Better Makers: Children’s Ball Raises Record Funds for Transformative Pediatric Research at Lurie Children’s Hospital

lurie children's hospital: Michael Scott, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ashley Scott, Peter and Marina Kazin

Nearly 1,100 guests gathered at the Hilton Chicago for the 60th annual Children’s Ball. The Dec. 1 gala raised a record-breaking $3.8 million in support of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

The Children’s Research Fund’s (CRF) annual event supports CRF’s five-year, $10 million commitment supporting the various critical research initiatives at the Manne Research Institute.

“It is only with their generosity that the CRF is able to continuously support the comprehensive projects taking place within each pillar of the Manne Research Institute’s basic science, translational research, clinical trials, health effectiveness, and health services and policy research,” says Donna G. Drescher, chairman of the Children’s Research Fund.

Presented by The Boeing Company, the evening included decadent cocktails and appetizers paired with a musical performance by former Lurie Children’s patient Matthew Jazwinski and his jazz quartet, Mateyko.

The evening continued with more music from the Becca Kaufman Orchestra, a seated dinner and program, live auction and paddle raise, and, of course, dancing. Ava Blaser, a friendly face and patient from Lurie Children’s, performed a dance with her sister Emma Blaser. Dr. Thomas Shanley, chief research officer at Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, shared the institute’s newest clinical research with the audience.

Guests were welcome to explore the “Research Lounge” in the Grand Ballroom, fully staffed with researchers ready to share the groundbreaking work being done.

The Children’s Ball 2018 co-chairs included Chris Keogh, Holly Maloney, Matt Maloney, and Trish Rooney, as well as Drescher.

Along with the presenting sponsor, Boeing, the evening was made possible thanks to CBRE, GCM Grosvenor, and Goldman Sachs.

lurie children's hospital: Lester and Renee Crown, Craig and Laura Martin, David and Barbara Grayson, John and Ann Amboian, Steve and Kristin Haramaras, Franco Turrinelli and Lisa Snow
Front Row: Lester and Renee Crown, Craig and Laura Martin; Back Row: David and Barbara Grayson, John and Ann Amboian, Steve and Kristin Haramaras, Franco Turrinelli and Lisa Snow.
lurie children's hospital: Dr. Jennifer Gong, Dr. Ed Gong
Dr. Jennifer Gong and Dr. Ed Gong
lurie children's hospital: Emma Blaser, Ava Blaser
Sisters Emma Blaser and Ava Blaser (Lurie Children’s patient)
lurie children's hospital: Pat Magoon
Pat Magoon (left), Lurie Children’s President and CEO
lurie children's hospital: Donna Drescher
Donna Drescher (second from right) and family
lurie children's hospital: Ava Blaser
Impact: Ava Blaser, who performed at this year’s event.

Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.