A Starry Night for the Ravinia Gala






What a difference a year makes! Last summer’s Ravinia Women’s Board Gala and musical experience had an air of the unexpected and thunderous excitement due to a torrential rainstorm. This year the stars shone brightly for the 700 guests celebrating cocktails on the lawn of the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States.


Marilyn Vender, Jennifer Steans, and Gloria Resner.

Welcoming guests were Women’s Board chair, Judy Castellini, and co-chairs, Marilyn Vender and Gloria Reisner, who celebrated the $1 million grossed that evening for Ravinia and its REACH*TEACH*PLAY* education programs that reach 85,000 people each year. These programs include starting and maintaining elementary school orchestras in budget-strapped Chicago Public Schools and Lake County schools, with Ravinia supplying teachers, instruments, and all other needs.


Violinist Itzhak Perlman accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro James Conlon.

The evening’s concert in the pavilion, featuring the homecoming of former Ravinia music director James Conlon leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, was performed in memory of Ravinia Life Trustee Howard A. Stotler and also in memory of Keene H. Addington II. BMO Harris Bank sponsored the cocktail reception and Allstate Insurance Company served as dinner sponsor.

Women’s Board member Lisa Tribbett reports of this illustrious evening under the stars:

Itzhak Perlman created a spirited mood on the violin focusing on movie soundtracks, many of which he created with John Williams. After the performance guests dined under the marquee on Limelight Catering’s delicious tenderloin followed by a cool and summery dessert of lemon sorbet on a lightly crunchy vanilla meringue and fruit. Indeed, we all went home humming, feeling light and airy having experienced a magical summer evening.”


Inside the tent.


Lilly Zabaat, Beth Lambert, Kathy Ingraham, and Alyssa Quinlan.


Drinks are served.


Marta Aznavoorian and Thomas Witt.


Neelam Kelly, Laurie Bauer, and Karen Mason.


Mingling on the lawn.


Marie Roth and Melissa Beringer.


Lights dance across the ceiling during dinner.


Susan and Don Civgin.


Alumni of Ravinia’s Jazz Scholars perform.

Photo Credit: Patrick Gipson / Ravinia