Feb 23, 2015

YLS Ignite 2015 (at Fulton Market Kitchen)

On Friday night I was lucky enough to attend United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's (UWMC) Young Leaders Society's (YLS) Ignite event.  For those of you who don't know, my younger brother, Mike, works at UWMC as a donor officer and also as the organizer of YLS.  YLS is the "young professionals" arm of UWMC's board, which consists of active donors under 40.  UWMC focuses on raising money for many different charitable agencies in neighborhoods all across the city.

The event is one of the biggest fundraising events that YLS has put on and my brother worked very hard on it to make sure everything ran smoothly, and that everyone had a GREAT time! 

Ignite was held at Fulton Market Kitchen in the West Loop.  I'd never been there before but it is a very cool and trendy event space.  There are multiple rooms, but Ignite had the run of the entire place.  I heard that they treat the art as kind of a rotating gallery, and it was all bright and colorful and interesting.

image via
The appetizers provided by FMK were things like lamb meatballs, portobello sliders, burger sliders, fried scallops and little chicken sandwiches.  Everything that I tasted was great, but I wish they had had more fried scallops and less sliders.

2Gingers Whiskey was one of the sponsors of the event, so the "signature" cocktails were a whiskey + ginger ale concoction and a sweeter whiskey drink with orange in it (not my favorite).  There was also a whiskey tasting bar.  I am not a huge whiskey fan (unlike Caitlin and my mother) so when the cute, Irish bartender asked me what kind of whiskey I usually prefer I had to be honest and say "none?".  He laughed and poured me a little glass of the smoothest and least aggressive whiskey I've ever had.  I wish I had taken a picture of the bottle but I think it was this.

There was also a selection of wine and surprisingly good beers at the bars.  The band Mike picked was very entertaining, playing songs from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc, etc.  Sadly there was not enough dancing for my taste, but the event was pretty crowded, so I'll chalk it up to not enough space.  Hopefully next year it will be in a bigger place with a dance floor?
My beautiful family + Dave courtesy of Fotio
The crowd was great, as it was mostly young professionals and their friends, but it also included my parents, former coworkers and some local Chicago celebrities, such as my favorite morning news anchor.  I'm pretty sure everyone took at least one picture in the Fotio "booth".  If I ever have a big party or wedding in the city I will definitely be hiring these guys.

I had a wonderful evening, and can't wait to see what Mike plans for next year's event!  The best part was, this year, tickets were only $60-80, which is very reasonable for appetizers, open bar, great company and a live band.  I'll make sure I announce when tickets go on sale for next year.

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