your weekends will never be the same: On June 26, Reader editor Mara Shalhoup and Splash editor/publisher Susanna Negovan welcomed 200 guests to a party celebrating the launch of Agenda, a new Friday section in the Chicago Sun-Times covering arts, culture and events, as well as the addition of entertainment content in Sunday Splash.