From sharing laughs with The Second City to singing “Sweet Caroline” with Kelley James & Cubs teammates, there’s no doubt Chicago showed us a good time!

Last week, our inaugural First Pitch Gala, presented by CBRE, brought out nearly 250 people to Artifact Events in Chicago, Illinois to share in our commitment of providing high-quality education.

The night started with a beautiful instrumental performance by The People’s Music School, the only tuition-free music school in the country educating children from underserved Chicago communities, who were later presented with a $10,000 grant award by Cole & Heidi Hamels. Sharing the stage was Urban Initiatives, our 2019 Partners in Education runner-up, who was gifted $5,000 to support their youth and community development efforts.

The night continued with an introduction to The Hamels Foundation’s work by Cole & Heidi Hamels, live and silent auctions, cocktails and a sit-down dinner. Thanks to you and your heart-felt giving, over $100,000 raised to support education in Chicago, as well as Malawi, Africa.

Ending on a perfect note, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo joined vocalist Kelley James in a duet of Elton John’s “Rocket Man”. They were then joined on stage by Cole & Heidi, as well as fellow Cubs starter Jon Lester, infielder Daniel Descalso, and outfielders Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber, for a group performance of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. Watch here!

To all of our guests and sponsors who came together in support of education, we can’t thank you enough. Presenting sponsor, CBRE Chicago, as well as JBA Sports, AON, Keybanc & the Chicago Cubs.

Special thanks to Luxe Productions for providing excellent audio/visual service; CH Distillery & Terlato Wines for bringing the spirits; and New Balance & Marucci Sports for supplying top-notch give-away product.

Education is the Answer.