On Saturday, Aug. 3, 1,300 guests packed Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom for the 13th annual Goombay Bash, a cancer research fundraiser hosted by Hortons Home Lighting, LaGrange, IL, and its organization The H Foundation. To date, the event raised $540,000 for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.
Cancer is personal to Hortons. After the company lost two employees to the disease, including 31-year-old Pamela Herts, it created the H Foundation to raise money and find a cure. The nonprofit has raised more than $5 million for basic cancer research since its inception, and the Caribbean-themed Goombay Bash is its biggest annual event.
The lighting industry came out in force again this year. The following companies sponsored/donated/attended the 13th Goombay Bash: Hortons Home Lighting; Dallas Market Center; Feiss Monte Carlo; Hinkley Lighting; Kichler Lighting; Maxim Lighting/ET2 Contemporary Lighting; Origina Canada; Quoizel; Satco; Kuzco; Uttermost; Bay Valley Sales; Crystorama Inc.; McDonald Associates Inc.; Emerson; TransGlobe; Mondoluz; Schonbek Worldwide Lighting Inc.; Stein World; Elk Group; and Holtkoetter Intl.
John Rot, owner of Hortons Home Lighting and Chairman of The H Foundation, says there were many times during the night when he looked around the room and felt overcome by gratitude. “I was literally to the point where I was speechless. The energy in the room was palpable and I could tell everyone was having an incredible time. But, what meant the most for me, and the rest of The H Foundation Board, was that I knew people were there, united by an intense desire to raise money to find a cure for cancer. Together, we were truly making a difference in the fight against cancer.”
According to Kate Harken, Executive Director of The H Foundation, this was the most successful Goombay Bash in its 13-year history. Special guests like Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls and George Wendt from TV’s "Cheers," as well as the many former Chicago professional athletes who attended, added excitement to this year’s Bash.
The floor plan was changed up to include a stage in the middle, meant to make the room feel closer and more intimate, and a casino was added to the stage and in a tent on the plaza for more entertainment. More than 300 silent auction packages and 14 priceless and unobtainable live auction experiences, including a trip to the Emmys, were bid on this year.
The date and location of the 14th annual Goombay Bash have yet to be announced.