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.
Forget the spring sun — nothing could outshine the 60 women who pulled out their best sparkles for Sequins at Breakfast, held April 5 at Cru Kitchen and Bar (25 E. Delaware). The inaugural event, created by Amanda Puck of XA, The Experiential Agency and Lindsay Avner of breast cancer-prevention nonprofit Bright Pink, celebrated women as they bonded over food, fashion and mimosas.
For the past 60 years, Italian luxury brand Gucci has helped customers around the world put their best foot forward with the classic Horsebit loafer. To celebrate six decades of comfort and style, the 900 N. Michigan Shops welcomed nearly 200 guests to sip cocktails, peruse the new 1953 collection of men’s and women’s loafers and customize their own pair with Gucci’s Made to Order program.
History has repeated itself for local nonprofit Erie Neighborhood House. Since the late 1800s, the organization has supported Chicago’s immigrant population with community-based education programs, and on April 4, more than 400 guests toasted to its continued success at the 2013 Future of Promise Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker). Jose Ramos demonstrated the positive effects of the Erie Neighborhood House’s workforce development program, taking to the stage to share a motivational speech about his own experience finding work and providing for his family with the help of Erie House.
Shopping for a cause is always in style, and the Splash-sponsored Shopping for Love event, held in conjunction with Kristina McGrath, was no exception. More than 300 attendees — including Joffrey Ballet Women’s Board president Melissa Babcock and party mavens Jodi Fyfe and Debi Lilly — turned out to McGrath Acura (1301 N. Elston) to shop spring fashion and indulge in spa services from Advanced Dermatology, Amazing Cosmetics, AstroWifey and Leah Chavie in a sleek environment crafted by Event Creative.
More than 500 guests blazed a trail to the Swissôtel Chicago (323 E. Wacker) on March 7 to support civic nonprofit Leadership Greater Chicago at its sixth annual Celebrate Leaders Dinner. Grace Hou, president of the Woods Fund of Chicago, presented Ric Estrada, president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, with the 2013 Distinguished Fellow Award and event dinner chair Laura Dunne introduced keynote speaker and best-selling author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt.