Celestial Ball

On Saturday, September 9, 2017, the Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium hosted their biggest fundraising event of the year and most successful to date—2017 Celestial Ball, Solar Flare. The annual black-tie gala raised $1.7 million for educational programming that engages people in doing science and inspires young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

President of the Women’s Board, Linda Gerstman and Co-Chairs of the 2017 Celestial Ball, Erika Lautman Bartelstein and Elisa Primavera-Bailey, welcomed approximately 600 guests, including business, civic and philanthropic leaders in the Chicago community. A highlight of the autumn gala season, guests at Celestial Ball enjoyed an elegant cocktail reception and silent auction, a seated dinner featuring hands-on demonstrations from the Adler’s teen Science Sommeliers, followed by dancing, all set under the Adler’s stars.


Teen science Sommelier does table-side science.

Event Dinner Chairs

Scott C. Swanson
Pradip K. Patiath

Women's Board Co-Chairs

Erika Lautman Bartelstein
Elisa Primavera-Bailey

Date & Time

Saturday, September 9, 2017
6:30 pm Cocktails and silent auction
8:00 pm Dinner followed by dancing


Adler Planetarium
1300 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605

2017 Corporate Partner Award

During the gala, the Adler Planetarium presented the 2017 Corporate Partner Award to Dover, represented by President & CEO Bob Livingston. 

With Dover’s generous support, the Adler’s youth programs have reached thousands of Chicago’s young people over the last two years, including:

  • 281 who took on engineering challenges in Operation Airlift
  • 5,051 who explored space in their favorite pajamas at Astro-Overnights
  • 6,195 who practiced valuable STEM and professional skills in Adler Teen Leaders Advancing STEM (ATLAS) programs

Dover Logo


CBall Sponsors 17


Abbott • AbbVie • Anonymous • BMO Harris Bank • Cressey & Company LP/Bryan Cressey and Cressey & Company • The Crown Family • Draper & Kramer/Forrest Bailey and Elisa Primavera-Bailey • Janet and Craig Duchossois • John and Cathie Estey • Horizon Pharma • JPMorgan Chase & Co. • Ray and Lisa Lewis • Littelfuse • Maclean-Fogg • McKinsey & Company • Motorola Solutions • Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Foundation • Sidley Austin, LLP • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP/Seth and Trudy Jacobson •
UL • Ulta Beauty • United Airlines


Michigan Avenue Magazine

Corporate Honorees 2003–Present

2017    Dover

2016    S&C Electric

2015    BMO Harris Bank

2014    PNC Bank

2013    JPMorgan Chase

2012    Motorola Solutions

2011    PNC Bank as “Science Education Partner Awardee” (with “Special Recognition Awards” to Gensler and to McKinsey & Company)

2010    Charter One Bank

2009    Motorola/Motorola Foundation

2008    Illinois Tool Works

2007    ComEd

2006    (none – Adler’s 75th Anniversary)

2005    S&C Electric

2004    Boeing

2003    Household