Every February in Chicago, community development practitioners and developers and bankers and city officials come together for a giant awards ceremony and cocktail party known as the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards.
I'll be there this year, on Thursday, Feb. 7, for three very good reasons:
1. The awards honor six individuals or groups for the work they've done, ranging from bricks-and-mortar developments to outstanding leadership or strategy. Short videos stir up the emotions and the applause is heartfelt. Those are good people on that stage.
2. This 14th awards ceremony is doing away with the usual pre-awards panel discussion and going instead with Second City. The comedy troupe will perform "an original and comical retrospective of the people, places, events, and issues that have shaped community development in Chicago over the last four decades. It's a humorous mirror of our victories, our foibles and just how we appear to the world around us."
3. I enjoy having drinks with 1,400 of my closest friends.
The improv starts at 3 p.m., awards at 4:30 and reception at 6 p.m., all at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker Drive. Tickets are $50 and you can register on-line here. Or purchase at the door for $55.
I'll see you there.