The glamour of the Roaring ’20s was the theme for All Bets on Pink, a fun-filled fundraiser benefiting Susan G. Komen Chicago on Oct. 26. Held at the historic Palmer House with 400 guests in attendance, the event included charitable gaming with VIP dealers, live entertainment, impact speakers, a touching live auction prize and more. The gala raised more than $340,000 to fund breast cancer research, advocacy, outreach, and services.
The party began on a Pink Carpet, where JoJo, the Jewel-Osco (presenting sponsor) mascot, posed for photos with guests, many dressed for the 1920s theme in flapper dresses and bejeweled headbands.
Inside the Red Lacquer Room, charitable gaming tables from Rivers Casino were staffed by Chicago notables and media personalities, including Lisa Fielding (of WBBM Newsradio 780), Marley Kayden and Nancy Loo (of WGN-TV), Art “Chat Daddy” Sims (of WVON radio), Richard Roeper (of the Chicago Sun-Times), Whitney Reynolds (of PBS), Israel Idonije (former Chicago Bears player), Lisa Kosty (of WSHE) and Darlene Hill (of NBC4 in Columbus, Ohio), among others.
During a program in the Tiosha Bailey, Grand Ballroom, Komen Chicago executive director, and Dr. Suzet McKinney, board president, welcomed guests. Bailey announced the launch of the “Komen Chicago Strategic Plan: Advancing Health Equity Across Chicagoland,” a five-year plan aimed at addressing this gap.
Emcee LeeAnn Trotter (of NBC5 Chicago), along with 2018 award recipients Dr. Georgia Spear, Dr. Kent Hoskins, and Eric Stevenson recognized this year’s civic, medical and corporate honorees: state Rep. Marcus Evans Jr., Dr. Seema Khan and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, respectively.
Dancers from the University of Illinois at Chicago dance team entertained the crowd, performing an exuberant routine set to Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz,” backed by the Moe Fitz Project band.
Breast cancer “thrivers” Kathryn Jackson and Asha Maldonado shared their inspiring stories, including turning to Komen Chicago for support during their journeys. A video was presented in memory of Jess Jones and Shannon Collins, who died of breast cancer earlier this year.
Chicago Cubs’ national anthem singer John Vincent surprised the crowd with a special live auction offering. He had been friends with Collins, having sung at her wedding and, sadly, also at her funeral. He offered four tickets to a Cubs game with the opportunity to go onto Wrigley Field. The package sold for $3,500. He then sang Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life” in her memory.
The event concluded back in the Red Lacquer Room, where guests enjoyed more gaming and music by DJ 3 Snapz.
Locally, since 1997, Komen Chicago has invested over $6 million in breast cancer research and over $18.2 million in community grants. One hundred percent of its net gala revenues stay local. Nationally, to date, Susan G. Komen has contributed more than $2.2 billion for breast cancer research and programming.