2019 Charity Partners

IRA Educational Foundation

The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation offers life-changing opportunities for students and provides direction for potential culinary and hospitality career paths. During Chicago Gourmet, the IRAEF hosts an online auction which 100% of the proceeds from the online auction and raffles go towards providing scholarships for aspiring chefs and hospitality professionals.

The IRAEF Scholarships Initiative has provided over $2.8 million dollars in scholarships to qualified students since 1973. With generous support of dedicated sponsors, the IRAEF is shaping Illinois' hospitality workforce through career development and exploration programs, scholarships and image enhancement.

Support the Chicago Gourmet Online Auction
Featuring ultra-premium wine & spirits packages, foodie experiences, and sports and restaurant-related items, proceeds from the auction benefit the IRAEF. The 2019 Chicago Gourmet Auction is now closed. For questions from auction winners or information about the auction, please contact to Kristen Hodges at khodges@illinoisrestauarnts.org.


Pilot Light

Pilot Light is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps children make healthier choices by connecting the lessons they learn in their classrooms to the foods they eat on their lunch trays, at home and in their communities.

Pilot Light supports effective teaching and learning in the classroom through a cohesive model for classroom education, incorporating food as a lens for traditional subjects such as Math, Reading, History, and Science.

Pilot Light serves 80 classrooms and over 2,250 students enrolled in 2018-19. 16 Chicago schools, collectively 90% minority and 80% low-income, and predominately on the South Side. To date, the program has reached over 4,000 students.



100 Club

The 100 Club of Chicago provides for the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This membership based organization offers several forms of financial assistance, access to resources and moral support. All sworn federal, state, county and local first responders stationed in Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties are included.

Since it's inception, the 100 Club of Chicago has served 273 families with more than $11 million through our programs. Through First Response Assistance, Educational Assistance and our Gold Shield Partners, we are able to provide for our families.




Bayless Family Foundation

The Bayless Family Foundation “Stepping Stone” grants support established Chicago theater organizations with a vision for institutional and artistic growth.

            September 2020            

Presenting Sponsor

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