One of the city's oldest nonprofits, The Service Club of Chicago, celebrated its annual Spring Luncheon (aka the Hat Luncheon) on May 21. The festive event was held at the Woman's Athletic Club and was a showcase for cool spring fashions as well as the latest in millinery wear.
Over 200 glam ladies, as well as a few men, gathered in two rooms to accommodate safety and distancing requirements, donning their finest hats to support this 131-year-old organization. Funds raised during the event will go towards its Philanthropic Grant program which grants awards to help enlarge, improve and initiate new programs for deserving Chicagoland charities.
Michelle Baker, Cathy Bartholomay and Annette Findling returned as co-chairs this year, producing yet another blockbuster event. The hybrid fundraiser in the two rooms (the Ballroom and Silver Room) were connected by video feeds so guests could see and talk to each other on camera as well as offer guests watching virtually from home the chance to join in the fun. The event was produced by Tracey DiBuono of ZZAZZ Productions with support from Kevin Sullivan.
Service Club President Sherrill Bodine opened the program welcoming guests. “We have all walked through a dark storm together and now here we are with our heads held high, and wearing beautiful hats, ready to take on the world again. And what a new beginning!"
Keynote speaker Sandy Schreier, the famed fashion curator and historian whose collections have been exhibited around the world, thrilled guests with her vast knowledge. Her collection, design career, TV appearances, books and friendships with the most famous names in the worlds of art, entertainment and fashion were all discussed in her presentation that included many iconic images. Vogue magazine called her collection, "One of the finest in the world."
Auctioneer Andy Baker took the stage before lunch in the Ballroom and was joined by Chicago Star Media’s Candace Jordan via camera from the Silver Room. The live auction featured an enticing fashionista package – courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli-- that included a trip to Casa Cucinelli in New York, hotel and airfare, lunch and dinner, a tour and fashion presentation.
The event broke fundraising records bringing in a whopping $190,000 to support the SC's Philanthropic Fund for 2022, whose grant recipients operate in the areas of social service, cultural, educational and civic fields. The organization is an all-volunteer women's organization founded in 1890. (www.theserviceclubofchicago.org) (Photo by John Reilly Photography)