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NUDM Hosts 11th Annual Gala

Alumni, beneficiary representatives and students come together to celebrate NUDM's 50th year


Tabi Parent

January 21, 2024


Northwestern University Dance Marathon committee members, alumni and representatives from the 2024 beneficiaries -- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI) and the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) -- gathered in the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Potocsnak Family Atrium on November 11th to celebrate NUDM’s 11th annual gala.  


"The gala helps bring our beneficiaries, donors and the NUDM student team together to meet and connect with each other," said Eva Offutt, NUDM Development and Alumni Relations Chair. "It's a way to build a community beyond the bounds of the actual dance marathon in March."


Gala attendees mingled and enjoyed a cocktail hour with delicious appetizers, which gave them time to peruse offerings from the silent auction, which included items like spa gift cards and wine tastings.


NUDM alumni place bids at the silent auction table.


Later in the evening, NUDM Communications Director Jenna Friedman kicked off a round of speeches by introducing representatives from both RMHC-CNI and ECF. 


CEO of RMHC-CNI, Holly Buckendahl, spoke first, touching on the importance of the charity's work for families with children in need of medical attention and the impact that NUDM's partnership will have on the foundation. Sol Anderson, President and CEO of ECF, NUDM's longtime beneficiary, also gave a speech about the impact of the NUDM partnership on Northwestern-Evanston relations throughout its 27-year duration. 


To close the night, NUDM Engagement Director Carli Kelley led a spirited live ask, encouraging attendees to donate what they could on-site. Results of the silent auction were announced, and attendees had time to mingle before cashing out and claiming their auction items. 


"It's always so exciting to see all of the people who make up our NUDM community come together to celebrate the hard work we do throughout the year," Offutt said. "The gala is a great physical representation of the community that NUDM and our beneficiaries cultivate."


Engagement Chair Carli Kelley leads the annual NUDM live ask.

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