By Jenny Berg Posted September 13, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT
CHICAGO The invitation for the Parkways Foundation's Garden Party luncheon read “Hats If You Please!” And on Thursday, most of the 500 guests complied. The elaborately hatted crowd gathered at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Celebration Garden at 11 a.m., kicking off the festivities with an open-air champagne reception before sitting down to a tented lunch.
“Given that this is an outdoor event, the weather can be a challenge,” said Brenda Palm, the foundation's executive director. The day was mostly amenable to the function, and though “it was a little windy, that was easily overcome by keeping some of the sidewalls on the tent down.”
The function raised funds for the Send a Kid to Camp Fund (which was also a beneficiary of Galapalooza in August.) “This year, instead of a raffle, we had a paddle raise,” asking guests to raise paddles to bid during an appeal, said Palm. “Guests were given the opportunity to donate $500, $250, or $100 to the fund, and more than $21,000 was raised. As people donated, they were recognized and given a flower.”
Well-known local couple Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra served as M.C.s for the paddle raise, and a live feed of the bidding action showed on a projection screen hanging from the ceiling of the tent.