Bright Futures for the Rush Woman’s Board







A glorious lakefront gala titled Bright Futures with the dress code “bright cocktail attire”–what could be a more upbeat beginning for Chicago’s fall social season?

Colby Gaines, Susie Healey, and Buffy Maier chaired the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center’s breezy benefit at the Theater on the Lake, drawing 450 guests who danced to the New York-based Bob Hardwick Sound, grabbing a late-night fried chicken slider from Boxcar Betty’s food truck before heading home in the starlight.


Co-chair Colby Gaines with husband Ralph Gaines.


Co-chair Buffy Maier.


Co-chair Susie Healy, at right, with husband Brendan.


Guests enjoying the Boxcar Betty food truck after hitting the dance floor.

Highlights of the evening included craft cocktails featuring La Luna Mezcal and food stations celebrating favorite dishes from Bronzeville, Chinatown, Pilsen, Taylor Street, and Lincoln Park provided by Blue Plate. HMR thought bright with the blue, green, and poppy color scheme it created for the event, while illuminated rectangular gold frames hovered as table centerpieces served as a nostalgic nod to the makeup mirrors backstage at the Woman’s Board’s beloved Rush Fashion Show, which cumulated with a 90th anniversary show in 2016 and was itself always the first fall not-to-be missed event.


HMR transformed Theater on the Lake with bright shades and bold patterns.

The evening raised more than $470,000 to support the Rush Community Service Initiative Program, known as RCSIP, established in 1991 to create a network of programs that matched Rush Medical College students’ interests in social and healthcare needs. With the guidance of Rush faculty who volunteer alongside Rush students, RCSIP’s mission is to provide healthcare to underserved Chicago communities, educate the community about healthy living and disease prevention and management, and train and educate young people about career opportunities in health sciences.


Chris Coogan; Dr. Omar Lateef, Rush CEO, Rush; Dr. Najia Shakoor; Dr. Rich Byrne; Dr. Armita Bijari; and Dr. Joe Hennessy.


Richard and Cindy Nicolaides.

Cindy Nicolaides serves as president of the Woman’s Board and over 60 members of the board volunteered this year for gala planning.

For more information, visit or contact the Woman’s Board office at (312) 942-6513.


Cassie Buccellato.


Jessica Adams, Carolyn Withey, and Sally Brown Thilman.


Bradley and Stephanie Byrd.


Saema Ahmed, Shafaq Imtiazi, Jakeline Jungbluth, and Lewis Wilson.


Stuart Dyer.


Bob and Laura Wilhelm with Kimberly and Bill Filan.


Elizabeth Denison, Read Lanctot, and Carly Kunkler.


Photo Credit: Widia Viti Photography and Rush Photo Group