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People  & Parties With Panache Children's Memorial Hospital Children's Ball

The 2008 Children’s Ball
The 2008 Children's Ball.

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More than 1,200 guests gathered at the Hilton Chicago on Saturday, December 13, 2008 for the 50th annual Children's Ball sponsored by the Medical Research Institute Council (MRIC) of Children's Memorial Hospital. The ball was in celebration of the MRIC's 2008 campaign, which raised a record-breaking $5.3 million for pediatric medical research.

Co-chairs Emily Emmerman and Meredith Bluhm-Wolf, both of Chicago, chose the theme of Seasons: A Year of Discovery in celebration of the beauty of the seasons and the hope and promise of each new day.

The elegant, season-filled evening consisted of exciting entertainment, fabulous food, dramatic decor and most importantly, fundraising for a great cause. Young violinists from the Suzuki Orff School of Music greeted guests at the bottom of the Grand Staircase. Spring was in full bloom as guests enjoyed the cocktail reception, which consisted of a “butterfly” dancer under an elaborate tree. Gorgeous pink Gerbera Daisies were also in bloom surrounding the lavish food buffets. Upon entering the ballroom for dinner, guests were transported to a winter wonderland. Ronsley Special Events created a sparkling crystal ice palace with all white décor, an all white dance floor with large crystal chandeliers overhead and centerpieces made up of white hydrangea blossoms with crystals and rock candy creating a beautiful icicle effect.

Michael Lerich's orchestra provided the soundtrack for the evening while 15 professional dancers from Stage Factor, Inc. boogied on stage as the crowd kept the dance floor packed at all times. The themed menu featured a Bibb and Butter lettuce salad with roasted beets and goat cheese followed by chestnut soup. Filet Mignon with morel mushrooms and Buckingham's Potatoes was the entree. Dessert was a chocolate pot de crème along with a white chocolate mousse tower in vanilla sponge, fresh berries and a chocolate truffle.

At the ball, the co-chairs for the 2009 campaign and ball were announced and they are Donna Drescher and Debbie Marcus.

The Medical Research Institute Council (MRIC) was established in 1951 as a private, independent initiative to raise funds for innovative biomedical research.  Since 1991, the MRIC has been raising funds exclusively for research at Children's Memorial Hospital. The Children's Ball caps off the MRIC's year-long fundraising campaign. The MRIC is a principal benefactor of the Children's Memorial Research Center, one of only a handful of free-standing centers in the nation dedicated solely to pediatric research.

2008 co-chairs Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Emily Emmerman with Children’s Memorial Hospital president and CEO Pat Magoon
2008 co-chairs Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Emily Emmerman with Children's Memorial Hospital president and CEO Pat Magoon.

Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, president and scientific director of CMRC and Don Horwitz and Judy Horwitz
Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, president and scientific director of CMRC and Don Horwitz and Judy Horwitz.

Debbie Marcus and Donna Drescher, 2009 MRIC co-chairs
Debbie Marcus and Donna Drescher, 2009 MRIC co-chairs.

Jenny Patinkin
Jenny Patinkin.

  Amy Zoller, Heather Eiserman, Meredith Marks
Amy Zoller, Heather Eiserman, Meredith Marks.

Donna Drescher and Dennis Drescher
Donna Drescher and Dennis Drescher.

Debra Jarett and Alan Nusinow
Debra Jarett and Alan Nusinow.

Amy Kaplan and Lois Eisen
Amy Kaplan and Lois Eisen.

Valerie Conn
Valerie Conn.

  Malcolm Kamin and Kay Kamin
Malcolm Kamin and Kay Kamin.

Dr. Tom Gren and JoAnn Eisenberg
Dr. Tom Gren and JoAnn Eisenberg.

Ron Saslow and Ellen Saslow
Ron Saslow and Ellen Saslow.

Ellyn Katz, Mimi Sherman and Beth Gross
Ellyn Katz, Mimi Sherman and Beth Gross.

  Deborah Jarol and her son Brad Jarol
Deborah Jarol and her son Brad Jarol.

Former Congressman John Porter and his Amy Porter
Former Congressman John Porter and his wife Amy Porter.

Karen Segal and Chris Segal
Karen Segal and Chris Segal.

Lisa Cohen and sister Lauren Cohn
Lisa Cohen and sister Lauren Cohn.

Erika Bartelstein and Alan Bartelstein
Erika Bartelstein and Alan Bartelstein.

Robin Weissman, Jackie Friedman, Marti Zelikoff and Debra Jarett
Robin Weissman, Jackie Friedman, Marti Zelikoff and Debra Jarett.

Lisa Lewis and Lori Gersten
Lisa Lewis and Lori Gersten.

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Betsey Pinkert
Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Betsey Pinkert.

Jackie Friedman and Fred Friedman
Jackie Friedman and Fred Friedman.

Co-chair Emily Emmerman and daughter Natalie
Co-chair Emily Emmerman and daughter Natalie.

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and daughter Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and daughter Meredith Bluhm-Wolf.

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and daughter Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
Michelle Harris and Corey Harris.

Photos: Garbo Productions
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