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Colleen McNicholas is a Chicago South Sider who frequently wanders the streets of the windy city. She is always on the lookout for the best food and adventures this city has to offer. She is a Columbia College Chicago grad and is a marketing/PR professional. A few years ago, Colleen realized how many limitations she was putting on her life and decided she needed a change. She created a bucket list back in 2011 and has been following that bucket list ever since. Now, Colleen finally feels like she is living the life she has always wanted. When not working, volunteering, or trying new restaurants, she enjoys playing the guitar, fashion, going to concerts, running races, and meeting new people. Colleen is also a big thrill seeker: from extreme zip lining, to helicopter rides, to whale watching in Alaska, all the way to skydiving. Colleen wants to inspire people to take risks, try new things, and enjoy every second of life.

Recap: Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation’s 54th Annual Ball In Chicago With Jay Leno

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Comedian, Jay Leno (Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

On June 6, 2015, the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation’s 54th Annual Ball took place at the beautiful Raddison Blue Aqua Hotel. The event celebrated fifty-four years of support for the Section of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Hepatology at the University of Chicago Medicine.

As a charity writer, I attend several balls throughout the year and this one was most certainly something special. From the moment you walked in the door, everything was so beautifully decorated and every dish that was served was absolutely delicious. Not to mention, there was a fabulous cookie bar in the back of the room if you wanted an extra sweet treat fix.

While the event won over my eyes and stomach, there was so much more to this evening. I had the opportunity to hear many talented and dedicated individuals share how the organization has changed the lives of many and how all of their hard work and dedication continues to pay off. A discovery of the first gene associated with Crohn’s disease has been made, the discovery of the role of microRNA in colon cancer was also found, the first living donor transplant from a parent to a child was performed, and so many other  discoveries and treatments were made possible thanks to the generosity of those involved.

After hearing all of these incredible announcements, the organization had a little something extra in store. Comedian, Jay Leno took the stage to do some of his stand up comedy.

Jay most certainly did not disappoint with his performance for the night and had many audience members laughing the night away.

Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation is a connected community dedicated to improving the lives of patients and their families living with digestive diseases. The organization has raised over $50 million dollars since 1963 and still continues to grow.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the ball’s 55th year next year. The event will not disappoint!

(Photo Credit: Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation)

(Photo Credit: Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation)

Picasion.Com

Guest Emcee: Phil Ponce from Chicago Tonight and WTTW (Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

 

Picasion.Com

(Photo Credit: Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation)

 

(Photo Credit: Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation)

(Photo Credit: Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation)

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