Since 2013, Pilot Light’s annual benefit has raised significant funds to support students as they learn and advocate for informed choices by bridging the lessons they learn in their classrooms to the foods on their lunch trays, at home, and in their communities. 

Pilot Light’s 2021 Gala will be an exciting, inclusive hybrid event, where guests may either celebrate with us in person or virtually from the comfort of their homes. Pilot Light’s founding chefs, Jason Hammel, Paul Kahan, Justin Large, and Matthias Merges, have invited acclaimed Chicago chefs to prepare a dinner with them avec River North, Big Star Wrigleyville, and The Arbory.  All of our guests, whether joining in person at one of these venues or virtually, will come together for our live-streamed program. Check back for more details in August 2021!

For Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities, contact Kathy Argentar ( 

Gala History

In 2013, Pilot Light held our first fundraiser, a back-to-school block party at Publican Quality Meats, in support of food education. In the following years, guests at our Feed Your Mind Gala (the first was held at the Chicago Cultural Center) enjoyed food prepared by renowned area chefs. In 2018 and 2019, our Feed Your Mind Gala was a spectacular, three-course seated dinner where one of 20 acclaimed chefs was dedicated to each table. Last year, Pilot Light opted for a virtual celebration with Feed Your Mind At Home, which featured a live-streamed program and appearances from our founding chefs, teachers, students, and experts who have worked alongside us to advance food education.

We are thrilled to present our 2021 hybrid event, which is simply called Pilot Light’s Gala. Whether you join us in person or virtually, we hope you will support holistic food education so we can continue “feeding young minds” across the country.


Read About Last Year’s Event!

Your support through our Gala helps Pilot Light reach more students and teachers with food education.  Pilot Light’s unique approach integrates food education into academic subjects, making it possible to reach every student in every school with food education that supports informed decision-making for a lifetime.

We are inspired by Pilot Light students and teachers!


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