Russian Pride at the Consulate Corps Ball

Aleksandra Efimova

Aleksandra Efimova and Mayor Richard Daley

Every year, Chicago Sister Cities International invites all the consulate generals who represent countries in Chicago ― a total of about 80 foreign dignitaries ― to attend the Chicago Consular Corps Ball.

This year’s black-tie event, which serves as a fundraiser for Chicago Sister Cities International, was held at the Palmer House Hilton on May 5. Mayor Richard Daley presided over the affair in one of his last duties as Mayor of Chicago.

Typically, each consulate general sits at a table made up of people with connections to his or her country, making the entire event a truly global gathering where you can hear almost every language spoken around the room.

This year, as the co-chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, I was pleased to organize the first-ever table representing Russia at the event. I was joined at the table by Elena Mossina from the lawfirm Baker & McKenzie, one of the few U.S. lawfirms to have an office in Moscow, as well as Gene Meltser of the lawfirm Birg & Meltser, a representative from Geneva Seal, and Bob Pape, an American who is passionate about developing more international connections with Russia.

The event was a wonderful chance to support the Chicago Sister Cities Program, which helps to enhance the city’s presence as an international center of business and culture, and a great way for me to show my pride for Russia.