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Fall Gala 2023

Thursday, October 19th, 2023

Join us for our Hybrid Fall Gala at
Cafe Brauer (Chicago) or on Zoom



In Person Event

Café Brauer

2021 N Stockton Dr,
Chicago, IL 60614
Valet Parking Available for $20

5:30PM - 10:30PM
Cocktail Attire

5:30PM - Cocktails & Hors d'oeuvres

6:45PM - Seated Dinner

7:30PM - Event Program

8:30 - 10:30PM - Dancing & Celebrating


Via Zoom

7:00PM CT - Tequila Tasting (Optional)

7:30PM CT - Event Program

8:30 - 9:00PM CT- Dancing & Celebrating

Event Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Gold-level Sponsors

Silver-level Sponsors

Bronze-level Sponsors

Friend of Spark

Event Advisor

Julie Cook

Spark Ventures Board of Directors

Honorary Speakers

Candida Mendez

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Las Tias

Heavy Crownz

Peace Campus Director, We Grow Chicago

For 16 years, Spark Ventures has been providing sustainable solutions to lift communities out of poverty and empower future leaders.

We partner with incredible grassroots organizations in Zambia, Nicaragua, Mexico & Chicago to work together to:

  • Build strong foundations & bright futures
  • Focus on individual, organizational & environmental sustainability
  • Create lasting impact by directing human & financial resources towards education, nutrition, healthcare and jobs

By attending our 2023 Fall Gala, you can help Spark support our partners with the resources needed to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Join us for an evening of inspiration, education and celebration—and let’s continue building strong foundations and bright futures together.

What’s Included?


Our evening will feature a cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres, and a seated dinner, as well as a selection of wine, beer and a cash bar. We’ll honor foundations & individuals who have made a significant impact in the communities Spark supports.

We’ll hear inspiring stories from our partner organizations, have the opportunity to participate in a live auction, and contribute to the impactful work we do around the world. Our evening will conclude with an afterparty featuring a live DJ, dancing, and the chance to connect with in-person and virtual attendees.


$150 Guided Tequila Tasting

Purchase our optional live tequila tasting led by a tequila expert! The package will be delivered directly to your door & includes 4 100mL bottles of tequila perfect for sipping (Rosa, Blanco, Reposado & Añejo).

Free (without tequila tasting)

Our virtual event allows attendees to experience our evening and connect with both in-person and virtual guests, all from the comfort of your home. Virtual attendees will have the opportunity to hear from our partner organizations, participate in a live auction, and contribute to Spark’s work.

Can’t attend, but

would still like to

make a contribution?

Board of Directors

Michael Campbell (Chair)

Julie Tafel Klaus (Vice Chair)

Doak Elliott (Co-Treasurer)

Tumsheen Qureshi (Co-Treasurer)

Julie Cook (Secretary)

Scott Barbeau (Cofounder)

Constance Benrud

Sue Bernstein

Richard Johnson (Cofounder)

Jennifer Kim

Vicki Kraft

Lisa Madonia

Patti O’Neil

Leon Reed

Kristin Schrepferman (Executive Director)

Kathy Wolf

Events Committee

Constance Benrud

Sue Bernstein

Jeff Breaden

Michael Campbell

Katie Casey

Julie Cook (Event Advisor)

Kevin Cook

Katie Gustafson (Event & Communications Manager)

Jennifer Kim

Julie Tafel Klaus

Lee Kuker

Lisa Madonia

Andrea Moonsammy

Kristin Schrepferman (Executive Director)

Colton Stombaugh

Cassandra Wade

Kathy Wolf

Follow us on social media for more information

Contact Katie Gustafson (
for more information on event sponsorship opportunities.