Boys Clubs Gave a Gala In 1982

       And Everyone Carried a Blue Passport


The Daniel J. Rostenkowskis and the James J. O’Connors on A Trip Around the World.





By Megan McKinney


To learn how a first-rate woman’s board gave a gala more than three and a half decades ago, we asked Stanley Paul to take us down to the Harold Washington Library to see the Stanley Paul Papers, which—as detailed in an earlier Classic Chicago article—are archived in the library’s Special Collections. Among the fascinating items we were shown by Senior Archivist Morag Walsh was a program book for a 1982 Boys Clubs benefit, going back before it was the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Your Passport to A Night Around the World.

You will soon see that nostalgia reigns throughout this piece, which is sprinkled with names and photographs of memorable men and women—some of whom you may have dined with last night and others to whom you have not given a thought in decades.

In fact this benefit wasn’t even a gala. Gala is a word that has changed through the years. If you recall, in 1982 the Passavant Cotillion and Lyric Opera Ball were perhaps the only true galas in town and they were held in the Hilton Grand Ballroom. However, in the early 1980’s, there were a few years during which the Hilton closed for renovation and the Hyatt Regency was new, so that is where The Boys Clubs Ball—like many big benefits during that period–was held in 1982.

This was a travel party, A Night Around the World, and you are about to take a trip of your own. The blue passport above was the program book, which you will soon be reading. Imagine you have opened it to the first page and step back nearly 38 years to a lively evening in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, where, of course, Stanley Paul is at the bandstand. The “passport” is descriptive at first, but be patient; there will be many pictures ahead.


The Boys Clubs A Night Around the World of 1982 was not the only treasure we uncovered in the Stanley Paul Papers. We’ll be back with others as the weeks go on.


With Special Thanks to Morag Walsh

Senior Archivist, Special Collections

Chicago Public Library