The Children’s Research Fund’s signature event, “The Children’s Ball,” returned this year to the Hilton Chicago on December 3. Aptly themed “ReConnect”, the event attracted more than 850 guests to the black-tie gala hosted by 2022 Children’s Research Fund Campaign and Children’s Ball Co-Chairs Devanee and Alex Washington. The Washingtons made it a family affair by involving their three dynamic children, who range in age from 11 to 16 years old. Each had a role in the evening, introducing speakers and even reading an original poem based on the “ReConnect” theme.
Over $3 million was raised at the event, helping to reach a record-breaking $7.3 million total for the annual campaign. The funds raised will go towards the Children’s Research Fund’s current five-year, $10 million commitment to support the wide spectrum of vital research conducted at the Manne Research Institute and the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’sHospital of Chicago.
The evening began with a cocktail reception that opened with the drumline from Chicago’s St. Ignatius College Prep. Guests were led into the International Ballroom for the first dance set by the headline band Time Chicago. After welcoming remarks, guests enjoyed an energetic set from youth band Next Week, followed by an elegant, seated dinner. A program featured an inspiring patient impact video and paddle-raise.
Speakers for the evening included co-chairs Devanee and Alex Washington, Lurie Children’s President & CEO Dr. Tom Shanley, and Children’s Research Fund Chair Jamie Pasquale. The audience was also inspired by the words and work of pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Sandi Lam, who spoke about the need to fund research so that no child suffers from intractable epileptic seizures.
“The Children’s Research Fund has been committed to the advancement of research for more than 70 years,” explained Devanee Washington. “As parents, we share the belief that the good health of children is a precious gift, and we are honored to chair this year’s Children’s Research Fund Campaign and Children’s Ball.”
Over the 70 years since it was established as a fundraising organization, the group’s renowned charitable efforts have generated support from individuals, corporations and foundations, raising more than $115 million to advance medical research.
(This year’s leading event sponsors include, presenting sponsor, The Boeing Company, as well as CBRE, Inc., Wind Point Partners, and Wintrust, among others. luriechildrens.org, photos by Ana Miyares)
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