WJA—Midwest Bejeweled Gala raises $19,000 for charity

The Women’s Jewelry Association—Midwest held its annual Bejeweled Gala Sept. 14 in the Chicago Cultural Center to an A list of industry executives, celebrities, politicians, and athletes. The benefit raised $18,950 for the Chicago Abused Women Coalition.

Nearly 200 persons attended the event, which culminated in a live auction of one-of-kind jewelry. The auction was conducted by Leslie Hindman, host of the PBS program, At the Auction.

WJA invited celebrities like The Practice’s Lara Flynn Boyle, paleontologist Sue Hendrickson (discoverer “Sue” the T-Rex), Illinois State Senator Lisa Madigan, and beauty expert Marilyn Miglin to sketch earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pins, and rings that professional designers then created.

The one-of-kind pieces were fashioned in silver, gold and platinum. Many of the pieces were previewed a few weeks earlier at a fashion show held in the Maximilian Fur Salon of Bloomingdale’s Michigan Avenue store.

A shamrock-shaped 18k yellow gold ring with green tsavorites and diamonds, designed by John Buechner of John Buechner & Co. based on Boyle’s drawing attracted the evening’s highest bid at $2.500.