Black Ties Starting to See Red

Bad economy affecting high-end charity events

You would think those swanky charity events with the fancy accoutrements and high ticket prices to match would be one of the victims of this horrible economy.

And according to the Chicago Sun-Times, there's a lot of signs that that's starting to happen in Chicago.

Bill Zwecker reports that the stock market free-fall is having an effect on the core group of people who regularly attend the black-tie functions that keep various local organizations afloat.

Chicago may not be as bad off as places like South Florida, which is reeling from the Madoff effect, but a number of civic leaders admit that fund-raising in this economic climate is challenging.

"Things are going along fine. We have found that where in the past people would buy $10,000 tables [for the event], they are now doing $6,000 tables. It's a case where you have to simply sell more tables to make up the difference," said Maureen Smith, the chairwoman of the Joffrey Ballet.

Wealthy Chicagoans may have decided to be pickier about the events they choose to attend. The May 9 official grand opening for the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago has set a new Chicago record with tickets ranging from $2,500 per person to $10,000.

It just to show that at the end of the day, cutting back means different things to different people.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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