Better Makers: 73rd Annual Summer Ball Raises $1.6 Million in Support for Boys and Girls Club

On June 3, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago Woman’s Board hosted 225 guests at its 73rd Annual Summer Ball at the Four Seasons — led by co-chairs Betsy Bradley and Karen McEniry. 

 Annie and Greg Jones and Tom & Cece Ricketts | Photo by Widia Viti 

225 guests gathered to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and entertainment by the City LIghts Orchestra. The event raised more than $1.6 million in revenue, $350,000 of which was generated through a paddle raise and live and silent auctions. Top bids went for an ultimate Chicago Cubs skybox and behind-the-scenes package and for first class tickets to see The Who at the United Center

Group photo of Laura Keidan Martin, Pauline Schultz, David Rudis, Charlene Huang Olson, George Jewell, Jocelyn Stoller, and Craig Martin
(Left to right) Laura Keidan Martin, Pauline Schultz, David Rudis, Charlene Huang Olson, George Jewell, Jocelyn Stoller, and Craig Martin | Photo by Widia Viti

The raised funds will benefit 20,000 youth ages 5 to 18 participating in after-school programs conducted in safe, nurturing environments at 22 club locations throughout Chicago. Boys and Girls Club also provides opportunities for youth to experience the best of Chicago’s arts and culture through activities such as visiting museums and attending dance performances. 

A Boys and Girls Club of America outing

The Summer Ball, one of the most popular fundraising events in Chicago, attracted a host of community supporters, including Thomas S. Ricketts, Bartlett J. McCartin III, Joe Ferraro, Linda Johnson Rice and Charlie Besser. Individual sponsors included Wilbur and Linda Gantz, Norman and Virginia Bobins, Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel Jr., Meredith Bluhm Wolf and Bill Wolf, Betsy and David Bradley and Cynthia and Benjamin Chereskin. Corporate sponsors included ITW.


Since the end of World War II, the members of the Woman’s Board have supported the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago—getting behind the nonprofit’s mission of providing for underserved youth and empowering them to excel in school and lead healthy, productive lives.

More from Better:

Donna Berry Glass

Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate