SAVE THE DATE  Saturday, February 2, 2019

Marriott Magnificent Mile

2019/02/02 09:00:00


Contact Jeannine Zupo at or call (630) 593-5445.

Hotel Information

540 North Michigan Avenue,
Chicago, Illinois 60611 USA

Sleek comfort awaits at
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile,
a trendy destination on
Michigan Avenue.



Congratulations to our Luxury Suite Raffle WINNERS,
Jason and Melissa Lloyd!

They will stay the night of Top Hat Ball (Sat, 2.2.19)
in a newly renovated LUXURY SUITE at the Chicago Marriott Downtown
PLUS breakfast buffet for EIGHT Sunday morning with mimosas!

Guide to Evening


Top Hat Ball Committee 2019

We are thrilled to welcome our good friends, Catie and Max Schmidt, as Event Chairs of this year’s gala. We are so confident that they will bring so much to this event through their generous circle of influence and through Catie’s great eye for decoration and style. The next three years are sure to bring on some amazing themes, and we are excited to see it all happen.


Greg Aagaard
Rae Ali
Jim Armbruster
Maria Dombrowski
Carol Donahue
Mike Donahue
Karen J. Golden
Sandy Herlihy
Ed Izzi
Binna Porter
Bud Porter
Natalie Saltigerald
Jill Schluntz
Cheryl Simoncelli

Auction Procurement Committee

John Kessler
Becky Stewart
Sue Wick

22nd Friend of the Year Award 2018

Jeanne & George Webster – 2018 “Friends of the Year”

Dating back to 1979, Marklund has honored a “Friend of the Year” at an annual Recognition/Friend’s Night event, along with the recipients of other Marklund awards.

Since1998, the selection and award process has been modified. There may be more than one “Friend of the Year” named annually, and the recipient(s) will be honored at The Top Hat Ball. The final decisions rest with the Marklund Board of Directors.

The selection criterion remains essentially the same. Each Friend has demonstrated in his/her own way, publicly or privately, a heart of gold and the willingness to serve Marklund’s infants, children and adults in ways that will affect their lives significantly, now and in the future.

Who will be Marklund’s ” Friend of the Year” for 2019?
FOY Websters

Jeanne and George Webster with Marklund client Mike B.
(Photography by Chris Guillen)

2018 — Jeanne and George Webster
2017 — Aon
2016 — Karen J. Golden
2015 — The Foglia Family Foundation
2014 — Bud and Jim Porter
2013 — Carol and Mike Donahue
2012 — Andrea Billhardt
2011 — Gary, Jean & Beth Lederer
2010 — George and Pam Rion
2009 — Greg Osko
2008 — Jim and Lynn Armbruster
2007 — Joel Thompson
2006 — Robert Paddock/Paddock Publications
2005 — Bruce Jensen and Gail Ludewig/Total Works
2004 — Kevin Acker/West Suburban Bank
2003 — Senator James “Pate” Philip
2002 — Everett Van Der Molen
2001 — Congressman Henry Hyde
2000 — Robert Bernard
1999 — Dennis Langley and Peter Cyrus
1999 — Senator Steven J. Rauschenberger
1998 — Robert Smetana
1998 — Gwendolyn S. Henry
1997 — Father John Guiney
1996 — James D. Anderson
1995 — Jean Jordan
1994 — Jim Ford
1993 — Dennis Zimmerman
1992 — Michael Brenan
1991 — Richard Theriault
1990 — Gale Sayers
1989 — John P. Frazee
1988 — Birger Nyborg
1987 — Paul Greening
1986 — Thomas O. Myers, Jr.
1985 — Doris Whitney
1984 — Erhardt Weidmann
1983 — Richard Rathman
1982 — Edwin Deicke
1981 — Hiriam Sibley

Top Hat History

The ball was established in 1997 when donors Jim Ford and Len Patyka chaired Marklund’s first-ever black tie gala. The event was held at the Shedd Aquarium and net $50,000, a great accomplishment for a first-year event! The ball immediately outgrew the Shedd space the following year and has moved to many venues since then, including the Field Museum, Union Station, Navy Pier, and Marriott hotels.

Since its inception, the ball has raised more than $6,808,261 in net proceeds, which has supported Marklund’s general operating and endowment funds.

Looking Back at the Top Hat Ball…
Top Hat Ball 2016
Top Hat Ball 2017
Top Hat Ball 2018