The Children’s Ball



By Judy Carmack Bross



The Children’s Research Fund’s Children’s Ball presented by the Boeing Company, recently raised more than $3 million for Lurie Children’s Hospital. Aptly themed “ReConnect”, the Gala at the Hilton, hosted by 2022 Children’s Research Fund Campaign and Children’s Ball Co-Chairs Devanee and Alex Washington, attracted over 850 guests.

Marc and Dr. Jamie Pasquale (Board Chair) and Co-Chairs Devanee and Alex Washington

Washington Immediate Family

The Washingtons made it a family affair by involving their three  children, who range in age from 11 to 16 in the evening’s tribute to research. Each had a speaking role, and guests were visibly moved when Nadia Washington read her original poem based on the “ReConnect” theme.

Nadia Washington shares an Original Poem

Ignatius College Prep Drum Line

Hinsdale’s Gabrielle Romano, Christiana Ryan, Benita Romano, Laura Ferrara (River Forest) and Florence Ann Romano

Lindsay Boles, Thomas Saleh, Thaddeus Chatto, Emily Hogikyan

Tom and Maureen Shanley

 Shannon Harvey, Dr. Jamie Pasquale, Katie Harvey

The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring the signature Pom Pom Mimosa, a mix of pomegranate juice and sparkling wine. The drum line from Chicago’s St. Ignatius College Prep led the guests from the reception to the International Ballroom and the first dance set by headline band Time Chicago before dinner.

Time Chicago

Dance floor action

‘Glenview WIlmettes Teen Band called Next Week Performs

Glenview and Wilmette’s Teen Band NEXT WEEK performs

After welcoming remarks, guests enjoyed an energetic set from youth band Next Week, featuring talented teens from Wilmette and Glenview.


Cocktail Hour at the Hilton Chicago

Co-Chairs Devanee and Alex Washington

Children’s Research Fund Board Chair Dr. Jamie Pasquale

Alex Washington IV, Victoria Washington ,Nadia Washington

The evening included remarks from the Washingtons, who opted to speak from the floor, walking the room with a wireless mic. “The Children’s Research Fund has been committed to the advancement of research for more than 70 years,” explained Devanee Washington. “As parents, we share the belief that the good health of children is a precious gift, and we are honored to chair this year’s Children’s Research Fund Campaign and Children’s Ball.”

Speaker Dr. Tom Shanley

Speaker Dr. Sandi Lam

In addition to remarks from Lurie Children’s President and CEO Dr. Tom Shanley, and Children’s Research Fund Chair Jamie Pasquale, the audience was inspired by the words and work of pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Sandi Lam, who spoke compellingly about the need to fund research so that no child suffers from intractable epileptic seizures. 

Tom and Maureen Shanley and Peter Bensinger

Matt Davis and Lakshmi Halasyamani

Phoebe and Michael Nitekman

Sweet Treats

Kenneth Milstead and Junell Lewis

Evanstons Pat Seed and Kimberly Andringa

The over $3 million raised at the Children’s Ball helped bring the annual campaign total to a record-breaking $7.3 million. These funds will go towards the Children’s Research Fund’s current five-year $10 million commitment to support the wide spectrum of vital research conducted at the Manne Research Institute and the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  

Childrens Research Fund Board Chair Dr. Jamie Pasquale and Marc Pasquale

Co-Chairs Devanee and Alex Washington

This year’s leading event sponsors include, presenting sponsor, The Boeing Company, as well as CBRE, Inc., Wind Point Partners, and Wintrust, among others.

For information on the Children’s Ball, please visit

Photo credit: Ana Miyares