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Gift of Life Gala

Ritz-Carlton Chicago, 160 E Pearson St.
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ritz-Carlton Chicago
160 East Pearson Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60611

6:30pm Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
8:00pm Program, Dinner and Dancing

Reserve your table, register today.

Mark your calendars for this year's Gift of Life Gala: A Legacy of Giving. As one of the largest and most popular fundraising events put on by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, drawing hundreds of Chicago's physicians, surgeons, philanthropists and members of the business community, this is an evening you will not want to miss.

Mike Adamle, sports personality and former American football player, currently of NBC 5 Chicago, will join us once again this year to emcee the evening and introduce our two incredible honorees: Sara Feigenholtz, Illinois State Representative, and Mark L. Schwartz, philanthropist. Music for the evening will be provided by Chicago Catz.

Proceeds raised from the evening will go directly to support the crucial programs and services provided by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois - programs that help people affected by or at-risk for kidney disease throughout Illinois. Your generosity and support of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is what makes these programs possible.

To see photos from last year's event, please visit our Flickr Page.

For more information, please contact Petra Seitz at (312) 321-1500 or

This year’s Gift of Life Gala celebrates the incredible legacies of two individuals. They have devoted their lives to philanthropy, advocacy and raising awareness of kidney disease. In their own ways, they have given the gift of life to people throughout Illinois by helping to prevent kidney disease and educating the public about its risk factors. We hope you will join us in honoring them and their ongoing legacies.

We hope you will join us in honoring these individuals and their important legacies.

29th Annual Gift of Life Award
Sara Feigenholtz, Illinois State Representative

The Gift of Life award honors those who have made a difference in the world of kidney disease prevention, patient education, and transplantation, therefore advancing the success of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. Illinois State Representative Sara Feigenholtz is the incredibly worthy recipient of this year's Gift of Life Award.

Representative Feigenholtz represents Illinois’ 12th District, which includes Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Near North neighborhoods. Her commitment to the residents of her district and sponsorship of groundbreaking legislation has earned her the appointment of Assistant Majority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Representative Feigenholtz leads a multitude of complex legislative and budgetary issues, reinforcing her statewide reputation as an effective legislator and champion of accessible health care and human services.  She has been a champion for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois for many years, but even more so since the KidneyMobile® program, the foundation’s free screening program for kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, lost the majority of its private funding. Since then, she has worked diligently to secure permanent funding for the program, which serves nearly every county in Illinois.  Due in great part to her laudable efforts, the KidneyMobile® program has positively impacted more than 42,000 lives to date and will continue to do so.


Rosann & Richard Noel Award for Philanthropy

Mark L. Schwartz, Philanthropist

The Rosann & Richard Noel Award for Philanthropy was established to recognize those who have made tremendous contributions to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ fundraising efforts as well as embodied the philanthropic spirit by inspiring others to give, much like Rosann and Dick Noel for whom this award is named. Mark Schwartz, immediate past president of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois' Board of Directors, has dedicated his life to fighting kidney disease.

From a young age, Mark began advocating on behalf of kidney patients.  His late uncle, Ronald Schwartz, died of kidney disease at the age of 23, just prior to the availability of dialysis. The experience prompted Mark's passionate commitment to preventing the disease and working to improve the lives of kidney patients throughout the state.  He has spent countless hours informing his peers on the risk factors of kidney disease and dedicated 9 years to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois' Board of Directors.  Mark has been a true friend, inspiring leader and generous benefactor of the foundation.


This year we are excited to announce three outstanding live auction items, to be sold during the evening. Reserve your seat today, as these are items you will not want to miss!


A Trip for Two to Boston, Massachusetts with Tickets to a Red Sox Game of your Choosing

Boston is home to more than just the first successful living kidney transplant. It’s also home to some of the Nation’s oldest history, best restaurants, and the World Famous Boston Red Sox!

This deluxe package for two includes a two-night stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, plus breakfast for two at the hotel’s Bristol Lounge. Enjoy an elegant dinner in the South End at James Beard Award recipient Barbara Lynch’s B&G Oyster. The fun doesn’t stop there! You’ll also enjoy two tickets to a Boston Red Sox game at the one and only Fenway Park! To thank you for your support in the fight against kidney disease, the stadium is also going to put up a custom message of your choosing on the scoreboard!

*Package expires 12/6/15. Any Red Sox game can be booked, subject to availability. Package does not include airfare or any other incidentals.



A Week-Long Getaway to the South of France

Who doesn’t need to get away to the south of France? Spend seven nights in an elegantly furnished one-bedroom condo in Cannes, France - right on the French Riviera! Take your morning coffee on your private balcony overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. You can shop at a local market and cook dinners at home or step out to enjoy local seafood and French delicacies. Spend afternoons relaxing on the world famous beaches, drive to Monaco for dinner, take a boat to Saint-Tropez for the day, tour the Provincial countryside, or enjoy one of the many artistic delights of the area, including the Picasso Museum in nearby Antibes and five other museums in the area.

From megayachts to fine art, seafood dinners to local shopping, every minute will be an exciting escape!

*Stay is available any week between January 1 – March 31, 2015 or September 1 – October 15, 2015. Package expires 10/15/15. Package does not include airfare or any other incidentals.




Dinner and a Sunset Sail on Lake Michigan

Get ready to set sail on a beautiful 54 foot Moody Sailboat, built in Plymouth, England, for an afternoon and evening of fun, food, and sun. Six people can enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before taking a sail on beautiful Lake Michigan. “Princess M” has all the luxuries of home... two master suites and a third bedroom; two full washrooms; a beautiful salon next to the fully equipped galley where you can relax and dine... and most importantly... a fully stocked bar!

After you have enjoyed being pampered and waited on during our time on the water, you will all be treated to dinner at the Chicago Yacht Club.  We will then head back to our slip at Du Sable Harbor for that last after dinner cognac before you return to the “real” world.

*Package valid for the 2015 Chicago boating season. Date must be mutually agreed upon.


Why does the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois matter to you?

Do you have kidney disease? Have you donated or received a kidney? Do you work in the field of nephrology? Does a loved one battle kidney disease? Does your employer help those with kidney disease?

We invite you to honor or memorialize a loved one, physician, company or co-worker by purchasing an ad in this year’s Gift of Life Gala: A Legacy of Giving Tribute Book. Either send us an ad or we will work with you to create one. Your ad will then be included in the Tribute Book, which is distributed at the gala on Saturday, December 6, 2014.

To purchase an ad, click here or call (312) 321-1500. Once payment has been made online or over the phone, please submit your ad per the below specifications by email to Lena Clement at Please note that all ad submissions must be received by Wednesday, November 19, 2014.

Full Page

  • One full page, black and white ad in the Tribute Book, distributed to guests at the gala
  • Please provide a 5.25” (width) x 8.25” (height) high resolution ad in JPEG or PNG format by 11/19/2014

Half Page

  • One half page, black and white ad in the Tribute Book, distributed to guests at the gala
  • Please provide a 5.25” (width) x 4” (height) high resolution ad in JPEG or PNG format by 11/19/2014

One Line

  • One line of text in the Tribute Book, distributed to guests at the gala
  • Please provide one line of text by 11/19/2014

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Young Professionals are a dynamic group of men and women committed to financially supporting the mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. In addition to fundraising, they act as ambassadors for the foundation, advocating on behalf of our mission to help those at risk for and affected by kidney disease in Illinois.

The Young Professionals contribute to the Gift of Life Gala through a wine pull at the event. Guests buy wine pull tickets to win a bottle from a variety of wines. Proceeds go towards the mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.

You can support the next generation of National Kidney Foundation of Illinois leaders through the Young Professionals Wine Pull. Sponsorship opportunities and benefits are below. Click here to secure your sponsorship or make a donation online. If you are interested in donating wine, please contact Amber Sanders at, Young Professionals Wine Pull Chair.

Reserve Level Wine Pull Sponsor

  • Prominent placement of company name on Wine Pull sign and in event tribute book

Vintage Level Wine Pull Sponsor

  • Company name on Wine Pull sign and in event tribute book

Wine Pull Sponsor

  • Company name in event tribute book

Thank you to our 2014 Gala Committee Members

Ingrid Deroubaix, Fifth Third Bank, Co-Chair
Leilanii Mesa Ellis, William Blair & Company, Co-Chair

Darlene Chaleff
Natalie Corpuz, Laurus Strategies
Genie Dubuk
Lorenzo Gallon, MD, Northwestern Medical Group
Meg Gilbert
Tara Goff Kamradt, McDonald Hopkins LLC
Meredith & Eric Kirshenbaum, MD
Elisabeth Ritz, Ritz Communications
Emily & Matt Schwartz, Slalom Consulting & UBS Wealth Management
Judy Schwartz

Honorary Committee Members

Cathy & Edward Atkins, MD
Laurie & Grant Bagan
Susan & Ira Berk
Lynn & Richard Cohen, Keller Williams Realty
Donna & Dennis Drescher, UBS
Joanne & Gary Kirshenbaum, MD
Sallye & David Mason
Jill & Donald Resnick, Jenner & Block LLP
Lois & Jerry Rosenau
Jan & Steve Sider
Judy & Jerold Sider

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsors


Joan & Paul Rubschlager


Annual Partners

Fresenius Medical CareGift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network

Table Sponsors

Advocate Christ Medical Center • Baxter International Inc. • Darlene & Carl Chaleff • Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, NorthShore University HealthSystem • Jack Fassnacht, Esq. • FGMK, LLC • Goldberg Kohn Ltd./David Mason • Keeley Family Foundation • Loyola University Medical Center • McDonald Hopkins LLC/Tara Goff Kamradt • Northwestern Comprehensive Transplant Center • NxStage Kidney Care • Rush University Medical Center • Satellite Healthcare/WellBound • Judy & Mark Schwartz • Judy & Jerold Sider & Family • Southwest Nephrology Associates, S.C. • Tamara & David Stein • Drs. Lynne Tylke & Craig Langman • University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Department of Surgery • University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Division of Transplantation • William Blair & Company

For details on sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please contact Lena Clement at (312) 321-1500 or

What inspires you? The 2013 Gift of Life Gala, co-chaired by Tara Goff Kamradt and David Spieske, celebrated the journeys of two extraordinary individuals, each inspirational in his own way. One, a 31 year dialysis patient who has beaten the odds. The other, a renowned transplant surgeon and patient advocate who has saved thousands of lives. On Saturday, November 16, 2013, more than 425 guests celebrated these individuals and supported the work of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.

28th Annual Gift of Life Award
Shad Ireland

Diagnosed with kidney disease at just 11 years old, Shad Ireland has confronted many obstacles on the road to good health. He has gone from weighing 75 pounds after a failed transplant to being the first and only dialysis patient to ever complete an Ironman Triathlon. For his decades of inspiration and for promoting good health and kidney awareness, the NKFI is proud to honor Shad with the Gift of Life Award.


Harold & Molly Schwartz Founder’s Award
Stephen C. Jensik, MD, PhD

The Harold & Molly Schwartz Founder’s Award was established by the Schwartz family in memory of their parents who were involved with the NKFI for much of their adult life. This award pays tribute to a board member or volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and achievement on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. As a prominent transplant surgeon, Dr. Jensik has served on the NKFI Board of Directors and the NKFI Scientific Advisory Board, regularly donates his time as a speaker at patient education programs, and has aided thousands of patients on their journey to good health through transplantation.










To see more photos from the 2013 Gift of Life Gala, click here

Press Release: Twenty-Ninth Annual Gala to Honor Legacies of Individuals Fighting to End Kidney Disease

Photos from the 2013 Gift of Life Gala:

For media and interview requests, story inquiries, more information on the Gift of Life Gala or kidney disease in Illinois, please contact Jennifer Chaput, Communications Manager, at or (312) 321-1500. For event-day media requests, please call (312) 305-0334.

Tags: special event, professional