Jeff & Helice Bernstein
Guests enjoyed the Forever Yogurt bar as a late-night snack.
Kevin Bell with Kimbra & Mark Walter
Lincoln Park Zoo’s lion
Julie & Scott Thole
Melissa & Adam Filkin
Melissa & Adam Filkin
One of the many tabletop designs
The silent auction
A passed hor d’oeuvre of Mediterranean salad on cucumber rounds with crispy lavosh
Chilled white wine greeted guests.
Dining tent and dance floor
Dancers for KC and the Sunshine Band
Blueberry and custard tart dessert
THE PARTY More than 900 guests donned their best black-tie attire for one of summer’s most anticipated events, which raised more than $1 million. THE SCENE With Chandon sparkling wine in hand, the crowd toured zoo grounds, where animals like the Amur leopard and Eurasian lynx were keeping watch. African lions roamed next to a tented canopy of luxe silent auction items, including a signed Patrick Kane Blackhawks jersey and bright teal Vespa. Calihan Catering’s seated, three-course dinner was served underneath HMR Designs’ tented pavilion, which was speckled in purple- and blue-tinted lights, with lanterns and huge chandeliers hanging over the dance floor and peacock-feather-printed lampshades as part of the tablescapes. “This event has the reputation of the party of the summer, and tonight will surely be a repeat performance,” said Peggy White as she introduced co-chairs Jennifer Caruso, Charlotte Monhart and Vasiliki Weiden. THE HIGHLIGHTS Following last year’s surprise performance by the Village People, this year’s mystery guest KC and the Sunshine Band took the stage during dinner and had guests flooding the dance floor to hits like “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way (I Like It).” And frontman Harry Wayne Casey gave just as much of a stand-up performance as a musical one. “Get a good look at me,” said the 62-year-old, “because this is what Justin Timberlake is going to look like in 30 years. And Justin Bieber in 100!” To cap off the night, we stopped by the Forever Yogurt cart for some peanut butter soft serve and snagged a to-go bag of Garrett Popcorn’s caramel crisp and cheese corn Chicago Mix. Meaning, of course, that we ended the night with those telling orange fingertips—totally worth it. Photography by Robert Carl, AJ Kane, Aanna Stadem and Violet Dominek