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Children’s Research Fund’s “Curiosity Cures” Gala Raises Over $3.75 million

Children’s Research Fund’s “Curiosity Cures” Gala Raises Over $3.75 million

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In the few years that I’ve been privileged enough to cover the Chicagoland social-philanthropic scene, few things I’ve come to realize. Many organizations place their events in the spring/summer months to maximize guest attendance and donations; A handful of high value names on a philanthropic organization’s guest list will yield high attendance and funds raised and of course these women spend down when it comes to their outfits. So you would think a fundraiser, scheduled at the start of the busy holiday month might not garner that many people or raise just the bare minimum. NOPE! One of the main highlights of the Winter social calendar, The Children’s Research Fund’s signature event, “The Children’s Ball,” presented by Jewel Osco and Hinsdale-based investment firm OceanM19 was held December 2 at the Hilton Chicago. Over 900 Chicagoans came together for the black tie gala hosted by 2023 Children’s Research Fund Campaign and Children’s Ball Co-Chairs Dr. Elizabeth and Andrew Reyes, son of J. Christopher Reyes. Yes of that Reyes clan that decamped Chicago for Florida few years ago; are they back for good?

Photograph of four people in black tie gala attire for the 2023 Children's Ball: Curiosity Cures; Left to right: J. Christopher Reyes (Medical Center Board) wearing a full black tuxedo, Anne Reyes wearing a black ankle length flair midi dress, and Event Co-chairs Elizabeth wearing a red strapless gown cradling what looks like a baby bump and Andrew Reyes wearing a full tuxedo with bow tie;
2023 Children’s Ball: Curiosity Cures; Left to right: Christopher Reyes (Medical Center Board), Anne Reyes, and Event Co-chairs Elizabeth and Andrew Reyes


This year’s gala, themed “Curiosity Cures”, raised over $3.75 million which helped to reach a total of $4.65 million for the organization’s annual campaign. The funds raised through the Children’s Ball will go toward the Children’s Research Fund’s current three-year, $9 million commitment to Advanced Therapeutics at the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

2023 Children’s Ball: Curiosity Cures guests: Camille-Lee-Briana-Heneghan-Clifford-Banks-Caitlin-Heneghan-Michelle-Banks

Scenes From The $3 Million Raising 2022 Children’s Ball
A drumline led the guests from the cocktail reception to the International Ballroom, where they were welcomed with a dance set performance by Becca Kaufman Orchestra. Guests enjoyed an energetic musical set from a School of Rock Band, featuring young talent from the North Shore, followed by an elegant seated dinner. Following dinner service, there was a brief speaking program including remarks from the Children’s Ball event co-chairs Dr. Elizabeth and Andrew Reyes. The gala co-Chairs spoke about their reasons for being committed to pediatric health: Andrew’s family’s long involvement in Lurie Children’s and Elizabeth’s experience as a physician.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation

Lurie Children’s President & CEO Dr. Thomas Shanley, and Children’s Research Fund Chair Peter Bensinger, Jr., also gave remarks. The audience was inspired by the words and work of Dr. Sonali Chaudhury, who spoke compellingly about a promising new treatment for the most aggressive forms of childhood leukemia. Guests then watched an inspiring video about Ella, a young patient of Dr. Chaudhury, and her family, who were in attendance at the event. Coming off the inspirational video, a paddle-raise was held followed by dancing into the winter night.

2023 Children’s Ball: Curiosity Cures; Will Bartels Paddle raise


2023 Children’s Ball: Curiosity Cures – Nishu Thukral Paddle raise

This year’s Children’s Ball: Curiosity Cures leading event sponsors included: Presenting sponsors Jewel Osco and Hinsdale-based investment firm OceanM19, Financial Tech Services company Enova, Pancoe Family Foundation and Savills, among others.

All photo credit: Ana Miyares

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