Friends of Prentice gala benefits women's health

Friends of Prentice, a nonprofit organization working in partnership with Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women's Hospital to fund innovative and leading-edge research benefiting the lives of women, raised more than $750,000 at its 34th annual fundraising benefit, "An Evening in Oz."

The gala was held Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago and welcomed more than 450 of Chicago's business and philanthropic leaders.

Today, we face a critical and vast knowledge gap in the areas of health, wellness, and disease progression for women. Friends of Prentice is working to close that gap by funding research and clinical initiatives that benefit the lives of women and infants in the Chicago metropolitan area and across the globe.

The black-tie gala featured one-of-a-kind live and silent auctions, dancing to the sounds of Dr. Bombay band and a video presentation and paddle raise to support the work of Friends of Prentice.

In addition, this year's gala honored Dr. Michael Socol for his distinguished service to Prentice Women's Hospital over the past 40 years, as well as his role as a founding Friends of Prentice board member.

Dr. Socol has trained more than 350 obstetric residents and 40 fellows, delivered more than 6,000 babies, received local and national recognition for his leadership, and even appeared on Oprah Winfrey.

"For decades, Friends of Prentice has provided crucial seed money to brilliant clinicians and researchers who are shaping the future of women's health care," said board President Mike Borders.

"Our mission is propelled forward each year by people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to support the innovation and groundbreaking research happening at Prentice."

Since 1983, Friends of Prentice has raised more than $20 million and awarded grants to more than 80 researchers and clinical programs. Friends of Prentice's annual grants initiative has funded projects in the areas of gynecologic oncology, mental health, heart disease, disparities in access to care, diabetes, HIV, uterine and pelvic medicine, genetic biomarker research, home health care outreach and more.

Funds raised during the benefit will go directly to research, education, and patient care programs at Prentice.

For information about Friends of Prentice or how to get involved or support the organization, visit

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