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Event Spotlight: Ian Somerhalder Foundation Fundraiser

When it comes to hosting high-end events in Chicago, the event spaces at Galleria Marchetti are unmatched in their versatility. They have hosted stylishly elegant weddings, astonishing corporate gatherings, high-profile birthdays, phenomenal fundraisers, festive anniversaries and many more.

On December 3, 2016, Galleria Marchetti’s event production team welcomed a star-studded crowd for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) fundraiser. The event was hosted by actor Ian Somerhalder (Lost, The Vampire Diaries) and his wife, actress Nikki Reed (The Twilight Saga). The Ian Somerhalder Foundation works to empower, educate and collaborate with people to positively impact the planet. The ISF delivers unique programs and services, providing public outreach, education and grants in support of animals, the environment, and youth, as well as grassroots initiatives. Among those in attendance for the fundraiser were supermodel Karolina Kurkova and jewelry designer Graziela Kaufman (founder of Graziela Gems). These stars were joined by over 250 guests, and everyone got the opportunity to take in the amazing Galleria Marchetti atmosphere while advocating for a great cause.

Here is a look at some of the highlights from a thoughtful and glamorous evening.

A custom menu fit for the stars

The skilled planners at Galleria Marchetti customized a delicious menu of items that spoke to both the cause (green, healthy, and environmentally friendly) and the refined palates of their guests. The cocktail hour kicked off with rich and verdant passed hors d’oeuvres like zucchini pinwheels, baked mushroom caps and slow-roasted tomato galettes. Guests were also delighted by the addition of our delicious parmesan crusted meatballs with pipettes of tangy marinara sauce.

Baked Mushroom Caps Passed Appetizer
Bill Richert Photography

Proceeding to the entrée, Galleria Marchetti’s chefs prepared the most elite of meats: filet mignon. Served in a duet with chicken roulades, the ISF guests were given a real treat. The entrées featured other freshly prepared sides, including roasted red potatoes, grilled asparagus with roasted red pepper toppings, and a handful of wonderful vegan/vegetarian options: portobello on sautéed spinach, grilled vegetables and quinoa.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Galleria Marchetti event without a real Italian twist on dessert. Piccoli dolci (small sweets) of espresso brownies and Florentine cookies were all set out to satisfy each guest’s sweet tooth. A four-hour premium bar with tequila cocktails and a “conservation martini” kept spirits bright and bubbly throughout the evening!

The Galleria Marchetti event spaces go green and go Hollywood

Hosting a large, generous, fashionable and style-conscious crowd like that of the ISF fundraiser required utilizing multiple Galleria Marchetti event spaces and subsequently dressing them to the nines. Each space would need to be outfitted with a raffle area for fundraising and a bar for keeping spirits high. Fortunately, our expert event planners were there to turn The Pavilion, La Pergola and the Montecatini Room into bona fide dreamscapes.

ISF Gala Guests at Galleria Marchetti
Bill Richert Photography

The entire tented Pavilion was given a soft magenta glow and illuminated with candlelight centerpieces and luxurious crystal chandeliers. Our planners also featured beautiful green shrubs to enhance the theme of environmental consciousness. It set the scene for some of the evening’s most picturesque moments.

La Pergola Decorated
Bill Richert Photography

La Pergola was turned into a sophisticated lounge area for socializing and raffling off prizes. Cabaret tables with wooden chairs were brought in, along with more elegant shrubbery and modern lounge furniture. The tables were topped with gold candlelight pieces, and the room was given an elevated brightness to make the guests feel truly welcome.

Illuminated by its large orb fixtures, La Sala Montecatinese was dressed in an earthy tone that included more candles and shrubbery. The open floorplan gave guests the opportunity to socialize and strike up some thought-provoking conversations on how to improve our communities and environment.

Galleria Marchetti entertains Hollywood

Even after all these years, the Galleria Marchetti event spaces still find ways to surprise not only our guests, but us too. One example: their amazing acoustics.

Entertaining entertainers is a pressure-packed endeavor, because artistic standards are high. But you know what they say—music is the universal language. In the case of the ISF fundraiser crowd, our event planners had DJs on-site with fantastic sound equipment and tunes for every ear and aesthetic. The music lifted spirits (as it tends to do for crowds of artists and art-conscious individuals) and kept guests engaged with their surroundings.

The ISF fundraiser event was a roaring success for its hosts, the guests and the entire Galleria Marchetti team. Our events team continues to meet new challenges and exceed client expectations in new and creative ways.

Ian Somerhalder Fundraiser in Chicago
Bill Richert Photography

We want to plan your next Chicagoland-area fundraiser!

With decades of experience and an unwavering commitment to superior food and service, your fundraiser event at Galleria Marchetti is sure to be equally exceptional. Contact our expert event planners online or give us a call at (312) 563-0495.

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