BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Gala Co-chairs Trish Rooney, Catherine and Patrick Dowd, and Holly and Matt Maloney hosted 650 guests at the 20th Annual Butterfly Ball at The Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, a favorite wintertime destination of Chicagoans, to bask in its butterfly rooms and meet endangered Blanding’s turtles and birds of paradise.
The evening, which raised more than $2.3 million to support critical science education initiatives reaching thousands of teachers and students, honored two of Chicago’s most creative volunteers, Judy Istock and Cathy Osborn, for the impact of their service since the museum’s beginning.
Annie and Greg Jones received the Leadership in Science and Education Award recognizing their philanthropy supporting science education in underserved schools. Annie shared that her young son Hunter gave her his birthday money from his grandmother—$8—as she left for the Ball and asked her to give it in support of the Nature Museum he loves.
Deborah Lahey, Nature Museum President and CEO, told guests:
“Our anniversary gala has been met with an outpouring of support for nature and science initiatives at a level we have never seen before. We are so incredibly grateful for to the corporate, civic, educational, and philanthropic leaders who demonstrated their strong commitment to our work.
“Their support leads to transformative programs for children, provides support for teachers, and makes science come alive in Chicago’s schools. With this support, we have proudly raised over $32 million in our 20 years of the Butterfly Ball.”
Anne Thompson, NBC News Chief Environmental Correspondent, once again served as compelling MC, auctioneer Jonathan Kraft and Deborah Lahey brought home a masterful paddle raise, and Maggie Speaks kept guests dancing among the butterflies, birds, and turtles in this urban nature oasis.
For further information, visit naturemuseum.org or call 773-755-5100.
Photo credit: Ana Miyares Photography