Eversight Illinois hosts "Seeing Stars," a party to support sight restoration

Eversight Illinois hosted its 70th anniversary celebration, "Seeing Stars", at The Peninsula Chicago on July 26. The event supported the non-profit's mission of restoring sight and preventing blindness through donation, transplantation and research.

With themes of silver, black and white, the dramatic decor, by both Tamar Productions and Kehoe Designs, featured an illuminated, freestanding 8-foot star as the central decor. It was surrounded by balloons with cascading ribbons set against a floor to ceiling mural of black and white images of past honorees. Partygoers also enjoyed a sizzling photo op posing with "Silver Man,” a performance artist created by ZZAZZ Productions who was entirely outfitted in silver body paint, shimmering star motifs, and iridescent crystals.

“It was such an honor to have a room full of individuals with the same passion and commitment of giving all patients suffering from corneal blindness the gift of sight,” said Diane Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Eversight Illinois. “Our work truly would not be possible without the involvement of the community and passionate individuals like Candace Jordan and Michael Caputo [event co-chairs]. Their efforts directly impact the people we serve each and every day.”

A cocktail reception on The Peninsula’s Shanghai Terrace launched this year’s gala theme, “Seeing Stars.” Guests mingled, perused silent auction items and had their portraits sketched by fashion illustrator Rosemary Fanti. Two "fortune tellers" added to the celestial fun.

The Peninsula’s ballroom was adorned with glittery star centerpieces and midnight blue and silver décor. A virtual star galaxy was projected throughout the room and added additional drama. Food stations represented a few of Chicago's iconic neighborhoods and included tasty fare inspired by Greek Town, China Town, Italian Village, and the Magnificent Mile. Eli’s Cheesecake Company graciously provided a delicious and artistic 70th anniversary cake and DJ Akib kept the beat alive.

MyEyeDr presented the ‘Eye Candy Bar,’ which provided a variety of chocolate and candy treats and sweets for departing guests.

The event raised over $50,000 to support the programs and services of Eversight Illinois, a non-profit that, in 2016 alone, facilitated more than 3,000 sight-restoring corneal transplants worldwide. Its mission is to recover, evaluate and provide human eye tissue for transplantation; support research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions; promote donation awareness through public and professional education and provide humanitarian aid to people around the world in need of corneal transplantation. (Photos by Mila Samokhina and John Reilly Photography, event media sponsor Chicago Magazine).

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