UNICEF’s Message of Hope gala and after party raise a record $670,000+
Sean Mullen of Winnetka, Kelly Koughrin of Winnetka and Bill Koughrin of Chicago | Photos courtesy of Lili Calfee & Maureen Donlon
EVENT: UNICEF Message of Hope Gala and After Party
DATE: April 28, 2012
LOCATION: Union League Club of Chicago
Updated: June 22, 2012 1:52PM
More than 370 guests gathered for the fifth annual UNICEF Message of Hope Gala on Saturday, April 28, at Union League Club, Chicago.
The event raised more than $670,000 for UNICEF’s child survival and development programs in more than 150 countries. “There is so much we can do for children in need around the world, even from right here in Chicago,” said MaryLou Giustini, co-chairman of the event. Co-chairman Paul Harvey added, “By supporting UNICEF, we are contributing to the well-being of vulnerable children and helping create hope for a better future.”
The evening began with a cocktail reception where guests bid on silent auction items and learned more about UNICEF’s global efforts to reduce the number of preventable child deaths. A UNICEF tent that provides protection and shelter during emergencies served as the room’s centerpiece and showcased supplies used to save and improve the lives of children across the globe, including mosquito nets to protect against malaria, emergency family water kits, School-in-a-Box kits employed during disasters, and oral rehydration salts to combat dehydration. Upon purchase, these items are shipped to one of the more than 150 countries where UNICEF works.
In the main dining room, styled by Chicago design company Kehoe Designs, guests were greeted by the Columbia College of Chicago Gospel Repertory Ensemble. During dinner, board member Gary Beu was honored for his 20 years of service to the Midwest Regional Board of Directors. He was recognized for his exemplary advocacy work on behalf of children and for serving as a role model in board service and leadership. The program also included a performance by ten-year-old pianist and composer Emily Bear, who played a medley of self-composed pieces.
During the live auction, guests bid on an array of luxury items and experiences, including a week-long vacation at a private villa in Jamaica, a bronze sculpture by Jean Jacque Porret inspired by a classic Marilyn Monroe photo, and a six-day safari trip in South Africa. A weekend getaway to the Sundance Film Festival was purchased for $41,000, the annual event’s highest bid to date.
“UNICEF is working to reach a day when no child dies of a cause we have the power to prevent,” said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, who spoke during the dinner. “We are thankful to all Chicago- area residents who have joined us in our mission to see that every child survives and thrives.”
Co-chaired by Adam Gifford and Nathan Miller, the After Party featured a performance by the Stitely Orchestra and desserts provided by Chicago bakeries.
Event sponsors included Paul and MaryAnn Harvey, Delta Air Lines, Energy BBDO, International Strategy & Investment Group LLC, Jefferies & Company, Inc., Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., Hyatt, Credit Suisse, and Joseph N. Silich, Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley.
UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. But still, 21,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit .