Chicago Tribune, Candid Candace: Eisenopoly, A playful benefit to fund cancer research
The Associate Board of the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation (HEEF) hosted its eighth annual Eisenopoly, a Monopoly-themed fundraiser to support gastrointestinal cancer research and education. Benefiting the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation that fully funds a tissue bank at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University, the Jan. 20 event attracted over 500 supporters, many from the commercial real estate industry, to Revel Fulton Market.
During the fast-paced evening, guests faced off in three lightning rounds of Monopoly-inspired games for high-stakes prizes, while enjoying live music, craft cocktails and small bites from Chicago restaurants, including Al’s #1 Italian Beef, Bar Lupo and Gene & Georgetti.
A signature of the event was its “jail and bail” game. A life-size jail onstage temporarily “incarcerated” board members and guests until they were bailed out by donations to the foundation. The evening’s “most wanted” were Savas Er, Zach Yarnoff and Al Klairmont, with his daughter Julia. Funds raised for bailouts totaled nearly $5,000. VIP guest Derek Sulo won a pair of $5,000 diamond earrings from Shelly Becker Designs in Bubbles and Bling, where guests could purchase a glass of Champagne (only 100 were available) for the chance to win a pair of diamond studs.
The event honored the memory of the late Harold “Hal” E. Eisenberg, a leader in the world of real estate, who passed away from liver cancer in 1999. The foundation, established in his name by family and friends, supports not only gastrointestinal cancer research but, as a nod to his profession, also real estate through valuable education and mentorship programs and scholarships for promising students and young professionals.
Hal’s widow, Sheila, with her children Lesley Kiferbaum and Amy and Peter Eisenberg by her side, shared her hope for the organization. “We don’t want other families to suffer like we did so. If we can help in any way, that will be our real goal.”
Five Eisenberg Scholars who were nominated for a yearlong indoctrination program into real estate by their professors were in attendance: Nick Bartholomew (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Elizabeth Foubert (John Marshall Law School), Tyler Walker (DePaul University) and Jake Noeldner and Courtney Sporleder (Indiana University at Bloomington). Each received a $5,000 scholarship and will be mentored for a year by industry professionals.
After the games, guests enjoyed desserts from Eli’s Cheesecake, Vanille Patisserie, Carol’s Cookies and Lou’s Gourmet Sweets. The musical group Sons of Susan got the crowd on the dance floor before the evening ended at 11 p.m. An after-party followed at Bar Siena
Co-chaired by Mikey Mintz and Julia Klairmont, the event raised nearly $200,000 to support research programs at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, where the foundation funds a gastrointestinal cancer tissue bank. The bank stores over 20,000 tissue samples and is at the forefront of cancer medicine.
HEEF Executive Board member Savas Er said, “Everyone knows someone who has suffered or is suffering from cancer, and in honor of Mr. Eisenberg, this is our way of giving back.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.