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Doobie Brothers rock JDRF gala

BarbarSlusarzyk (from left) Peter Nagle Eve Tyree Margaret Nagle Kristy Slusarzyk Chris Slusarzyk.

Barbara Slusarzyk (from left), Peter Nagle, Eve Tyree, Margaret Nagle, Kristy Slusarzyk and Chris Slusarzyk.

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Updated: January 28, 2012 8:09AM

The folks at JDRF-Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation took on the tall task of organizing one of Chicago’s largest fund-raisers, the 32nd annual “Chance of a Lifetime Gala,” held at McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center earlier in December. More than 2,000 guests gathered at the sprawling soiree to sip cocktails, dine on delicious diabetic-friendly fare, and dig deep into their pockets to help accomplish the organization’s mission to cure Type 1 diabetes.

The epic evening began as guests perused the expansive silent auction, which included one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia items, travel packages and fine wines. Mayor Rahm Emanuel stopped by during the cocktail hour to show his support. Other notables spotted included NBC5 anchors Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford (who later acted as emcees of the program), Discover Financial Services CEO David Nelms, and JDRF Illinois Board President Rick Poulton.

Following a dinner of grilled filet of beef and grilled salmon, partygoers made their way to the Arie Crown Theater for an emotional tribute to longtime JDRF supporter and Mesirow Financial CEO Jim Tyree, who died earlier this year. Tyree’s widow, Eve Tyree, sat in the audience, teary-eyed and obviously proud of her late husband and his unwavering devotion and dedication to JDRF.

Later, the Doobie Brothers (without former lead singer Michael McDonald) rocked the house with a performance featuring an array of hits from their three-decade-long career and a few tracks from their newest release, “World Gone Crazy.” Audience members waved glowsticks and danced in the aisles during the classic rockers’ hourlong show.

In total, $3.3 million was raised, making it one of the highest-grossing fund-raisers of the year.

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