Women’s board preparing kitchen walk luncheon

By Mike Ellis

Like many non-profit organizations, the Coronavirus pandemic has forced the Hinsdale Historical Society (HHS) Women’s Board to make significant adjustments to its events. The women’s board canceled the popular Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk in May 2020 due to the pandemic, and was unable to conduct the event traditionally the Friday before Mother’s Day this year as a result of lingering restrictions. Instead, the board improvised, converting its luncheon—generally held in January—into a virtual event styled the kitchen walk luncheon, and moving it to May 7, the Friday before Mother’s Day. Luncheon co-chair Sarah Zielke said the kitchen walk has been a tradition that ladies in Hinsdale and surrounding towns have looked forward to for roughly the past 15 years, and the women’s board wanted to keep the custom of gathering in May alive. “Typically, on the Friday before Mother’s Day, we wake up, look out the window hoping for a sunny spring day, get dressed up and get ready for a day of beautiful homes and fun with friends,” luncheon co-chair Hope Lloyd Brown said. “This year, we are hoping you wake up feeling the same way.” Tickets to the virtual luncheon will go on sale April 5, and will include lunch, a raffle ticket and access to online content on the day of the event. Ticket sales will coincide with the launch of social media content on the women’s board’s online platforms, which will continue for the ensuing month leading up to the luncheon on May 7.

“Typically, on the Friday before Mother’s Day, we wake up, look out the window hoping for a sunny spring day, get dressed up and get ready for a day of beautiful homes and fun with friends. This year, we are hoping you wake up feeling the same way.”

Historical society trustee Alexis Braden said renowned regional interior designers Summer Thornton, Sarah Vaile, Laura Ashley Allan and Kelly Hurliman will be providing “design and entertainment inspiration” on social media through May 7. “Our hope is that people will follow along on Instagram,” Zielke said, adding that there will be a “very well-coordinated digital rollout” of content. “There will be designers highlighted; there will be weekly raffle pulls; there will be content provided by local businesses.” Zielke described the luncheon as a “very design-focused event;” however, its focus will not be limited to home design, also incorporating designer dresses and art pieces that have been donated by designers from around the world. “It’s been interesting to see what people contribute,” she said. But home design will be the primary point of emphasis. The theme of the luncheon, “making old, new again,” shines a light on incorporating modern design in older homes. “I think with designers, the theme really resonates,” Zielke said. From a fundraising standpoint, Zielke said the raffle—for which designers have contributed coffee-table books, amongst other items—will be the “central focus.” Attendees may either purchase individual tickets or serve as ambassador hostesses in their own homes, with the pricing structure mapped out on the women’s board website. Homeowners that host up to ten guests in their homes that day will be eligible to receive additional perquisites.

“We’ll have a pretty quick turnaround in terms of how many hostesses we’ll have,” Zielke said. Given the virtual nature of the event, there will be no cap placed on the quantity of hostesses. “We would love it if it gets broader visibility, due to the format,” Zielke said. Take-home meals will be provided by Paul Virant and Vistro Prime. On the day of the luncheon, participants are encouraged to share their own tablescapes and home events on social media. “People are so excited to have something to look forward to,” Zielke said. There will be content on the day of the event, including a raffle-draw, featuring prizes from noteworthy designers and artists including Mark D. Sikes, Kara Mann and Paloma Contreras. Zielke said “people’s genuine enthusiasm to have an opportunity to have something to look forward to, and get dressed up, and have friends over” has made the luncheon worthwhile to plan. She said the women’s board hopes it will be able to resume the Mother’s Day weekend kitchen walk tradition in 2022. “No matter what,” Zielke said, “[the luncheon] will be a wonderful way to spend May 7, and an opportunity to come together.”

The Hinsdale Historical Society Women’s Board will present a virtual kitchen walk luncheon on May 7. Starting April 5, tickets may be purchased at www.hinsdalehistory.org. Local ladies are invited to serve as ambassador hostesses, and open up their homes to up to ten guests the day of the luncheon. There is no limit to the number of hostesses eligible to participate. For more information about the luncheon or the women’s board in general.

visit www.hinsdalehistory.org

*Photos by Carolina Menapace