Each event is unique. For example, for one of the galas that benefited Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, Midwest Children’s Brain Tumor Center, JT conceptualized a “fairytale” theme. Décor included stories written and illustrated by young patients of the ward at each table, a castle stage backdrop, “happily-ever-after”-themed giveaways, and children sharing their medical success stories as part of the speaking program. For another gala, JT developed a “Pearls of Life” theme for a gala celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of the hospitals, benefitting its cancer research department, which included a ‘pearl-tini’ signature cocktail, an oyster bar on an ice block, strands of pearls throughout floral arrangements, a glass orb centerpiece on each table, and a pearl necklace and bracelet in a live raffle.
In developing each theme, JT takes into account the beneficiary of each fundraiser, ensuring all details complement the theme. JT selects an appropriate venue for each event, based on audience size, theme and host hospital location. Venues have included downtown Chicago and suburban hotels, a donor’s home in a suburb of the city (which included extensive tenting), several museums and Soldier Field. We then work to identify and select the appropriate vendors to meet a myriad of detailed needs.
JT staffs each event, assisting with check-in, menu creation, auction set-up and close-out logistics, stage management and overall vendor supervision.