Journey to ‘Old Chicago’ with Kidney Foundation

Eddie and Daniel Johnson (NKFI photos)

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois has announced its 34th annual Gift of Life Gala, benefiting the organization’s mission to improve the health and well-being of individuals at risk or affected by kidney disease.

The event, taking place Oct. 24 at The Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Place, Chicago, will pay homage to “Old Chicago” with themed activities, cocktails, dinner stations and raffles.

NKFI will present Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and his son, Chicago police Officer Daniel Johnson with the “Gift of Life Award” in recognition of their contributions to the world of kidney disease. Nearly two years ago, 25-year-old Daniel donated a kidney to his father, Eddie, after he was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, an acute inflammation of the kidney.

Paul and Joan Rubschlager

Chicago philanthropists Joan and Paul Rubschlager will be honored with the “Harold & Molly Schwartz Founders Award” for their commitment and achievement on behalf of NKFI.

Regina Waldroup, reporter at NBC-5, a Chicago native and longtime supporter of organ donation, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

Guests will participate in Windy City-inspired activity stations throughout the evening as they step back into Prohibition and battle off in a Chicago Cubs versus Chicago White Sox showdown. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase in advance on the NKFI website.

Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by “Classic Chicago” dinner stations such as Wrigleyville favorites and Garrett Popcorn Shops at 7 p.m.

FAMOS! DJ Entertainment will provide music for the evening.

Event sponsors include Gift of Hope, University of Chicago Medicine Transplant Center, Fresenius Kidney Care and NX Stage.

Tickets are $350 per person and $300 for individuals under 30. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Purchase tickets for the 2019 Gift of Life Gala at

For sponsorship inquiries, contact Brigit Dunne, development coordinator, at or 312-321-1500.