Gone Fishin' Raffle


*Purchase Your Raffle Tickets!*

The 14th Annual Big Fish Ball featuring the Gone Fishin’ Raffle and Silent Auction offers participants a chance to win fantastic merchant and artist packages!

Ticket entries are $50 each or three for $125.

The drawing will be held on June 11, 2019 at the Big Fish Ball. You need not be present to win. Winners will be notified.

We invite supporters of Friends of the Chicago River to patronize all of our outstanding and generous in-kind donors. They support the recovery of the Chicago River - please support them in turn.

The Packages.


Patron of the Arts

Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life? You can seek the answer with this amazing package. You will receive two ticket vouchers to four different venues, with your choice of shows at: Timeline Theatre Company, iO Theater, The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, and a Fall Production at The House Theatre of Chicago. Enjoy a night north of the city with two tickets to a Northlight Theater production, and a $50 Napolita gift certificate. Perhaps painting and the visual arts are what inspires you? Enjoy a voucher for a BYOB Painting Class for four at Pinot's Palette's West Loop studio, a private champagne tour at the Ed Paschke Art Center, and a reusable bag and art books from The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Or maybe classical music is your refuge? This package includes a voucher for two tickets to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance and a $100 gift certificate from the Rockford Symphony Orchestra to put towards a yearly membership or tickets. Finally, enjoy the beautiful stained glass art while swimming in the InterContinental Chicago Magnificant Mile's Olympic-sized pool with a complimentary one night stay in the Executive Tower, and complimentary breakfast for two in Center Court. Time to get your creativity flowing.

Fair Market Value: $3,858          Purchase raffle tickets

Generously donated by: All those listed above.

Ticket, class, hotel, and tour reservations required, blackout dates apply. iO Theater tickets are valid for any show in cabaret theaters and select shows in the Del Close and Mission Theaters. Tickets are NOT eligible for use for “The Improvised Shakespeare Company.”


City Break

Need a break from the big city, but don't want to go too far from home? It’s time to head west to Dubuque, one of Iowa's oldest communities, to explore the Mississippi River Valley. Tour landmarks of a bygone era and appreciate the Victorian architecture of the city's oldest mansions. Spend two nights being pampered in an executive suite at the Hotel Julien, overlooking the Mississippi River. Explore the natural surroundings, including two passes to Crystal Lake Cave, and after you've worked-up an appetite, enjoy a $50 gift certificate to Caroline's Restaurant. Visit neighboring town Galena with your two “Summer Adventure" Packages at Chestnut Mountain, which allows you a day of unlimited pleasure on the Alpine Slide Rides, a single rider Soaring Eagle Ride, and a round of miniature or disc golf. On your way home, or save it for an entirely other day, enjoy two vouchers for a one-hour Geneva Bay tour, or a one-hour Sundowner tour, courtesy of Lake Geneva Cruise Line. We know the Mississippi River and Lake Geneva are great, but won’t it be nice to come home to the river we love most as you get behind the wheel for your private two-hour cruise on the Chicago River with 11 of your friends, courtesy of Chicago Electric Boat Company. 

Fair Market Value: $1,238          Purchase raffle tickets

Generously donated by: All those listed above.

Hotel and tour reservations required, blackout dates apply.


Sweet Home Chicago

Begin your hometown adventure with a private six-passenger charter with beer & wine on Chicago Sailing’s newest addition to their fleet, Naida! Built in 1935 on the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River by Henry Grebe Boatworks, she is a real classic Chicago yacht. Do you love displaying your hometown pride around the home or office? A Chicago Med poster signed by the cast of the TV show and a fine art photograph of the river by David Wong/Blurban Photo are yours to display with this package. Maybe you enjoy the view of the city spirit from the stadium stands with our favorite cross-town baseball teams? This package includes four tickets to a Chicago Cubs vs. LA Dodgers game on June 18 in addition to a Tim Anderson signed baseball from the Chicago White Sox. Finally, enjoy a one-night stay taking in Hotel Lincoln’s contemporary vintage vibe after taking a tour for two with Chicago Elevated and a tour for four at the Chicago History Museum.

Fair Market Value: $2,214          Purchase raffle tickets

Generously donated by: All those listed above.

Hotel, tour, class, and charter reservations required, blackout dates apply.


Wine, Beer, Spirits-Oh My!

Enjoy some of the Midwest's favorite distilled spirits with a KOVAL Distillery tour for 20, a tour and tasting for four at Rhine Hall Distillery, a bottle of CH Vodka and a $75 gift certificate, and a Whiskey Collection Gift Pack and Tour & Tasting for eight at Journeyman Distillery in Michigan. Perhaps you are more of a beer advocate? Take a beer tour (two passes) of your choice of your favorite Chicago neighborhood with Chicago Beer Experience; a brewery tour for four at Temperance Beer Company; and a free growler with beer of your choice plus two .5L Willi Becher beer glasses at Metropolitan Brewing. We didn't forget about you, wine lovers. Enjoy a City Winery tour and tasting for four. You’ll need time to relax so enjoy a one-night stay at the Blackstone Hotel and order a pizza from Lou Malnati’s ($25 gift card).

Fair Market Value: $1,313          Purchase raffle tickets

Generously donated by: All those listed above. 

Hotel and tour/tasting reservations required, blackout dates apply. 


Immersive Experiences Await

Time to put away the devices. You’ll be transported to other places and kept in the moment with this package. Enjoy a “Couples” year-long membership to the American Writers Museum, a voucher for a behind-the-scenes tour for 12 at Garfield Park Conservatory, four admission tickets to the Morton Arboretum, and a family pass to Kohl Children's Museum. Also included are four general admission tickets to the iconic Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum of Natural History. Sports fans will love this package with four entrance passes to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Have dinner and discover new recipes with one of Eataly’s demonstration-style cooking classes for two. Experience a private Chicago architecture walking tour for up to 8 people (includes post tour lunch), and follow it up by massaging your cares away with your $100 gift card from Massage Envy. Finally submerge yourself in science with a one-night stay at Hotel EMC2, where you might even receive a friendly greeting from hotel robot attendants, Leo and Cleo. This package offers unlimited range of possibilities to make your immersive year unforgettable.

Fair Market Value: $1,510          Purchase raffle tickets

Generously donated by: All those listed above. 

Hotel, class, massage, and tour reservations required, blackout dates apply.


The Great Outdoors

Whether on a boat or feet firmly on the ground, you’ll love experiencing the outdoors with this package. Before heading outside, enjoy a taste of the outdoors, indoors, with dinner for two at award-winning Proxi—known for their bold flavors and pristine ingredients. Head to an REI class to learn more about the great outdoors. Practice your nature skills with a “Day at the Garden” voucher and a Windy City Harvest cookbook from Chicago Botanic Gardens; a year-long family membership to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum; and two general admission tickets to Morton Arboretum. Take an outdoor stroll on the Chicago Riverwalk during your one-night stay at the Westin Chicago River North. Finish off your outdoor adventures on the water with an Entertainment Cruises/Odyssey II dinner voucher for two, and a membership at the Belmont Yacht Club that includes reciprocity rights with 250+ yacht clubs outside of a fifty-mile radius of the club, located throughout the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. No Boat? No problem. One quarter of their members don’t own a boat.

Fair Market Value: $1,690          Purchase raffle tickets

Generously donated by: All those listed above. 

Cruise, class, hotel, and dinner reservations required, blackout dates apply.



On the night of our gala, Friends will be hosting a silent auction featuring these packages. Buy it now: you have the chance to purchase any of these items before the event. Contact Kim Olsen-Clark at kolsenclark@chicagoriver.org or (312) 939-0490, ext. 19.

Weekend in Charleston, SC

Spend three nights and four days in a beautifully renovated private residence, just steps from Charleston’s French Quarter District. This historic house, built near the start of the 19th century, exudes classic Charleston charm and character, while offering modern upgraded amenities. This home offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a modern kitchen, a gorgeous outdoor entertaining area, and large piazzas which are perfect for kicking back with a tall, cold glass of sweet tea. You'll be in walking distance to shops, restaurants, art galleries, parks, and historic sites. Tour the area four different ways: by carriage for two from Palmetto Carriage Works, a ghost tour for two with Bulldog Tours, a guided tour and flight demonstration at the Center for Birds of Prey for two, and two entrance tickets to explore Patriots Point. After your eclectic experiences, enjoy waterfront dining with a gift certificate and merchandise from Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar.

Fair Market Value: $1,552
Buy It Now: $2,000

Generously donated by: Craig Coit, Board of Directors Member, Friends of the Chicago River, and those listed above.

Transportation to and from Charleston, South Carolina is not included. Dates set by mutual agreement with homeowner.


Weekend in Boulder, CO

Do as the Boulderites do when you take a weekend to explore Downtown Boulder! Your trip begins with two round-trip ticket vouchers, courtesy of Southwest Airlines. Enjoy the historic Hotel Boulderado with two nights and dinner for two at Spruce Farm & Fish--be a part of their history! This package also includes admission tickets to Fiske Planetarium, located at University of Colorado Boulder, and a $50 certificate to Boulder Beer Company Brewery & Pub. Our friends at Patagonia encourage you to hike the beautiful mountains with a Black Hole Duffle Bag and Arbor Backpack. MillerCoors then awaits to take you on a private V.I.P. tour and beer tasting at their Golden, CO brewery, the world's largest single-site brewery. 

Fair Market Value: $1,788
Buy It Now: $2,000

Generously donated by: All those listed above.

Hotel reservations required, and blackout dates apply. Hotel restaurant gift card can be used at Spruce Farm & Fish or Corner Bar. Transportation to and from the airport is not included.


For You and Your Special Someone

Kick off your summer of date nights with two tickets to Friends' Summer Cruise on June 27, 2018 to see amazing pop-up entertainment at the river's edge. Join us once again at the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum for a private two-hour rental to enjoy a delightful evening in a private geodesic dome along the iconic Chicago Riverwalk, courtesy of SynerGeo Domes, a $100 gift certificate from Duck Duck Goat, and a bottle of your special wine that you bought with your $25 gift certificate from Binny's. Schedule your next date night at the Tortoise Supper Club to use your $100 gift certificate, followed by some straight-ahead jazz using your voucher for two complimentary covers at Winter's Jazz Club on the Ogden Slip. Last, but not least, pamper yourselves in a suite during your amazing one-night stay at the fabulous Waldorf Astoria.

Fair Market Value: $2,712
Buy It Now: $3,000

Generously donated by: Friends of the Chicago River and all those listed above.


Chicago River Inspired Art: Original Watercolor by Philip Enquist, Consulting Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

For 35 years, Enquist played a key role in leading SOM's Global City Design Practice, one of the world's most awarded urban planning groups. He is drawn to watercolor subjects by light and color, but also by the story he sees in it, and it is the juxtaposition of light, color, contrast, and form that reveals a connection to the natural and built landscape.

Fair Market Value: $Priceless
Buy It Now: $1,500


Chicago River Inspired Art: Original Painting by Adrian Smith, Founding Partner, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Adrian Smith, FAIA, is an architect of international renown, having designed many landmark buildings including the two world's tallest structures--Burj Khalifa completed in 2010 in Dubai and Kingdom Town, now under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In brush and palette, his watercolors have become his signature, one with great visual impact and a unique style of visualization.

Fair Market Value: $Priceless
Buy It Now: $1,500


Raffle Rules: Must be 21 or older to purchase raffle tickets or win. Prizes are non-transferable and cannot be resold. Winner is responsible for all taxes. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Friends of the Chicago River, a non-profit agency, tax-empt under the provisions of the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3).