BY ALICE YORK
February 25th was “a night veiled in elegance,” with over 350 guests in attendance at the Lyric Opera to celebrate the Junior League of Chicago’s Annual Gala, A Masquerade Ball.
Excitement, glamor, and the spirit of Mardi Gras were in the air, as masked ushers with full capes greeted the crowd there to celebrate the accomplishments of the Junior League. Most guests also wore masks, adorning their black tie finery with a little mystery, in keeping with the masquerade theme.
Gala co-chairs Melissa Schumacher and Margaret Janovsky created an evening of Venetian carnival sophistication and splendor, with Italian hors d’oeuvres, the music of Green Fourteen, drinks created by Tito’s Vodka mixologists, and a silent auction featured more than 50 packages available for bidding. A VIP floor allowed guests a chance to mingle off the dance floor and offered a bird’s eye view of the Lyric’s stunning Grand Foyer.
The night’s emcee, NBC 5 anchor Lauren Petty, spoke on the League’s continued dedication to serving women and children in Chicago and provided an introduction for JLC President, Ruth Gallagher Nelson, who gave a short address highlighting the League’s mission and current initiatives, spotlighting one of their longest-running programs, GALS. In partnership with Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago, GALS provides girls with after school programming, homework help and mentors through their entire middle school and high school careers.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit the JLC’s signature community programs in Chicago. Since 1912, the organization has been providing valuable volunteer service hours and critical funding to area nonprofits, with more than 1,500 JLC members slated to contribute more than 50,000 hours annually of volunteer service focusing on at-risk families, especially women and children.
Guests who danced the night away for this great cause were grateful when a special gift was revealed from featured sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, at the end of the evening: slippers for tired feet ready to take off their dancing shoes!
Photo credit: Kathleen Virginia Photography