The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Annual Gala

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law celebrated their annual gala on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Over 700 guests showed their support and gathered to celebrate the power of resistance. VIP guests enjoyed a private cocktail reception before heading into the main ballroom. As guests arrived and networked with friends and colleagues, they were able to enjoy delicious passed appetizers including mushroom caps with herbed boursin cheese, peking duck pancakes with hoison dipping sauce and chipotle shrimp in a cucumber cup while listening to live music.

Once inside the ballroom, the event kicked off with a welcome from the host of the evening, Mark Rivera, followed by acknowledgements from the gala committee co-chairs, William Burns and Leslie Ramyk. Debbie Chizewer then introduced the Corporate Award Winner; Sidley Austin. Special greetings from Shriver President John Bouman came next who had the honor of introducing the 2018 State Champion Award Winner; Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie. Next came dinner which featured an organic greens salad with butternut squash, edamame, carrots, sundried cranberries with a white balsamic dressing. The evening’s main entrée featured a duo of filet of beef with truffle demi glaze paired with grilled salmon atop lemon champagne beurre blanc with potato leek tart, green and white asparagus and heirloom carrots and baby peppers.

The event continued with remarks from Lisa Marsh Ryerson and John Bouman who introduced the video presentation showcasing The Shriver Center and what they stand for. This led into powerful words from the Vice President of Development, Keenya Lambert before Keith Jones led the live auction and paddle raise where they once again hit their goal of raising over $100,000. Jamie Price then spoke about Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II who was the 2018 Sargent Shriver Equal Justice Award recipient.

The high-energy continued after a thrilling paddle raise and moving words from all the speakers and award recipients. The host, Mark Rivera, came back on stage and had the pleasure of introducing the speaker of the night, White House Correspondent, April Ryan. April Ryan moved the crowd with her speech that touched home on what the Shriver Center works so hard for every day, to ensure justice, everyday, for everyone. After April Ryan concluded the live program, she signed copies of her book, April Ryan’s Under Fire: Reporting from The Front Lines of The Trump White House, for guests in the lobby.

The night concluded with a delicious dessert reception outside the main ballroom and guests leaving with the many silent auction packages they won including a Jeff Tweedy Exclusive Private Studio Tour and Mini Concert, Ultimate Soul Package with tickets to the Soul Train Awards, Las Vegas Package and much more! Overall, the Gala was very successful and helped raise over $820,000 to support the Shriver Center’s ongoing work on the frontlines in the fight against poverty.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law brings together lawyers, community leaders and allies from across the country as the nation’s leading advocate for people living in poverty. Our goal is to make justice, equality and opportunity work for everyone.

To learn more on the Shriver Center, please visit

Photography by Brissa Del Mar

Posted on November 20, 2018 in Client Events, Event Planning

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