Big Hearts Make Big Wishes Come True 2009: Gala City

Big hearts make Big Wishes come true

The gala — “The City of Big Wishes” — was punctuated with plenty of hometown pride.
Mike Ditka was the honorary chair of the soiree, chatting up guests during the VIP reception and donating his namesake wines for the event. Da Coach also offered up a live auction package to “Relive the ’85 Bears Season,” which went for $6,500. “Chicago provides such an amazing backdrop for our event,” explained Make-a-Wish board chairman Doug Eckrote. “It is a city full of excitement and wonders … a place where dreams can come true.” The foundation, which concentrates on making dreams come true for children with life-altering illness, raised more than $900,000 at the gala. Fund-raising efforts continued with the live auction (top prize: a race package that included the chance to drive a Ferrari 355 racecar on the Autobahn Track in Joliet, went for $12,500) and Adopt-a-Wish, which allowed guests to make cash donations to the charity. Hands flew in the air when longtime supporters the Zeller Family Foundation made the surprise announcement that it would match up to $100,000 of the Adopt-a-Wish donations.
The night ended on a bluesy note as guests took to the dance floor to shimmy to the Bluz Brothers Band and sip martinis.

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