200 Million Reasons to Celebrate Women

Women’s Boards have a long history raising significant money for major Chicago philanthropic institutions.

Think 100 years and approximately $200 million, per The Guild of the Chicago History Museum calculations. That is worthy of celebration. So, The Guild is doing just that, with a luncheon at the Chicago History Museum from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 3 which will celebrate women who support cultural institutions in the city by serving on their women’s organizations.

“We called the event ‘200 Million Reasons’ because we thought that $200 million was a conservative estimate, but I’m happy to say we were low,” says Joan Werhane, president of The Guild of the Chicago History Museum.

According to Werhane, the exact amount of money that the women’s boards have generated for Chicago will be announced at the event. The number has been arrived at based on totals submitted by the women’s boards themselves.

From helping to support educational programs for children of all ages to funding exhibits, research and special programs reaching millions of people who live in or visit Chicago, the impact of women’s boards is significant. Many of the organizations rely on their women’s groups to fill the gap between government and private funding. Without them, they would likely have to reduce the number and quality of services they provide to their guests and, in many cases, the world.

“One of my goals is to make a community of women’s boards so we can work together. I’d love to have ongoing meetings with the presidents of these boards so we can share information,” says Werhane. “We’ve got a world-class city and we’re all just trying to make it better.”

Vicki Medvec of Northwestern University will present the keynote address. Toni Preckwinkle will give welcome remarks and Janet Davies will emcee the event.

At the luncheon, the following board presidents will accept awards on behalf of their board:

  • Nancy Temple, The Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium
  • Francie Comer, The Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Arlene Alexander, Bronzeville Children’s Museum Women’s Board
  • Nena Ivon, The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum
  • Joan Werhane, The Guild of the Chicago History Museum
  • Catherine Kirby, The Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society
  • Leslie Henner Burns, The Women’s Board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Susan Ahern, The Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society
  • Martha O’Kennard Johnson, The Women’s Board of the DuSable Museum
  • Jeani Jernstedt, The Women’s Board of The Field Museum
  • Joan Clifford, The Goodman Theatre Women’s Board
  • Melissa Babcock, The Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet
  • Abby Zanarini, The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Anne Reyes, The Women’s Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Marcia Fraerman, The Women’s Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Ava Youngblood, Northwestern University Women’s Board
  • Jeanne Denison, The Women’s Board of Ravinia Festival
  • Alice Sabl, The Women’s Board of the University of Chicago

Event co-chairs are Gail Ward, Rosemary Jones, and Virginia Cudecki.
Guests will include Alderman Michelle Smith, Renee Crown, Kay Krehbiel, Karen Gray, Christopher Clinton Conway, Judy Konen, Penny Van Horn, Dora Aalbregtse and Jo Minow.

Tickets: $200 Individual, $2,000 for a table of ten. www.chicagohistorymuseum.org