Big Fish Ball

Thank You from the Co-Chairs

What an extraordinary outpouring of support and generosity that the Chicagoland community brought to the 2019 Big Fish Ball on June 11, 2019. The Westin Chicago River North was aglow with images of the Chicago River system and offered a wonderful opportunity for our guests to get close to and hold some amazing wildlife. We are so lucky to have this important 156 mile natural resource serve as a perfect haven for wildlife and flowby slowly in the City of Chicago and other municipalities. Thank you for joining us. The evening raised more than $318,000 in support of on-the-ground projects, education and outreach programs, and public policy nd planning initiatives, all of which will improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals.

We were truly honored to co-chair this year, and we are deeply grateful for the generosity of our sponsors, guests, Friends' board of directors, gala committee, volunteers, and local businesses for making the 2019 Big Fish Ball a success this year and every year.    

Robert Sit and Richard Wilson

About the Big Fish Ball

The Big Fish Ball is Friends' largest fundraising event that includes a fabulous cocktail hour that brings together 500 leaders and young professionals from the Chicago community to the river with an amazing opportunity to engage with river wildlife and a delightful three-course dinner and program that honors the recipients of the Chicago River Blue Awards, the highest achievement in river-sensitive designs along the river. The evening also includes a silent and live auction and a raffle featuring gifts and certificates from hundreds of local businesses. 

Your evening doesn't end at once the final music plays. You can make a whole night of it when you buy tickets to our special Shoreline Sightseeing After Party Cruise that immediately follows our gala. The cruise is a wonderful way to see the river and city’s amazing architecture in semi-darkness while sipping cocktails. 

2020 Big Fish Ball

Save the date!  Tuesday, June 9, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Westin Chicago River North.

To discuss sponsorship and table purchases or raffle/silent auction donations for the 15th annual Big Fish Ball, please contact Kim Olsen-Clark at (312) 939-0490, ext. 19 or  

Interested in volunteering next year?  We need greeters, raffle and silent auction volunteers, photographer assistants, and more! Contact Annette Anderson with any questions. 

It’s never too late to make a donation to support Friends. Click here to learn how your gift supports the Chicago River system. 

Big Fish Ball Photographers: Ian Vecchiotti, Jordan Avery, and Emma Loew