Chicago Chefs and Volunteers Dine and Dance to Raise $500,000 in Support of the CF Foundation

March 16, 2011 

Children with CF wrote personal notes to thank attendees of the 14th annual Grand Chefs Gala held in Chicago this past January.
Children with CF wrote personal notes to thank attendees of the 14th annual Grand Chefs Gala held in Chicago this past January.

In late January, Greater Illinois Chapter volunteers gathered at the Emerald City-themed Grand Chefs Gala to embark on a tasty trip down the “yellow brick road to a cure” for cystic fibrosis. 

“Our theme conveyed that we have the courage, heart and brains to carry out our mission of curing and controlling this disease,” says Amy Patterson, chapter associate executive director.

The stunning décor, exciting silent and live auction items, and lively tunes of party band Libido Funk Circus helped set the tone for the magical evening during which 750 guests and Chicago’s finest chefs raised $500,000 to help support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s mission to cure and control CF.

Dining and Donating

Guests began the night with hors d’oeuvres prepared by 42 Chicago culinary artists. After a three-course

 Guests followed up delectable hors d’oeuvres and a three-course meal with a selection of desserts created by Chicago’s top pastry chefs.
Guests followed up delectable hors d’oeuvres and a three-course meal with a selection of desserts created by Chicago’s top pastry chefs.

meal prepared by Brad Parsons, executive chef of the Fairmont Hotel, desserts and drinks were provided by more than 20 local pastry chefs and mixologists.

After the extraordinary series of palate-pleasers, local outstanding chefs, restaurants and catering companies were presented with Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, named for the acclaimed chef with strong Chicago ties. In addition, the chapter’s Founders’ Award was presented to Jim Kallas, Division President of Eurest, a Division of Compass Group, for his commitment to the fight against cystic fibrosis and outstanding contributions to the Foundation’s mission.

An inspirational group of people with CF were featured in a video that educated guests about life with cystic fibrosis and the mission of the Foundation. After the video, Randell Golman, 23, who has CF, thanked the attendees for their generous support on behalf of the group. Her stirring Bid for a Cure speech raised more than $165,000 and jumpstarted the silent and live auctions. Guests bid on many one-of-a-kind dining experiences and a trip to the two-day finale of American Idol this March.

Watch the Grand Chefs Gala Video

The Greater Illinois Chapter would like to thank the event co-chairs:

Daniel Goelz and Michael Pagliuco

 Rich Gray, Greater Illinois Chapter Major Gifts Chair; Molly Riley, Chapter Executive Director; and  volunteer Pam Gray participated in the Emerald City-themed event to benefit the CF Foundation. 
Rich Gray, Greater Illinois Chapter Major Gifts Chair; Molly Riley, Chapter Executive Director; and volunteer Pam Gray participated in the Emerald City-themed event to benefit the CF Foundation.

And its corporate sponsors: 

  • Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines
  • Alpha Baking
  • Duane Morris LLP
  • Eurest
  • Fairmont Hotel
  • Hollister Incorporated
  • Jenner & Block LLP
  • Larsen Manufacturing
  • LimeGreen
  • Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.
  • Mesirow Financial
  • Pagliuco Design
  • Philips
  • Unilever