Erikson draws influential guests, raises $1.1 million at 2008 Prism Ball

Chicago’s First Lady Maggie Daley Accepts Award for After School Matters

Chicago’s First Lady Maggie Daley accepted the Spirit of Erikson Institute Award presented to After School Matters at Erikson Institute’s annual Prism Ball on Saturday, April 12.

The black-tie event, held at the Field Museum, drew a crowd of nearly 400 Chicago notables in the fields of education, finance, philanthropy and real estate. The gala evening, which featured a cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres, an elegant dinner, dancing and a silent auction, raised more than $1.1 million for Erikson’s academic and research programs.

M. Daley with the Pritzkers
Maggie Daley enjoys a moment with J.B. and M.K. Pritzker


“The enthusiastic participation of so many influential Chicagoans at this year’s Prism Ball reflected this city’s deep commitment to educating and enriching the lives of today’s youth,” said Erikson president Samuel J. Meisels. “After School Matters is a great example of what Chicago does to provide important resources to our children.”

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Spirit of Erikson Institute Award by the 2007 recipient, Chicago philanthropist and businessman J.B. Pritzker. Daley, who cofounded After School Matters to expand out-of-school cultural experiences for teens, accepted the award on behalf of the program. She was accompanied by four teens from the program who spoke about the benefits of their apprenticeships in dance, opera, photography and theater.

“This program is not about us. It’s about our teens,” Daley said. “After School Matters allows them to envision a different future. All of us here in the room are proud of Erikson Institute and proud of our teens. We are all deeply grateful to receive this award.”

Barbara Bowman with campaign chair and alumna Virginia Bobins and Bowman’s daughter, Valerie Jarrett, CEO of Habitat Co and adviser to the Obama campaign.

The Spirit of Erikson Institute Award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the education and healthy development of children.

In addition to After School Matters and J.B. Pritzker, recipients of the prestigious award include Irving B. Harris; Marjorie Craig Benton; Gery J. Chico; Martin J. Koldyke; John W. Rogers, Jr.; Sandra P. Guthman; Barbara T. Bowman; Michael J. and Shirley R. Madigan; Michael P. Krasny and CDW; Harrison I. Steans; James C. Tyree; and John W. Rowe.

Presiding over the black-tie affair were Prism Ball cochairs Cari and Michael Sacks. She is an Erikson trustee and 1991 graduate; he is chief executive officer of Grosvenor Capital Management. Other notable gala guests included Mayor Daley and daughter Nora Daley Conroy; Chicago philanthropist Jim Crown; Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Habitat Co. and adviser to Sen. Barrack Obama; and WLS-Channel 7 anchor and Erikson trustee Kathy Brock, who was master of ceremonies for the event.