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The Ravinia Associates Board, ranked as one of the region’s most influential “junior boards” by Crain’s Chicago Business, held its signature annual fundraising event, Music Matters, on Saturday, May 12, at the Radisson Blu Aqua, featuring dinner, dancing, live music, and a live and silent auction. The evening also featured a tribute in song and film to honorary guest Stanley Freehling, fondly known as “Mr. Ravinia.” Freehling’s ingenuity and compassion have been instrumental to Ravinia’s development and have had a profound impact on the arts in Chicago. The 650 guests in attendance grossed over $600,000 for Ravinia and its Reach*Teach*Play education programs.

“This fundraiser is not only one of the best parties around, but is truly essential in achieving the goal of keeping music education alive for the Chicagoland students who need it most,” said Music Matters co-chair Heidi Bellinger.

​Under the Reach*Teach*Play, Ravinia’s education programs reach 85,000 people throughout the region. The programs include a free family music school in Lawndale; the celebrated Jazz Mentors and Scholars program, which brings together the best high-school jazz players to work with top Chicago pros as an active ensemble; and Sistema Ravinia, which implements El Sistema–based student orchestras in Chicago Public Schools and Waukegan schools.

For more information about the program or the work of the Associates Board, visit Ravinia.org/Associates.aspx. 

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Guests participate in a live auction at the 2018 Ravinia Associates Board Gala at the Radisson Blue Aqua in Downtown Chicago (photo courtesy of Ranivia Festival).

Ravinia Associates Board Gala Raises $600K for Reach*Teach*Play Educational Programming

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