Imerman Angels presented the second annual Wings of Hope Gala on Saturday, September 12 at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. The affair welcomed 320 guests and raised $301,000 benefitting Imerman Angels’ mission to enable connections that provide 1-on-1 cancer support among cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers.
The formal event began with a welcome reception including cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Chicago with entertainment provided by pianist Dave Hedlund. Guests were then escorted to their tables where they enjoyed an impressive three-course dinner, a riveting live auction hosted by professional auctioneer David Goodman, and a special ceremony celebrating the evening’s award recipients led by the evening’s emcee, cancer survivor and NBC 5 Morning News Co-Anchor Zoraida Sambolin.
The honorees of the Wings of Hope Gala included Walgreen Co., who received the Wings of Hope Award, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of a group or individual who has contributed greatly to the growth and strength of the Imerman Angels mission. Walgreens was recognized for their support and commitment to providing hope, strength and inspiration to their cancer patient and caregiver consumers including putting Imerman Angels brochures in the pharmacy section of select stores around Chicagoland. The Wings of Hope Award was accepted by Richard Ashworth, PharmD, President, Pharmacy and Retail Operations and Nimesh Jhaveri, RPh, Divisional Vice President.
Fleet Feet Sports Chicago was awarded the Angel Award for Community Outreach, accepted by Dave Zimmer, CEO and Owner Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, Co-Owner of Chicago Endurance Sports. The Angel Award is given to a group or individual that has continually exemplified their commitment to spreading awareness of the Imerman Angels mission. Dave Zimmer and Fleet Feet Sports Chicago was recognized for their constant support of and instrumental role played in the promotion of Imerman Angels’ second leading fundraising initiative, Team Imerman Angels, including apparel, training and overall awareness.
The Angel Award for Outstanding Medical Service was awarded to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. This award recognizes healthcare providers who demonstrate exceptional medical service and care for cancer patients and their families. In addition to the expertise and emotional support they provide to their patients from diagnosis and treatment through survivorship, the partnership the Lurie Cancer Center has with Imerman Angels allows them to help more people touched by cancer. The award was accepted by Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, Director of the Lurie Cancer Center.
The live auction items for the evening were an impressive collection of lifetime experiences, and were a major centerpiece for fundraising for the evening. Packages included: a NASA Space Center Experience; a two-night trip to London and Manchester United Football Club experience; Lights, Action, Camera!, a two-night trip to Los Angeles with a walk-on role on one of ABC’s top television hits; a Blackhawks Personal Experience with Stan Bowman; a Private Home Dinner Party with “Top Chef” Carlos Gaytan; and a Tuscany, Italian Home for 10 with a Private Chef.
The program included a very special moment where all Imerman Angels Mentor Angels in attendance were asked to stand and were recognized by all for their undying dedication to providing invaluable 1-on-1 support to their mentees battling cancer. The evening commenced with dancing to live music courtesy of Dr. Bombay.
Sponsors for the gala included Walgreens, Eagle Seven, MedAvail, Hegele Logistic, AJ Capital Partners, and Daily Planet Ltd. Generous event donors included The Bill Bass Foundation, Mark Graf, Lincoln International LLC, Natalie Stolarski, Google, Golub & Company of IL, LLC, Michael Rubin, James Akers Mark Sullivan, Pete DePerte, Amanda Mortenson, Jessica Fox, UBS, John Leonard, and Ventas, Inc.
Tickets for the event cost $300. For more information on the Wings of Hope Gala or to learn how to become a sponsor at next year’s event, visit www.imermanangels.org.