On June 6, the 17th iteration of the Pride networking party "OUT of the Office" took place in the rooftop lounge of The I/O Godfrey Hotel.
The event, through its long history, has remained true to its focus of creating an atmosphere for LGBTQ individuals in the business and corporate sector to network and meet while benefiting a worthy causes. This year's beneficiaries were Chicago House and Affinity Chicago. ( Previous beneficiaries have included Gay Games Chicago, Legacy Chicago, Transworks, The AIDS Walk and Run, The LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and Open Hand Food Pantry. )
Event creator Andrew Hayes of Fifth Third Bank said in a previous press release, "As you know, 17 years ago was a different time for us and the event has been credited with connecting many people together who have gone on to enjoy business."
For all the joy and socializing that took place, the event's focus was squarely on the LGBTQ community, with many well-known community activists and leaders, media personalities, corporate business individuals, small-business owners, and supporters and allies in attendance.
Dreamtown Realty sponsored the event, while Hayes, Mika Stambaugh of TMI, and Brad Edwards of CBS 2 Chicago chaired. Sandi Robinson of The Godfrey Hotel, and Sam Powell and Christina Pinson of Dreamtown Realty planned "OUT of the Office."
Anthony Gutierrez, the senior program director of Chicago House, and Imani Rupert-Gordon of Affinity Community Services each spoke briefly about the work their respective organizations do for the community. Among the many raffle prizes offered were two tickets to The House of Blues Gospel Sunday Brunch, two nights at The I/O Godfrey, tickets to a White Sox game, a wine-and-vodka selection and a mystery prize titled "Luck be A Lady."