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15th Annual Harvest Ball Raises $450,000 for New Educational Display Garden

Event Date: 
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Harvest Ball 2013

GLENCOE, Ill. (Sept. 24, 2013) — The Guild of the Chicago Botanic Garden recently hosted the 15th Annual Harvest Ball, drawing 400 guests to the beautiful early fall grounds of the Chicago Botanic Garden. The ball raised $450,000 to support the development of the Learning Campus's educational display garden, designed by Mikyoung Kim. This new garden will welcome families of all backgrounds to the Garden, and its design will foster respect for our environment and inspire lifelong interest in and passion for the natural world and the sciences.

Guests for the black-tie garden party were greeted with Moët & Chandon champagne as they walked through the Heritage Garden to a cocktail reception and silent auction in McGinley Pavilion. Calihan Catering prepared the hors d'oeuvres and dinner, which began with an heirloom tomato and baby arugula salad with creamy feta, capers, nicoise olives and fried green tomato croutons. The entrée was braised short ribs with red wine reduction sauce, zucchini, grilled corn, soft heirloom shrimp and grits. Dessert was caramel toffee tart with crème fraiche ice cream.

Event Creative designed the décor, which consisted of wooden farm tables, driftwood chairs and small bouquets of lavender-colored flowers including dahlias, roses, ornamental cabbage, eggplants, grapes, plums, succulents and ferns.

A live auction held over dinner featured domestic and international vacation packages, including a Blackhawks package; a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming; a trip to attend the Carolina Herrera Fashion Week in New York City; a gift certificate from GRAFF; and a trip to Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the Caribbean.

Gold Coast All Stars played while guests danced the night away.

The 2013 Harvest Ball was co-chaired by Guild members Emily DeGroot, Megan Hoffmann, and Julie Saunders. Auction co-chairs were Elizabeth Queen and Erin Ritchie. The annual ball, attended by more than 400 of Chicago’s civic leaders, has raised more than $2.5 million to date for the Garden’s education, environmental and children’s programs.

Established in 1998, the Guild supports the Garden through service projects, as well as fundraising events. Led by co-presidents Lindsey Axel of Chicago and Brayton Alley of Lake Forest, the group has more than 100 members representing a diverse collection of young leaders from the Chicago area.

Support for the 2013 Harvest Ball was provided by American Airlines, Beam, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Moët & Chandon. For more information about the Guild or the Harvest Ball, call (847) 835-6830.


Editors, please note: For digital images, contact Julie McCaffrey at (847) 835-8213 or at

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