The 66th annual Physician’s Ball honored the best of the best at a black-tie event on February 6 hosted by thePolish-American Medical Society (PAMS) at the Ritz-Carlton recently with more than 750 guests in attendance. The elegant event was chaired by Dr. Kornelia Krol, PAMS president, and I was honored to return as co-host with ABC-7’s Alan Krashesky.

Dr. Kornelia Krol (3rd from R, front) surrounded by colleagues

Dr. Kornelia Krol (3rd from R, front) surrounded by colleagues

We introduced notable guests Governor Bruce Rauner, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, Congressman Robert Dold and Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the U.S.,Ryszard Schnepf.

Governor Bruce Rauner addresses the crowd as wife Diana looks on

Governor Bruce Rauner addresses the crowd as wife Diana looks on

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex Storozynski was the night’s guest of honor. He is currently board chair of the Kosciuszko Foundation (KF) that promotes closer ties between Poland and the U.S. through educational, scientific and cultural exchanges.

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His speech was both humorous and humbling and brought wild applause from the crowd. Each year, PAMS honors individuals for their achievements in the medical field.

With darling co-emcee Alan Krashesky

With darling co-emcee Alan Krashesky

This year’s honorees were Professor Jaroslaw Maciejewski, chairman of Hematology and Oncology at The Cleveland Clinic; Professor George Krol, Dept, of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY; ProfessorAndrzej Matya, chairman of General Gastrointestinal and Oncologic Surgery at

PAMS president Dr. Kornelia Krol presents honoree with award

PAMS president Dr. Kornelia Krol presents honoree with award

Jagiellonian University Medical College; Professor Malgorzata Szczerbo-Trojanowska, chairman of Radiology at the Medical University in Lubin and ProfessorAndrzej Jakubowiak, director of the Myeloma Program at the University of Chicago.

WICI Song & Dance Company

WICI Song & Dance Company

Special recognition was given to Professor Piotr Witkowski and Mr. Emilio Williams-Lopez. A Polonia dance ensemble, WICI Song & Dance, dressed in traditional garb and directed by Anna Krysinski, enchanted the crowd with its rendition of the Waltz and the Polonaise… all the couples participated in this beautiful dance and it was sheer magic!!

BONEY M performs

BONEY M performs

Next, the audience went wild for BONEY M, with original lead singer Maizie Williams, and danced Jamaican style into the wee hours! The Polish American Medical Society is the world’s largest organization of Polish doctors outside of Poland and has been in existence since 1946.

Elegant gala attendees

Elegant gala attendees

Funds from the event benefited medical, veterinary and dental students of Polish descent as well as a $5000 grant to the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra (PASO).  Congrats to all!