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Vanessa Williams Performed at  9th Annual UNICEF Hope Gala in Chicago

Vanessa Williams performs at 9th Annual UNICEF Hope Gala in Chicago

Vanessa Williams performs at 9th Annual UNICEF Hope Gala in Chicago,Tim Hiatt/ Getty Images for U.S. for UNICEF

Edited By Kai EL’ Zabar

On Saturday night, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF hosted the 9th annual UNICEF Hope Gala at The Geraghty in Chicago, Illinois, which raised funds to support UNICEF’s work to put children first. The gala’s “Imagine” theme inspired guests to imagine a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause.  The evening’s main entertainment featured vocalist/actress Vanessa Williams.

Vanessa  addressed the theme at one point, “As a mother of four, children have always been very dear to me, and it’s great to be able to be a world traveller, be in touch with all the kids I’ve come across in my travels. And UNICEF is certainly the organization that addresses all their needs.” – Vanessa Williams

Over the course of the evening, guests enjoyed a performance by Vanessa Williams, a seated dinner and a live auction, led by Vinnie Zaffarano. Almost 600 guests attended the gala and the after party, which was hosted by the UNICEF Next Generation Chicago Steering Committee, and together raised over $960,000, which will support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world. 

Vanessa wore a sexy Pamella Roland, her set list included “Colors of the Wind,” “Love Is,” a Stephen Sondheim mashup and “Save the Best for Last,” and immediately after her performance, partook in a Chicago staple, Giordano’s deep dish pizza, which she had delivered to the venue.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 9: (L-R) 2016 UNICEF's Hope Gala Co-Chair Mark Mitsukawa (Chicago), Vanessa Williams, and 2016 UNICEF's Hope Gala Co-Chair Kim K.W. Rucker (Oak Brook) attend the UNICEF Hope Gala on April 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for UNICEF)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 9: (L-R) 2016 UNICEF’s Hope Gala Co-Chair Mark Mitsukawa (Chicago), Vanessa Williams, and 2016 UNICEF’s Hope Gala Co-Chair Kim K.W. Rucker (Oak Brook) attend the UNICEF Hope Gala on April 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for UNICEF)

 

Notable attendees included Event Chairs Mark Mitsukawa (Barneys New York) and Kim K.W. Rucker (formerly of Kraft), Gala Committee Members: Kapila Anand, Amy Brown, Bill Dietz, Andrea Dollens, Linda Havlin, Mindy Kairey, James W. Kelly, Martha Metz, Ashley Prasad, Joseph N. Silich, Susie Silich, Tina Trott and Kenneth Zaugh, and National and Regional Board Members Rob Brown, Ashish Prasad, Vince Hemmer, Tonise Paul, Hilary Scott and Wendy Serrino.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 9: Hope Gala After Party Co-Chair, UNICEFÕs Next Generation Chicago Steering Committee Iliana Alvarenga (Chicago) and Hope Gala After Party Co-Chair, UNICEFÕs Next Generation Steering Committee Kyle Turner (Chicago) attend the UNICEF Hope Gala After Party on April 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for UNICEF)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 9: Hope Gala After Party Co-Chair, UNICEFÕs Next Generation Chicago Steering Committee Iliana Alvarenga (Chicago) and Hope Gala After Party Co-Chair, UNICEFÕs Next Generation Steering Committee Kyle Turner (Chicago) attend the UNICEF Hope Gala After Party on April 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for UNICEF)

“It is always amazing to have so many dedicated champions for children in one room, celebrating the incredible impact that UNICEF makes around the world – but this year’s Hope Gala and its ‘Imagine’ theme is especially inspiring. UNICEF has been working to put children first for almost 70 years, and highlighting this work in Chicago – along with our passionate co-chairs and event committee – is a moment that we look forward to every year,”  said Casey Marsh, Managing Director, Midwest Region, U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Auction packages featured a Park City Escape to the St. Regis Deer Valley, a luxury a four-night trip for two to March’s Paris Fashion Week, a 7-night yachting holiday for two around the Mediterranean and two badges to attend any two days of the 2017 or 2018 Masters Golf Tournament.

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