For the 27th annual Friends of Prentice Gala, more than 700 black-tie-clad guests went "Into the Wild" at Navy Pier on June 1 to benefit Prentice Women's Hospital. This year's jungle theme by Taylor & Company transformed the stage into a rock cliff complete with tropical foliage and a tinsel waterfall that cascaded onto the dance floor. Tables were topped with rain forest centerpieces featuring 15-foot trees with stuffed toy monkeys hanging from branches.
Dancing "monkeys" wearing colorful airbrushed costumes meandered through the crowd and led guests to dinner before performing a choreographed dance number. Popular local cover band Maggie Speaks played throughout the evening.
Greg Dellinger, who served as the event's host and auctioneer, introduced live auction offerings that included a Tiffany & Co. diamond bracelet; Starwood Hotels trips to New York, Peru and Hawaii; and a wine country experience. One guest surprised the crowd by offering four tickets to the Blackhawks' playoff game June 2. The tickets sold for $4,500.
WGN Midday News anchor and Medical Watch reporter Dina Bair introduced a video featuring Rosa Perez and Emilio Martinez, a couple dealing with an at-risk pregnancy, and then explained the organization's mission: "It's all about women — improving the quality of health care of all women and infants throughout their entire lives. The FOP has also funded the Prentice Ambulatory Care Clinic, a resource available to underserved, un(insured) and underinsured women in the Chicagoland area."
Co-chaired by Erica Goldman, Chris Newton and Donna Socol, the event raised more than $1 million to support health initiatives for women and infants at Prentice Women's Hospital.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers
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