On a Saturday night (10/1) that was packed full of major galas, there were 2 scene making standouts. Museum of Science and Industry’s Columbian ball is one of our favorite on the Chicago fall gala scene not only because it attracts a diverse group of guests but we also get a chance to see and hear the amazing Bill Kurtis. Funds raised from this event go towards funding the Museum’s educational programs, exhibits and experiences which helps students see science as fun. The 2016 Columbian Ball was co-chaired by CEO and U.S. Country Head at BMO Financial Christopher Begy and his wife Christina along with Co-Founder/President of Wasson Enterprise and former Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Greg Wasson and his wife Kimberly, raising $2 million.
The event, which draws a mostly corporate crowd kicked off with music from DJ Matt Roan accompanied by light bites and drinks at the cocktail reception in Entry hall. The party moved upstairs to the Rotunda for dinner and the program; Icon Bill Kurtis, served as emcee. While guests enjoyed dinner, video reel of past co-chairs of Columbian Ball including Rita and John Canning, Madison Dearborn founder/chairman; Jacky and Micheal Ferro, Founder/CEO of Merrick Ventures, where they were asked questions such as favorite exhibits, played. MSI President/CEO David Mosena after addressing guests in attendance including a rare sighting of Cindy Pritzker and thanking sponsors, shared how the Museum has benefitted from the contributions of the Pritzker Foundation before presenting them with the Excellence in Education Award, which was 3D printed, accepted by Jason Pritzker. The award, created in 2013 in honor of the Museum’s 80th anniversary, celebrate outstanding philanthropy and leadership in education that inspires the inventive genius in everyone. Since it was a fundraiser, guests were offered the choice to upgrade their wine selections for the evening as a partial tax deductible contribution.
Cindy Pritzker, Patricia Mosena
This year, Columbian Ball honored the Museum’s past including past co-chairs, the impact MSI is making on science education with teacher Maudie Walls sharing how the museum has helped her students and its bold plans for the future. Guests were also able to explore MSI’s newest temporary exhibitions, Brick by Brick and Above and Beyond, and other exhibits like Science Storms, the Great Train Story, the Transportation Gallery #perks. Maggie Speaks performed at the after party Late Night Lounge that was sponsored by The David Bohnett Foundation. Cindy Pritzker helped organize the first Columbian Ball in 1981 that raised $250,000. More photos from the event in the gallery above.
photo credits: Jeff Schear, Alison Neidt Toonen, J.B Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Auste Kuncas