Better Makers: 3rd Annual Feed Your Mind Gala Raises $190,000 for Pilot Light

On Oct. 9, Michel Nishan, CEO/president of Wholesome Wave and 2015 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year, hosted the third annual Feed Your Mind event to benefit Pilot Light. The event raised approximately $190,000 to support Pilot Light’s work in Chicago schools to empower children to have healthy relationships with food. Designed to inspire students to make healthier food choices, Pilot Light classroom lessons weave food and nutrition education into subjects like English, math, social studies and science. From interactive food demonstrations and video to suggested readings and lectures, chefs and educators work together to develop lessons that align to the Common Core State Standards and Pilot Light’s standards for food and nutrition education.

The event hosted nearly 700 guests, including Pilot Light founders Paul Kahan (Avec, Blackbird, Publican, Big Star, PQM), Matthias Merges (Yusho Chicago, Yusho Vegas, Billy Sunday) and Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe), as well as emcees Ji Suk Yi (co-host of Windy City Live) and Mark Bazer (host of The Interview Show). Live auction items included a Backyard BBQ at Chef Kahan’s home for up to 10 people and special guests Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook plus four 100 levels tickets to a Blackhawks game with a post-game meet-and-greet with the players.

Paul Kahan, Jason Hammel, Michel Nischan, Matthias Merges, and auctioneer BillyHarris
Paul Kahan, Jason Hammel, Michel Nischan, Matthias Merges and auctioneer Billy Harris (Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography.)
Students from Mitchell Elementary in West Town
Students from Mitchell Elementary in West Town (Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography.)
Ji Suk Yi and Mark Bazer
Ji Suk Yi and Mark Bazer (Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography.)
Mighty Vine/Hand Cut Foods’ dish-Photo courtesy of Kipling Swehla Photography
Mighty Vine/Hand Cut Foods’ dish (Photo courtesy of Kipling Swehla Photography.)
Jason Hammel-photo courtesy of Galdones Photography
Jason Hammel (Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography.)
Autioneer Billy Harris-photo courtesy of Galdones Photography
Auctioneer Billy Harris (Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography.)