The end of 2017 offered two exciting opportunities to support the GI Research Foundation, and donors, families and friends turned out in record numbers to show their commitment to GI research.
On Sunday, September 25th, the second Backyard Donor Appreciation Picnic was held at the Chicago VIP helicopter hangar, located on the southwest side of Chicago.
GI Research Foundation donors, friends, supporters and their families enjoyed a fun-filled welcome to the season, including backyard barbeque-style refreshments, a DJ, balloon animals, and face-painting, which were big hits with children of all ages. With a nod to the oversized venue, attendees played many giant versions of family games: darts, pool, chess, and Jenga. A raffle raised funds for the GI Research Foundation, offering Blackhawks, Bulls, and Sox tickets; a wine tasting; jewelry; artwork; and toys and games for children, including some giant stuffed teddy bears. Particularly sought after were dinners with David T. Rubin, MD, Medical Director, and board member Frank Matagrano, as well as a weekend trip to nearby tourist destination Galena, Illinois.
The venue provided open access to the many helicopters housed in the hangar, and attendees had fun taking photos inside the choppers, as well as watching them take off and land.
Board President Eric Berlin, event chairperson and board member Katie Chudnovsky, and Dr. Rubin offered warm welcomes to the many donors and supporters who continue to support GI research at the University of Chicago Medicine, and offered a glimpse into the work behind new discoveries, treatments, and especially cures for debilitating digestive diseases.
Said Russell Cohen, MD, board member, “It is wonderful to see so many families here today, because truly, we know that digestive diseases affect not just the patient, but the patient’s whole family. We know this, and know just how important the support of a family can be to a patient’s journey to health and healing.”
On Friday, November 3rd, a record 140 revelers raised $29,000 at an occasion with an altogether different vibe, a cocktail party at nearby West Loop loft venue Prairie Productions hosted by the Associates Board. Attendees mingled, bid on silent auction items and contributed to raffles, and sampled appetizers as a DJ played.
Event organizer and Associates Board member Lauren Martin, Associates Board chair Brad Peterson, and Medical Director David T. Rubin, MD spoke, placing special emphasis on their critical mission to support early career investigators in digestive diseases.
Explains Associates Board chair Brad Peterson, “This year’s GIRF cocktail party was the start to the reboot of the Associates Board’s fundraising goals and efforts. This event provided the energy to help propel the Associate Board forward in pushing its fundraising boundaries, and challenging us to keep doing more and more next year, and in the years to come. The purpose of all of this is to help support and provide funds to researchers, scientists and faculty at the University of Chicago in all areas of ground breaking digestive diseases research. With the end goal being to help find cures for these diseases that afflict so many of us on a day to day basis. It was truly inspiring to see all of the support from the attendees at this year’s event!”
Download a copy: GIRF Newsletter Issue 7