American Cancer Society's sixth annual Taste of Hope raises over $600,000

  • Barton G's, a new restaurant in the River North, has an elaborate display of epicurean delights at American Cancer Society's 2019 Taste of Hope.

    Barton G's, a new restaurant in the River North, has an elaborate display of epicurean delights at American Cancer Society's 2019 Taste of Hope. Courtesy of Doug Hinebaugh

Submitted by AJ Steinbruecker
Updated 11/14/2019 7:48 PM

The American Cancer Society's 2019 Taste of Hope grossed more than $600,000 to impact the lives of those affected by cancer.

The sixth annual tasting event was organized by a volunteer Leadership Council of 37 volunteers led by co-chairs Victoria De La Huerga from ADM and Jeff Liljeberg from JLL.


The event boasted 22 restaurant participants and nearly 700 guests on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago.

Newly named American Cancer Society Illinois Executive Director Michael Ziener addressed the crowd and refocused their attention to the purpose of the event.

"This evening is more than fantastic food and wonderful company. I want to emphasize that my number one priority in this new role is to bring our mission front and center," Ziener said. "We exist to attack cancer from every angle, whether that is through world class cancer research, providing services to cancer patients like rides to treatment, patient navigation and ensuring that underserved and uninsured populations have access to all our services including cancer education, awareness, and prevention information. We must continue mission and we need each of you in this room to join us!"

Twenty-two Chicago area restaurants provided a variety of interaction and tasting opportunities including a demonstrative fresh dosa station from The Art of Dosa in the Loop; a white chocolate Ube fountain from Sunda in River North; and Barton G in River North provided "Mouse Trap mac-n-cheese."

Aside from epicurean delights, the evening's casual atmosphere was highlighted by entertaining DJ, Eliana, emcee Marz from Charizma Entertainment, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and the popular wine pull.

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The walls of the front hall were adorned with larger than life banners in honor or memory of loved ones affected by cancer.

Individuals and companies participated in sponsoring the banners.

The ongoing success of the American Cancer Society's Taste of Hope is rooted in a strong foundation of corporate support led by ADM and BMO Financial Group.

This year, those sponsors were joined by culinary sponsor Russell Reynolds Associates.

VIP reception sponsors including Baker McKenzie, Innis Law Group, Lazard, PwC and SVC.

Nearly 60 additional individuals and companies completed the list of sponsors.

The American Cancer Society is a global grass-roots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, its efforts have contributed to a 25% decline in the cancer death rate in the U.S. since 1991, driven by less smoking, better treatments, and earlier detection. They are finding cures as the nation's largest private, nonprofit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call 24/7 at (800) 227-2345 or visit

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