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Annual Rainbow Gala for Juvenile Diabetes Research colorful event

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Kate Guerriero
Sunday, April 25, 2010
 

The glitterati outdid themselves once again this year, outshining even their dapper black-tied plus-ones (sorry, guys) as they arrived in an array of colors that encompassed every shade of the ... well, take a wild guess during the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's 18th Annual Rainbow Gala held at the Hilton on Saturday.

"We actually dragged the entire family down to BCBG in the South Side Works to get this," mused Kristen Mills , stunning in swirls of blue.

Thankfully, someone had made the executive decision to open the doors to the ballroom during cocktail hour rather than waiting until the dinner bell chimed, a decision that alleviated the usual claustrophobia-inducing chaos that the outside lobby can incite.

Cocktails in hand, the who's who including board prez Jimmy Williams Jr. and Valerie, Dr. Stanley Marks and Nikol Snee, Paul and Catherine Gleason, David and Kathy Sharick, Ellen Marks, Gary and Maureen Barunas, Steve and Nan DeTurk, Carl and Elaine Krasik and John and Marian Keyes sauntered into the ballroom, which was transformed into an airy spring paradise, a la Bonnie Walker Events. On stage, Gary Racan and the studio-e band did what they do best, enticing us onto the dance floor before we could be bothered with finding our designated tables, although we have to admit that it was 6-year-old Max Wolper who put our two-stepping to shame as he showed us a thing or two about how to get our groove on (you can send us the bill for the impromptu lesson, Max).

One of the major highlights of the evening, the live auction once again sparked a round of bidding that saw paddles raised fast and furious to claim dibs on some serious swag that included a two-week stay at the Ladera Resort in St. Lucia ($15,500), an autographed 2010 Olympic jersey from Sid the Kid ($16K), and a doggie goodie basket that included a ridiculously adorable Labradoodle puppy ($11K). Not too shabby, considering the evening fetched a whopping $1.13 million that will go towards finding a cure.

As the evening continued well into the midnight hour, co-chairs Mary Beth Allegretti (with Jon ), Carol Oxenreiter (with John ) and Dusty Elias Kirk (with Bill Caroselli ) continued making the requisite rounds with the who's who (600+, to be exact), while corporate co-chairs Robert Cindrich and Jim Rohr chatted with honoree Gregory Jordan.

"Greg is one of the most outstanding leaders that this city has ever had," commented Robert.

And while our man of the hour graciously accepted his accolades, we wondered if at some point in the evening he was also planning on taking center stage to show off his version of the victory dance.

"The room would empty out very quickly!" he laughed.

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