Flourishing at Dior

By Judy Carmack Bross



It was one of those serendipitous seconds that reminds you of the joy of leadership in a transformative Chicago non-profit.

It happened at the Dior Boutique when the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago’s Woman’s Board kicked off their Summer Ball at the Theater on the Lake on June 2. And “Flourish”–the 74th annual Summer Ball’s theme—couldn’t be more apt.

Woman’s Board President Colette Cachey Smithburg told us all about it.

“It had been a gray Chicago morning and just walking into that bright and glorious space and being grateful for this enhancing partnership with Dior brought such happiness,” she said.  “Afterwards, Tyrese Smith, a sales associate at the Dior Boutique, came up to me to say that he is an alumnus of BGCC’s Logan Square Club. He shared that the Clubs impacted his life enormously and helped set him on his path to success. We were delighted to cross paths with Tyrese and share this fun connection. We look forward to having him back to the Clubs to connect with and inspire our current members.”

Robin Tebbe, Bart Szul, Colette Smithburg

Robin Tebbe, Karen McEniry

Jacki Ferro and Cece Ricketts co-chair what is considered by many to be Chicago’s most anticipated annual gala.  BGCC leaders could market a benefit blueprint. Their Woman’s Board has developed one of the most enduring and ever-exciting game plans in town, combining a compelling profile of an organization with a glamorous night to remember.

“Part of the fun will be having an event where we will also have an outdoor space by the Lake,” Ferro told us. “Children from our clubs will be guests and we will have a strong video detailing our mission in action. We chose ‘Flourish’ as our theme to emphasize that with hands-on help in a secure, save, encouraging and educational environment youth can thrive.”

Marty Higgins, Robin Tebbe, Cece Ricketts, Virginia Bobins, Sylvie Légère, Colette Smithburg, Kate Melman

De Medici at Dior—a tribute to Catherine de Medici, the 16th century’s most powerful woman, by Maria Grazia Chiuri in her spring and summer collection—delighted the group of some of Chicago’s most powerful philanthropists who loved the combination of celebrating and shopping. Smithburg thanked past president Robin Tebbe for making the connection and Dior for giving part of the events sales to BGCC.

Since the close of the World War II, the its Woman’s Board has been integral in sustaining BGCC’s mission and keeping its youth safe. The members of the Woman’s Board raise critical resources for the Clubs through the Summer Ball, offer unique opportunities for Club members to experience the best of Chicago with a particular focus on arts and culture, and support the pursuit of higher education for high achieving Club members. The Woman’s Board is strongly committed to taking a hands-on approach, and members enjoy having opportunities to visit and spend time at the Clubs.

Marty Higgins, Colette Smithburg, Lindsay Carlton Walter, Beth White

For 120 years, BGCC has provided thousands of Chicago’s deserving youth a stable, safe, and stimulating environment each year. Operating primarily in neighborhoods that have historically seen disinvestment and a lack of resources, BGCC serves the children and teens, and is a place where they can receive the tools they need to become productive, caring, and responsible citizens. The Clubs take a holistic approach to serve each child’s mind, body, and soul –a life-saving, life-changing, and life-long in its impact on Chicago’s youth.

Much like what Tyrese Smith told Colette Smithburg that day.