Dempster Family Foundation Casino Night raises $350,000+
Host committee member Bernard Edelman (from left) of Deerfield, Ryan Dempster and host committee member Sarah Edelman
EVENT: Third Annual Casino Night and Auction
BENEFITING: Dempster Family Foundation
DATE: May 9, 2012
LOCATION: Palmer House Hilton Chicago
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:32AM
Chicago Cubs Pitcher Ryan Dempster and his Cubbie teammates, National Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, along with some of the biggest names in baseball, sports and entertainment, hit a homerun by raising more than $350,000 for the Dempster Family Foundation at the third annual Casino Night and auction, held May 9, at the Palmer House Hilton.
The Roaring Twenties was the theme this year as colorful flapper girls roamed the house greeting guests and selling raffle tickets. The night included a sold out VIP party and over 600 celebrities and guests attended the main event in the Grand Ballroom. Guests mingled with Ryan, the Chicago Cubs and other celebrity friends from the sports and entertainment industries. They enjoyed a full spread of delectable dishes and delicious drinks, courtesy of Wildfire, Cupcakes for Courage, Garrett’s Popcorn, Iron Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, beverages from William Grant and Sons and Budweiser and a candy bar and a diamond bar courtesy of Judith Ripka Jewelry and Candyality. American Idol runner-up and singer/ songwriter Crystal Bowersox, Chicago favorite John Vincent, the Chicago Mustangs Dance Team and members of the Miss Illinois Scholarship Foundation provided entertainment. Guests were also entertained by magicians and fun photos with props in our photo booth by That’s a Keeper Chicago and Glitter Guts.
Chicago Cubs players such as Kerry Wood, Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza and front office executives including Theo Epstein, Coach Dale Sveum and more served as Casino dealers throughout the evening. Co-host of ABC 7’s Windy City LIVE, Ryan Chiaverini served as emcee, along with Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, hosts of the Eric & Kathy Show on WTMX-FM The MIX. NBC 5’s Stefan Holt and Daniella Guzman also served as celebrity hosts. Bernard and Sarah Edelman of Deerfield served as members of the Host Committee.
Over a hundred items were available through a live and silent auction --- including a 2012 World Series trip which sold for $40,000 and an authentic Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig autographed baseball which sold for $21,000. Through the Dempster Family Foundation, proceeds from the sale of the baseball will benefit the new state-of-the-art facility, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, opening June 9.
Auctioneer Keith Jones of Arlington Heights offered other one-of-a-kind live auction items such as a “Man Cave” Package from Abt valued at $3,000, a two-night stay at Reynolds Plantation Golf Resort and Spa in Georgia, a Ryder Cup package with all of the trimmings, a NASCAR race experience from Chicagoland Speedway, a behind the scenes tour of the MLB Network and a visit to the NFL on FOX Sports set to meet Terry, Howie and the gang, among other autographed sports memorabilia, packages and specialty gift certificates.
MVP sponsors included Aloha Document Services, Sloan Valve, Steve and Sheila Sutherland, William Grant and Sons, The Madonna Family and Budweiser. All Star Sponsors included Aria Vegas, Atlantis Cars & Limos, Inc., Bernie’s Inc., Black Tie Formal Wear, Chicago Cubs, D’Agostinos Pizza and Pub, Horseshoe Casino, Sidley Austin, and Tom and CeCe Ricketts. Dugout Sponsors were PMR, Landis Baseball Group, Mercat a la planxa and Wildfire. NBC Chicago was back for a second year as Media Sponsor.
Additional celebrities in attendance included Cubbie teammates Darwin Barney, Michael Bowden, Shawn Camp, Tony Campana, Adrian Cardenas, Lendy Castillo, Wellington Castillo, Starlin Castro, Scott Clevenger, David DeJesus, Ryan Dempster, Rafael Dolis, Reed Johnson, Bryan LaHair, Paul Maholm, Joe Mather, Chris Volstad, Ian Stewart, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Marmol. Former Cubs players in attendance included Jody Davis, Todd Hollandsworth, Jon Lieber, Rich Nye, Dave Otto and Donn Pall. Cubs coaches Chris Bosio, Mike Burzello, Franklin Font, Rudy Jaramillo, Andrew Lane, Pat Listach, Lester Strode, Dave McKay and Jamie Quirk also attended. Other celebrities enjoying the night included Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers; Chris Chelios, former Blackhawk & Detroit Redwing; Greg Holcomb, Mustangs; Billy Pierce, former White Sox and wrestling star C M Punk, MLB Hall of Famer
“We were once again overwhelmed with the tremendous support from my teammates, sponsors, fans and celebrity guests who came together to raise money to benefit the Foundation and strike out 22q,” said Ryan Dempster. Everyone supporting this event has made a profound difference by helping to create a better today and a brighter tomorrow for families like us dealing with 22q.”
To date, the Foundation’s annual Casino Night has raised a record $885,000 in support of 22q and other Chicagoland charities. For more information, see dempsterfamilyfoundation.org or call (312) 415-9846. Sign up for the “Pitching In ENews (Newsletter)” (red box on right side of page on website) and you will be on the list to receive information on next year’s event.
Dempster Family Foundation
The Dempster Family Foundation provides financial support to charities in the Chicagoland area which assist and comfort critically ill children. The Foundation also supports youth baseball programs, military families and animal shelters; and promotes awareness of, and offers hope for families of children diagnosed with a 22q11.2 deletion. The Dempster Foundation supports families of children diagnosed with 22q deletion, a disorder caused by a micro-deletion of the 22nd chromosome. Present in one out of every 4,000 live births, symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. 22q deletion often goes undiagnosed but it is almost as common as Down Syndrome, a widely recognized chromosomal disorder. The Dempster’s daughter, Riley, was born with the disorder in 2009.