Downers Grove-area business owners and community members will break out their finest blue jeans next week for the Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry's first "Diamonds and Denim Gala."
On Friday, Sept. 28, chamber members will gather at the DoubleTree Guest Suites by Hilton Downers Grove-Chicago for a night of cocktails, dinner and dancing—all to celebrate the successes of the past year.
The annual gala has become one of the chamber's hallmark events, but this year organizers decided to try something new. Instead of hosting a standard black tie affair, the organization wants guests to be decked out in blue.
"We've done the black and white thing in years past, so this year we came up with 'Diamonds and Denim,'" said Beth Peterson, manager of marketing and programs for the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce. "The idea is for guests to wear dressier jeans with nice tops or fancy jewelry, for women, and sport coats for men. With the 'diamond' aspect, people can still come in dresses or suits if they want—anything goes."
The gala is presented by the Advocate Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, and will feature a silent auction and raffles throughout the evening.
Guests who purchase tickets for the event's signature cocktail, the "Blue Ice," will automatically be entered in a raffle to win a custom-designed jewelry set by Nuage Jewelers of Downers Grove.
"Each year they created a special design, just for the gala," Peterson said. "The design is based on the theme, so this year they went with aquamarine to go along with the denim."
During the gala, the chamber will also honor Laura Neiberg, vice president of ancillary services and community health at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, with its 2012 Enterprise Award.
The chamber's Enterprise Award honors and celebrates an individual who is employed by or owns a member business, and has significantly impacted the community through personal involvement while promoting economic opportunity.
Neiberg has been active in the Downers Grove community for more than 30 years. She has served on numerous boards, including the District 58 Educational Foundation, the DuPage Health Coalition, DuPage Community Clinic, Worksite Wellness Council of Illinois, Medical Fitness Association, and the Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The chamber received several nominations for Laura Neiberg, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving” said Laura Crawford, president and CEO of the Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"Having worked in the Village of Downers Grove for 30 years, Laura has touched so many lives," Crawford said. "Always diverting attention away from herself, most people don’t realize that some of the very benefits they enjoy would not be possible without the involvement of Laura Neiberg."
New board members will also be presented, Crawford said.
"The gala is something we look forward to every year because not only do we celebrate all our hard work and accomplishments, but we also look to the year ahead by announcing our new leadership," she said.
Although the gala is a chamber-sponsored event, the event is open to all Downers Grove residents.
"It's actually a great opportunity for people who aren't involved with the chamber, but perhaps would like to become more connected with their community," Crawford said. "We'll have community leaders, business owners, representatives from local nonprofits—it's a wonderful way to build relationships in a more social setting."
Diamonds and Denim will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. and dancing at 8:30 p.m. The DoubleTree is located at 2111 Butterfield Road in Downers Grove, next to the chamber office building.
Tickets are still available for $110 each, or $1,050 for a table of 10. To purchase, visit www.downersgrove.org or call 630-968-4050.
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