The 2nd annual Storybook Gala, benefiting the Wood Family Foundation's after-school mentoring program (Pitch-In) for at-risk kids, was themed after J.M Barrie's famed Peter Pan and was an unprecedented success raising over $500,000 for the non-profit. Hosted by Sarah and Kerry Wood on September 23, the event honored Graham Allen (CEO Sloan Valve Co.) with the Pitch In for Excellence Award. Emmy-nominated writer and actress Bonnie Hunt served as emcee.
As guests arrived at Moonlight Studios, "British guards" were on hand to welcome them before they entered the “Streets of London;" a magical modern brick hallway (entranceway) complete with lanterns and luscious foliage that evoked the feeling of strolling down the cobblestone lanes of London. The space also contained a bright red telephone booth for partygoers to create photo memories.
The formal evening began with mischievous “lost boys” and acrobats leading guests to their seats in the Revel Decor-designed banquet room. Bright blues and greens splashed throughout the room with Pan-themed markers labeling each table as if guests had been whisked away to Neverland. Overhead, twinkling lights and clouds dazzled attendees as as a string quartet played.
The evening's program included toasts and the official presentation of the Pitch In for Excellence Award to Graham Allen. Commander Matthew Duffy introduced Allen, sharing the importance and significance of the support he provides for the Wood Family Foundation and for the Chicagoland community. Following the presentation, two acrobats dressed as pirates and an aerialist entertained the audience with their impressive twists, lifts, and tosses.
Following the performance, two sword wielding pirates led guests onto Hook’s Private Deck where an after-party featured deep red decor, a sailing mast, fishnets, and tunes by DJ Meghan Trainer.
All proceeds from the event will support Pitch In, the Wood's after-school mentoring program serving Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
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Filed under: art/entertainment
Tags: Beth Heller, Bonnie Hunt, Bridgett McDermott, Commander Matthew Duffy, Deidre Koldyke, Graham Allen, Grant DePorter, John Dvorak, Kerry Wood, Lawndale Community Academy, Meghan Trainer, mentoring program for kids, Moonlight Studios, Pat Ricketts, Pitch In, Revel Decor, Sarah Wood, Sloan Valve Company, Storybook Gala, Tom Ricketts, Willard Willette, Wood Family Foundation