Kicking off NeoCon, this year's Imagine Ball at the Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom invited guests—who numbered more than 600 and included industry leaders, designers and enthusiasts from around the world—to imagine a world without AIDS. Hosted by the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS Chicago, the black-tie event raised nearly a half-million dollars to fund area agencies dedicated to serving those with HIV/AIDS. DIFFA-Chicago, which was established by volunteers from the interior design, furnishings, architecture and fashion industries, also met a significant fund-raising goal, raising $1 million for its endowment. The evening also celebrated select "Unsung Heroes": Ron Leiserowitz, one of this year’s event co-chairs, and Todd Baisch of Gensler, who were recognized for their dedication to the organization.
Val Warner of ABC 7 served as the gala emcee.
The Board of Directors, DIFFA/Chicago
Mitchell Cohen, Diane Schroeder, Nila Leiserowitz
As the fifth in a six-gala series, the event featured live entertainment courtesy of the Boogie Wonder Band, plus an informative presentation by John Flaherty, M.D., HIV specialist and director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. DIFFA has distributed more than $40 million to hundreds of community-based organizations throughout the country since its founding in 1984. Learn more about DIFFA.