American Idol contestant Grace Kinstler sang to kick off the party, followed by video segments projected on large screens that left many attendees emotional after hearing stories of bullying and the struggles of people affected by Down Syndrome. There was plenty of good news to be shared also. The life expectancy has grown for people with this extra chromosome.
Wearing her princess tiara to the ball GiGi Gianni arrived on the stage dancing onstage to Lizzo's “About Damn Time” to speak about her journey as a spokesperson for the organization.
Her mother Nancy Gianni gave a passionate speech about the operation's growth since originally founding GiGi's Playhouse. She also mentioned the quest to find a major partner to collaborate with to push awareness and activities into the future.
Following the meal, a live auction commenced with pairings and packages to encourage bidders to donate while taking home a prize at the same time. Some items that auctioneer Shane McCarrell presented were suite passes to a White Sox or a Cubs game and a trip to Maui for seven nights. Bruce Springsteen's sold-out concert was a hit with the crowd until Taylor Swift's six-floor seats shook off the competition to the tune of $40,000!
More money was raised after that from donors with deep pockets waving their bid numbers in the air then the silent auction closed at 10:30 p.m.