The Morton Arboretum will host its Growing Brilliantly Dinner Party on Saturday, September 29, to raise funds for the institution’s tree-planting mission through scientific work and outreach in the Chicago region and around the world. The Dinner Party, the Arboretum’s annual signature fundraiser, takes its theme from the $63 million Growing Brilliantly campaign to increase the impact of its tree-focused research, outreach, and programs. Emceed by media personalities Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra, this year’s Dinner Party will feature dinner, live music, and an after-party against a backdrop of the Arboretum’s majestic trees.
Trees need advocates as they face ever-growing challenges, including pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. To address this need, Growing Brilliantly campaign projects include a Center for Tree Science, tree conservation programs, new plant development, and a new curatorial and operations center, in addition to enhancements to the Children’s Garden.
The Dinner Party begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails in the setting of the Children’s Garden, followed by a gourmet dinner and live music by the Steve Edwards Orchestra beneath a tent set in the landscape of the Arboretum. During the event, guests can enter to win drawing prizes including diamond earrings courtesy of A. Marek Fine Jewelry of Oak Brook, a catered dinner for 10 courtesy of Food for Thought, and an Arboretum tree designated in tribute to someone of the winner’s choice. Attendees can also bid on a variety of exciting live and silent auction prizes, including a golfing trip to Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin with roundtrip airfare on a private jet, a private party at Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, and an overnight camping experience at the Arboretum in an Airstream classic trailer from Airstream of Chicago, complete with outdoor recreation gear from REI Co-op and catered meal courtesy of Ginkgo Catering.
“Trees provide a range of benefits to people, communities, and the environment,” said Christopher Burke, chairman of The Morton Arboretum Board of Trustees. “The Dinner Party builds support to help further the Arboretum’s efforts to plant and protect trees—work that is increasingly important now and for a better future.”
The 2018 Dinner Party Host Committee is led by Darcy and Mark Adams of Oak Park, Anna Caroline Ball of Glen Ellyn, Sterling and Zech Decker of Chicago, Susan and Christopher Burke of Naperville, Rose and Bob Fealy of Chicago, Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis of Chicago, Amy and Steve Louis of Hinsdale, Liz and Steve Van Arsdell of Naperville, and Oriana and Adam Van Someren of Naperville. Food for Thought is the 2018 caterer and dinnerwine sponsor.
In 2017, more than 400 guests, including civic and community leaders from the Chicago area, attended the Dinner Party, which raised a record of nearly $500,000 in support of the Arboretum.
Tickets are $500, and sponsorships begin at $7,500. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact The Morton Arboretum Development Office at 630-719-7976.