A special evening filled with Amazing Items up for bid
The 22nd Annual Marklund Top Hat Ball featured an exciting live auction, silent auction and drawings with unique and popular prizes. Proceeds from these auctions go to support the care of children and adults with profound developmental disabilities.
Some of the items up for bid included:
Lot 101: Seabourn Caribbean Cruise
Seabourn’s intimate ships will carry two of you to the unspoiled, uncommon Caribbean for a seven-day cruise in a Verandah Suite. Hidden gems await you among the islands of the Caribbean Sea, where you will always find an easy-going greeting and a warm welcome. These precious remnants of a world we call the Uncommon Caribbean are off the beaten track, but Seabourn’s intimate ships can take you there.
Spend a day with their chefs in local markets or take the crew’s advice on which beach has the most vibrant underwater life, and which bar blends the most tantalizing daiquiri. Their captains know the best places to anchor and deploy the marina, treating you to an unforgettable afternoon of watersports or a beach barbecue with lobsters on the grill and caviar served in the waist-deep surf. Come along and let Seabourn share their favorite Caribbean secrets with you.
Lot 102: Romance, Wine & Dine
Your March 3 & 4 weekend of romance begins with your two-night stay here at the brand-new Marriott Marquis Chicago where you will get VIP treatment and enjoy exclusive club lounge access with breakfast, snacks, late-night eats and bar service throughout your stay. She will then “don” her gorgeous new diamond necklace for your night on the town on Sunday where the two of you will experience dining at its ultimate finest. A limo will whisk the two of you to Grant Achatz’s Next Restaurant in downtown Chicago for their French Cuisine Classique dinner experience. Voted World’s 50 Best, “Next” constantly explores the world of cuisine, changing their prix fixe menus and dining experience every four months. Founded by chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas and under the direction of Executive Chef Jenner Tomaska, Next has received an unprecedented twelve 4-star reviews from the Chicago Tribune and won a James Beard Award as Best New Restaurant in America.
Your menu will focus on the evolution of French cuisine and technique. Drawing inspiration from the myriad local traditions and preparations, the menu will highlight classical dishes with hearty ingredients and presentations. Perfect comfort food for the cold Chicago winter, it will form the historical basis of the evening’s French study.
Your dinner experience includes Next’s Ultra Reserve Wine Pairing, plus Executive Chef Jenner Tomaska himself will give you a private tour of the kitchen to see the “Wow” that makes Next Restaurant THE Chicago dining experience. And that’s not all—you will have reservations waiting for you at Aviary after dinner, the adjacent hot-spot, where cocktails are on us the rest of the night. You’ll enjoy a NO CHECK DROP at both restaurants, which means you’ll never see a check and can wine and dine to your heart’s content. Your private limo will take you safely back to Marriott Marquis. Romance, food and wine at its very best!
Lot 103: Disney VIP Vacation for SIX
Your family of six will fly round-trip on United Airlines to Orlando, Florida where you’ll enjoy seven nights and eight days in a two-bedroom deluxe villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge with Savannah View. Considered one of the most exclusive places to stay in all of Disney, the accommodations are just the beginning of your magical stay. The best part is that we made arrangements for all six of you to be true VIPs FOR THE DAY for some of Disney and Universal’s best once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Incredibly, Marklund has made very special arrangements for you to have a day at the park of your choice with an exclusive Disney-arranged VIP Tour Guide for your Disney vacation of a lifetime. It starts with you meeting your private, VIP Tour Guide, who will first help you plan the most efficient, enjoyable way for your group of eight to maximize the day and see and do all that’s on your list. Just tell your Tour Guide what you’d like to see and you’ll get a day customized to your desire! Then, you’ll get a private escort to join you every step of the way during your personally planned adventure.
That’s right, you’ll experience park attractions with front of the line access, premier seating for a Character lunch or special seating for the ultimate Disney shows of your choice. The older kids will ride aboard the fastest attractions and experience exhilarating moment after moment, across multiple parks. They’ll feel like rock stars jumping to the front of the lines and getting exclusive access with their own personal Disney escort—this is the stuff that only a Disney insider can provide!
Next, you’ll spend a day as VIPs at Universal Studios where you’ll get front-of-the-line Express Pass access so you can skip the long lines at most of your favorite rides and attractions. And to end the perfect day with the perfect evening, we’ve made special arrangements for you all to see the Blue Man Group.
Your package includes six (6) One-Day Park Hopper passes to provide admission at the Disney theme parks of your choice: the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney's Hollywood Studios®, or Disney's Animal Kingdom® for your dream VIP day experience. Plus, six (6) Universal 1-park, 1-day passes with Express pass add-ons, six (6) Blue Man Group tickets and six (6) round-trip airline tickets on United Airlines.
Lot 104: Secrets Cap Cana Resort
Two of you will fly United Airlines to the Dominican Republic where you will enjoy seven nights at the all-inclusive Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa. A never-ending array of cuisine, snacks, top-shelf beverages, fine wines and premium beers will be yours without reservations or gratuities, and will always be on us! Your days will include beach, pool and spa while evenings will dazzle with dance parties, shows and big screen movies under the stars. This all-inclusive vacation for two will make every moment a memory.
Lot 105: Uniworld European Boutique Cruise
This journey of a lifetime starts when two of you fly like A-List celebrities with round-trip BUSINESS FIRST service tickets on United Airlines from the US to one of United Airlines’ European destinations. You’ll be transferred to one of Uniworld’s most intimate and gorgeous riverboats with only 130 other guests joining you. This all-inclusive seven-night, eight-day Boutique River Cruise will take you to one of Uniworld’s European destinations of your choice.
Choose the Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux experience where you’ll discover the unparalleled riches of Aquitaine and its charming capital city, Bordeaux and sail three stunning rivers—the Garonne, the Dordogne, and the Gironde—on one amazing journey, all aboard your elegant floating hotel.
Or perhaps Burgundy & Provence is your choice, from Côtes du Rhône to crêpes Suzette and sun-glazed fields to Van Gogh’s Arles—this is a journey of exquisite pleasure for all your senses.
Castles along the Rhine is another choice, where you’ll be inspired by the fairytale beauty and romantic spirit of the castle-laden, vineyard-rich Rhine.
The Enchanting Danube is always a favorite on Uniworld, where you’ll pay tribute to the “queen” of Europe’s great rivers, the enchanting Danube.
Discover the stunning beauty of Belgium and Holland in the springtime, when the fairytale countryside blooms with vibrant new life.
A Paris & Normandy cruise combines a passion for the good life with art, culture, and brilliant landscapes. Is there a more romantic city in the world than Paris? Stroll along the Seine as evening falls and the lights begin to glimmer on the water.
Choosing your destination will be the hardest part of this trip when you have “Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy” as another destination to choose from, where you’ll celebrate the “Queen of the Adriatic” and uncover the hidden treasures of Northern Italy. Renaissance palazzi float mirage-like above the lagoon as singing gondoliers pole past. Such sights and sounds could occur in only one place in the world: Venice. This odyssey of Northern Italy’s best begins and ends in this iconic city. But Venice is not the only storied city in Northern Italy; Padua, Bologna, Ferrara, Verona, and Ravenna may lie slightly off the beaten path, but they offer stunning sights and amazing experiences as reward to the curious traveler.
Your lavishly appointed, finest river view stateroom will be your home away from home for the week where you’ll enjoy deluxe signature touches like your handcrafted bed with an array of pillow options, to on board culinary experiences, as well as spa and boutiques experiences throughout your stay. This trip includes unlimited GOURMET, chef-inspired meals, beverages, wine, beer, spirits, coffees, shore excursions as well as all onboard and onshore gratuities.
Lot 106: Wine Lover’s Perfect Gift
The perfect gift is equal parts thoughtful, unique and desirable—custom wine is all three. The highest bidder at each table will receive one case of the finest wine of your choice from Marklund wine partner Aspen Lane Wine Company. Bottled by one of the leading providers of high-end wine, your 12 bottles will be private labeled and customized just for you.
Lot 107: Bali Villa Experience for 12
Twelve of you will immerse yourselves for a whole week in an island escape in Bali where you are cocooned in peace, tranquility, local style and luxurious contemporary sophistication. From its immaculate, elegant interiors to the extraordinary service, this award winning boutique villa is the last word in spoiling and relaxation, taking the 5-star hotel experience to the next level.
The villa offers everything you expect from the world’s finest hotels, with the added bonus of privacy and exclusivity—perfect for families or friends holidaying together. Ten guests are accommodated in FIVE king pool-side suites, with the option of an outdoor leisure pavilion converted into a 6th king bedroom for two more guests. There are SEVEN en-suite bathrooms, complete with tropical open-air showers. The staff to guest ratio is amazing and the customer service philosophy is benchmarked against the most exclusive boutique chain in the world. The accommodation is lavish, the cuisine is decadent, and the service is exceptional. This is truly an escape of distinction—exclusive, sophisticated, and nothing short of magical.
Your trip includes: Pre-arrival guest preference and booking/planning service, airport transfers in chauffeured vehicles, concierge service during stay to arrange all bookings, tours, cruises, comprehensive villa staff, including chefs, welcome signature cocktails & non-alcoholic options, evening canapés on your first night, daily full breakfasts, other meals charged at cost of ingredients only, unlimited bottled water in bedrooms and all dining areas, all-day imported teas, Nespresso and Bali’s famous local coffee, Chopard natural bathroom products, rooms serviced twice daily, including turn down during dinner, laundry and pressing service, 24 hour Butler Service and driver/tour guide for up to eight hours per day.
Lot 108: Heads or Tails Raffle
Purchase a $50 United Airlines blinky light as your “ticket” to enter this interactive raffle. The last guest standing during this live “flip-of-the-coin” experience at the auction will receive two round-trip airline tickets on United Airlines to Orlando for an all-inclusive cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun to visit Havana, Cuba! Two of you will cruise into Havana Harbor on board Norwegian Sun and discover larger-than-life culture, sultry rhythms and weathered beauty. Stroll the Malecón and get lost among Baroque facades and colonial cobblestone streets of Old Havana. Or enjoy a friendly game of dominoes with the locals and live jazz music. Kick back in colorful Key West and tour the home of the famed author Ernest Hemingway. From the legendary nightlife of Havana to vibrant Key West, get ready for a vacation of historic proportions on Norwegian Sun.
Lot 109: Freddy Jones Band Private Concert
You’ll be IN A DAYDREAM when The Freddy Jones Band comes to your house for a private concert just for you and your friends! Choose your own backyard or this state-of-the-art venue we’ve reserved for you for this once-in-a-lifetime party. One of America’s premiere roots rock acts, Freddy Jones Band (and no, none of the members are actually named Freddy Jones) was founded by guitarists and singer/songwriters Marty Lloyd and Wayne Healy. The band is best known for its number-one hits "In A Daydream" and "Take The Time." Now, this long-running act is back with their new release, Never Change, helmed by Producers Justin Niebank (Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock) and label partner and Marklund-friend Timm Martin of Dustimmoff Music.
Lot 110: Breathtaking Italy for Six
Your lucky group of six, that’s three couples, will experience Italian life with locals in authentic environments for seven days, and yet you’ll feel like royalty as your private driver is at your beck-and-call throughout the journey. You’ll see Italy in the most incredible way and live “la dolce vita” while driving Ferraris too!
Days 1-2 in Rome. Days 3-5 in Tuscany. Day 6 in Maranello. Days 7-8 in Venice. Now that’s amore!
Item 201: Celebrity Cruise for Two
Item 202: Iceland Vacation for Four
Item 203: Thanksgiving in Riviera Maya
Item 204: Herrington Inn Overnight Golf & Spa for Eight
Item 205: Ultra Premium Bar & Gibsons
Item 206: Blackhawks Suite for 12
Item 207: Bulls Seats Behind the Bench!
Item 210: BUY IT NOW Custom Art – Only 100 Available
Marklund commissioned the world-famous Elliott From of Artbeat Live to create this masterpiece just for Marklund friends and family. Our “Angel Overlooking the City” is available to the first 100 donors at the “Buy-it-Now” price of $375.