Big Fish Ball 2018 Photo Gallery: A Celebration
The Big Fish Ball of 2018, our annual fundraiser gala, was a night to remember: owls, snakes, developments honored that support the river, chardonnay and cassoulet and sorbet, CBS Chicago’s Ed Curran...and lots of generous folks who came out to support our 39-year-old mission. The evening raised $280,000.
Friends of the Chicago River Executive Director Margaret Frisbie told the crowd that through the "power of partnership" the river that was "once forgotten and neglected has been brought back to life and now plays a vital role for recreation, nature, public health, and economic development in the city and the region."
"We have rewritten the story of the Chicago River," said Margaret, citing that in the last year alone, over 60,000 people participated in Friends programs including Chicago River Day, restoration work, our school education efforts and our Bridgehouse Museum on the Chicago Riverwalk.
In addition, Friends influenced river-edge developers calling for natural banks over seawalls and restored hundreds of acres of open space to improve habitat for birds, beavers, turtles, foxes, minks, muskrats, and the occasional river otter.
Challenges remain: pollution from sewage, stormwater, nutrients, and road salt; impacts from climate change; and litter.
But, noted Margaret, "As we know from being out on the river’s edge tonight, the river is cleaner and healthier than it has been in more than 100 years."
Take a look at the first wave of photos from Big Fish Ball: