Although more than 900 guests donned masks April 20 for the 9th annual Big Mac Under Glass ball at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers (301 E. North Water), the evening’s mission was no secret. The masquerade-themed bash benefited the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, which supports four area Ronald McDonald houses that serve as a home away from home for families of hospitalized children.
Let’s hear it for the 200 friends of Splash and Rockit Ranch Productions, who donned their one-shouldered sweatshirts and neon accessories for the inaugural Splashdance, held April 20 at ¡Ay Chiwowa! (311 W. Chicago). Co-hosts Billy Dec and Splash editor/publisher Susanna Negovan got into the spirit of the 80s-inspired party with the help of guests such as Kerry and Sarah Wood and Chris and Christa Hibbs.
Thanks to the third annual Bricks and Ivy Ball, the Chicago Cubs Charities can add $1.2 million to their scoreboard. The homerun event drew more than 800 guests to Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom (600 E. Grand) April 11. An all-star line up of attendees — including Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, Ernie Banks and Kerry Wood — turned up to support the organization, which funds programs geared toward youth sports access and improvements in health, fitness and education for at-risk kids.
Over the past three decades, the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball has raised more than $14 million to fight heart disease and stroke. This year, more than 800 guests filled Navy Pier’s Grand Ball Room (600 E. Grand) April 13 for the 31st annual event, co-chaired by Elkay Manufacturing CEO Tim Jahnke and his wife Sharla and hosted by WMAQ-Channel 5’s Kye Martin.
Student artists from the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) had the chance to exhibit their talents April 11 at the school’s Kerfuffle! event, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago). Guests perused artwork while sipping cocktails and later enjoyed entertainment by the ChiArts Jazz Combo and solo singers from the Music Conservatory. Attendees included Mayor Rahm Emanual, Linda Johnson Rice, Desiree Rogers, Ramsey and Jan Lewis and emcee Robin Robinson.
On April 12, more than 500 guests rallied for the world’s children during UNICEF’s sixth annual Message of Hope gala. Interactive stations were set up at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (120 E. Delaware) to help educate attendees on the organization’s mission to provide children and families with access to safe water and sanitation. Co-chairs Martha Metz and Tina Trott spoke at length about one of UNICEF’s goals: reducing the death rate of children from preventable diseases to zero.
More than 400 guests made themselves at home at the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago (401 N. Wabash) April 10 during Mercy Home for Boys and Girls’ sixth annual Have Mercy! spring gala. Hosted by the organization’s Junior Board, the evening included eating, drinking and dancing to tunes from DJ Ryan Pullano.
Don your chicest cap and head to Neiman Marcus Northbrook April 27 for the Hats Off to Girls We Love benefit. Proceeds from the tea party and fashion show — featuring four students from Nash Elementary — will go toward the Wood Family Foundation, founded by Kerry and Sarah Wood to improve the lives of children in Chicago. Purchase tickets ($60 for adults, $30 for kids 12 and under) before April 20 at Woodfamilyfoundation.org or by calling (312) 924-9234. 2 p.m., 5000 Northbrook; Neimanmarcus.com
The 10th Anniversary Red or White Ball was the Steppenwolf Auxiliary Council’s turn to prove they could put on a great show. The group of young professionals did just that April 5, drawing more than 500 partygoers to Venue One (1044 W. Randolph) to drink, eat and dance the night away while supporting the theater. Ensemble member and honorary chair Kate Arrington and actor Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Pearl Harbor”) were in attendance, helping raise $80,000 to benefit the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program, which annually serves more than 15,000 individuals from Chicago-area schools and communities through productions and programs specifically geared toward young adults, teachers and families.