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2022 Gala: 125 Le Bal

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Alliance Française de Chicago

  • Saturday, May 7, 2022

  • Four Seasons Hotel Chicago Grand Ballroom

  • 120 East Delaware Place

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The Alliance Française de Chicago’s Woman’s Board held its 125th anniversary celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago’s Grand Ballroom at 120 East Delaware Place. Make a donation here!

Our Woman’s Board hosted its biennial gala on May 7, 2022 to raise key operating funds for education, language immersion programs for high school students from Chicago’s core neighborhoods, and cultural offerings at the Alliance Française: the place where all things French happen in Chicago.

Recognized as one of the most elegant events in Chicago, 125 Le Bal celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Alliance Française de Chicago, one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city. This evening of élégance française and chic et charme will bring the allure of Francophone culture into the spotlight. Guests enjoyed innovative entertainment, music and dancing, sumptuous French-inspired cuisine and French wines.

The 125 Le Bal gala co-chairs, Elisabeth Adams and Gail Hoffman, led the 75-member Woman’s Board in the production of this exquisite event. The benefit will honor Catharine Hamilton in recognition of her many years of dedication to French culture and the Alliance, and the Prix de l’Alliance Française de Chicago will be awarded to long-time champion of the Alliance, Myriam Bransfield. This year’s goal was to raise a minimum of $400,000, which was surpassed by raising almost $440,000 due to the generosity of the evening’s guests and the greater Alliance Française community.

At the Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago, nearly 400 of Chicago’s most influential cultural, civic, and social leaders who share an affinity for the Alliance’s language, culture and education programs were joined by prominent members of the French community to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Alliance Française in Chicago.

The evening featured a live auction of one-of-a-kind international travel opportunities, luxury items, exclusive experiences, and fine wines. Funds collected from a Paddle Raise go to support educational outreach, French language immersion experiences, and scholarships for CPS high school students.

The Alliance Française de Chicago is a 125 year old non-profit organization that is part of an international network of over 1,100 Alliance cultural centers worldwide. We are Chicago’s center of French language and French-speaking cultures with a mission to promote exchange, understanding, and friendship between Americans and all French-speaking people—a world of over 220 million French speakers on every continent.

Co-Chairs: Elisabeth Adams, Gail Hoffman

Honorary Chair: Catharine Hamilton

Prix d’Alliance Honoree: Myriam Bransfield

Woman’s Board President: Cheryl Sandner

Your IMPACT is great! The level of your support and sponsorship of our Gala is critical.

Your generous support allows us to provide the people of Chicago with our high quality programs, classes, outreach, and community engagement. Merci beaucoup !

Proceeds from the Gala support these spheres of activity at the Alliance Française:

• 40% School and Kids’ Classes & Activities

• 25% Cultural Programs

• 20% Educational Outreach Award Towards Excellence

• 15% Library

Educational Outreach Program: Award Towards Excellence

Since our outreach program with CPS began in 1998, the “Award Towards Excellence“ has provided free French immersion to over 600 students from six CPS high schools. Outcomes for this diverse group, many from resource-challenged backgrounds, are compelling: over 90% go to college, most first generation.

125 Le Bal Sponsors**

Host Committee

Elisabeth and William Adams, Lisa and Curt Bailey, Suzette and Allan Bulley Virginia and Norman Bobins, Solange and William Brown, Annie and Jean-Pierre Ergas, Lizabeth and David Horn, Cheryl Sandner and Bill Abromitis, Lisbeth Stiffel


Myriam Bransfield, Noelle C. Brock, Laurie Cherbonnier and John Nielsen, Cheryl and Hill Hammock, Janis W. and John K. Notz Jr., Betsey and Dale Pinkert, Nancy and Glen Traylor, Carol and William C. Vance, Audrey Weaver

Les Grands Amis

Laurie V. Bay, Geoffroy de Carbonnel, Annette and Rowan Carroll, Tanja and Paul-Henri Chevalier, Monique Clarine and Ralph Wanger, Whitney and Aaron Fershee, Margaret and Joseph Fourness, Constance Frydenlund and John Covell, Lili Gaubin, Chloe and Phillip Grant, Ann Thompson, Anne and Paul Krauss, Christine Laurens and Xavier Renner, Rachael Halstuk Mangoubi-Altair Advisers, Julianne and Peter Migely, Charles Mottier, Johnnie and Andrew Newman, Caroline and Petros Paranikas, Carol Saltoun and Tim Calkins, Francine Saltoun, The Sandner Family, Richard Shepro-Mayer Brown LLP, Judith and David Zaslavsky

Les Amis

Michèle Archambault, Mary Ellen and Kevin Connellan, Kathleen and John Cook, Lidia Devonshire, Megan Goldish and Matthew Savage, Stephen A. Kaplan, Betsy and Jack Karp, Molly and Alexandre Lemieux, Jonathan and Ela Lewis, Lisa and Cary Malkin, Erin McGonigle Ketchum, Cynthia and John Pacholick, D. Elizabeth Price and Lou Yecies, Erica Sandner, Mary and John Swift, Elizabeth Thiele

Auction Donors

Elisabeth and William Adams, Lisa and Curt Bailey, Brindille, Le Bristol, Espace Blue Océan / Green Resort, Four Seasons Hôtel New Orleans, Gloria Groom, Hôtel Montalembert, Hôtel Relais Saint-Germain, Karat Jewelry Group, Robert and Nancy Kuppenheimer, Rachel Lang · Lalique, The Langham Hotel Chicago, Marc Lorin, Stacy Lorin · The Yankee Peddler, Carol Montag, Les Nomades, Scott Nowakowski · Kobrand, Betsey and Dale Pinkert, Eve Rogers · Graff ,Cheryl Sandner & Bill Abromitis, Erica Sandner, Kristina Schneider, Sofitel Magnificent Mile, Margaret Unetich, ZaZú Salon


Lisa Bailey, Noelle Brock, Whitney Fershee, Margaret Fourness, Lili Gaubin, Chloe Grant, Carol Montag, Joanna Sevim, Pauline Kurtides Sheehan, Ann Thompson, Margaret Abbott Trboyevic

If you are interested in supporting the 125 Le Bal event as a Sponsor, please contact Yvonne Horn at [email protected].

The Alliance Française is an independent not-for-profit organization and is not a French government agency.

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