Chicago Children's Museum Gala Raises $800K in Support of  Programming, Education and Community Outreach

Chicago Children's Museum President Jennifer Farrington and Board President Jeffrey Perry (photo courtesy of The Chicago Children's Museum).

Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) held its annual fundraising gala on Saturday, November 4 in the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. The event welcomed over 450 guests and raised more than $800,000 to support the museum's innovative exhibits, educational programming and extensive community access efforts. 

​“We’re so grateful for the generosity of our supporters,” said CCM President and CEO Jennifer Farrington. “Each gift provides children the opportunity to discover the magic of play and its connection to learning.” 

The evening’s theme, Make.Believe., highlighted the museum’s commitment to celebrating the creativity and imagination of children, the impossible becoming possible, and childlike wonder. With storybook style and fairytale flair, guests showed their support by bidding on auction prizes, buying raffle tickets, and celebrating the museum. 

"We are overjoyed by the support," said CCM Board Chair Jeffery Perry. "The funds we raise help the museum serve as a vital, play-based, educational and cultural institution for children and families in Chicago and beyond." 

The highlight of the evening was the live auction facilitated by Auctioneer David Goodman, bringing in an impressive $20,000 bid for the 'O Sole Mio package which included a week-long vacation at a private villa for eight on Italy's gorgeous Amalfi Coast and sold two times. The winner of the Golden Paddle raffle, which invited guests to purchase $200 tickets for a chance to win a $10,000 live auction credit, bid on the Costa Rican Getaway package featuring a seven-day vacation for ten at a luxurious villa near Playa Hermosa that sold for $17,000.  

​Gala Co-Chairs for the event were Thomas Harmening and Jennifer Vachon. Lead sponsors were Exelon, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, KPMG LLP, and PNC Bank.