Saturday, November 2, 2019

Northlight Theatre’s Board of Trustees presented Northlight’s premier fundraising event, Gala 2019: Setting the Stage at Michigan Shores Club. The night entailed a cocktail hour featuring a silent auction, a dinner and live auction lead by Michael Ingersoll and live music by The Flat Cats. At the event Northlight honored former Evanston Mayor Jay Lytle with the Speak Up! Award; and State Senator Laura Fine, State Representative Robyn Gabel, and State Representative Jennifer Gong Gershowitz with the Leadership Award. Watch the video presented at the event:


Video by Teddy Golden. Photos by George Pfoertner.

Leadership Award

Awardee: Jay Lytle

Jay Lytle is a native of Evanston who has lived his life in service to the community.  After a long career in banking he co-founded Evanston-First Bank and Trust (now Byline Bank) in 1995. The bank, grew to over $1 billion in assets under Jay’s leadership as a Managing Director and Chief Lending Officer. Jay is a true public servant serving first as an Evanston alderman and then Mayor for 12 years from 1977-1985. He has served on Committees, Boards and Advisory Boards at more than two dozen non-profit organizations, and currently volunteers at eight non-profits including as a member of Northlight’s Advisory Council. Jay has received numerous honors and awards and Northlight is pleased to recognize him as an advocate for our community and Northlight Theatre.

Speak Up! Award

Awardees: State Senator Laura Fine, State Representative Robyn Gabel and State Representative Jennifer Gong Gershowitz

These strong representatives recently helped Northlight set the stage for our move to Evanston in 2021 by advocating for a nearly $1M state allocation to make Northlight’s dream of a new theater home a reality. Laura Fine began her first full term as the State Senator of the 9th District in 2019. She was previously the state representative for the 17th District.  Robyn Gabel has represented the people of the 18th District since 2010, and currently serves as the Chair of Appropriations of the Human Services Committee. Jennifer Gong Gershowitz is a human rights attorney who joined the State Senate in January 2019 representing the people of the 17th District. Northlight honors these women for their leadership and advocacy on behalf of Northlight Theatre.

Learn more about the awards here.

Gala 2019 Sponsors:


Underwriting Sponsor





Legacy Sponsors
BMO Harris









Landmark Sponsors

Northwestern University