150th Anniversary Committee:
John Paluch – Co-Chair
Marie-Simone Pavlovich – Co-Chair
Andre Frieden – Member
Martin Lagler – Member
Sonjia Manhart – Member
Biorn Schwarzenbach – Member
Beatrice Weiss – Member
Thomas Zoells – Member

Coming Soon: Documenting Swiss History
150th Anniversary Report 2022

We need your help in celebrating . . .

The 150th Anniversary of the Swiss Benevolent Society

Sunday, May 1 The Swiss Benevolent Society celebrated its 150th Anniversary at the Great Central Brewing Company on South Wood Street. Other Swiss organizations were well represented at the festivities with strong attendance by members of the Swiss Club, the Swiss-American Business Council, the Sister Cities International – Lucerne Committee and the Swiss Consulate in Chicago. To honor both Andrew Sulzer, who established the first commercial brewery in the Chicago and thousands of other Swiss who contributed to the development of the city, the Society brewed its own Hop Swiss beer with the help of its favorite brewery.

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Over the course of the year, the Society shared its Hop Swiss beer at other Swiss events:

Friday, May 13 20 Years of the Artist’s Atelier on North Damen – Lucerne Artists in Chicago

Sunday, June 19 Swiss Club’s Fathers Day Breakfast at Foster Avenue Beach

Saturday, July 31 August First Picnic organized by the Swiss Club

Tuesday, August 2 Swiss-American Business Council’s August 1 Reception: Focus 150 Years of SBS & Beer Culture in Chicago

Saturday, October 8 The Swiss Benevolent Society worked with the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library to prepare an exhibit on the contributions of Swiss to the development of Chicago. Julie Lynch and Chas Cassidy scoured the archives and found items related to the early settlement of Lakeview by Swiss Conrad Sulzer, historical records related to the rebuilding of Chicago after the fire and items of local manufacture by the Chicago Embroidery Company. The exhibit includes seven banners highlighting the history of the SBS, the contributions of the Sulzer brothers, the Artist’s Residency Program in Lucerne and Swiss-connected commercial activity in Chicago and the Midwest. The exhibit opening was on October 8 and runs until December 1.

View Bannners:

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Saturday, October 8 Kate Hannigan graciously presented her graphic novel, The Great Chicago Fire: Rising from the Ashes and informed and entertained an attentive audience of children, parents and other adult community members. This Family Day helped to remind the audience of the tragedy of the Chicago Fire and how different communities worked to rebuild the city. The SBS provided copies of the book to families and community members in attendance.

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For SBS events, refreshments were prepared by the Swiss caterer and pastry chef, Cristina Vannotti – Cristina’s Custom Cakes.

Saturday, November 12 The Swiss Benevolent Society joins with the Music Conservatory at Roosevelt University for its final event of the 150th Anniversary Celebration. On the final day of PianoFest, the repertoire features Swiss composers from the 19th and 20th century.


You can still be part of history! The publication of our 150th Anniversary Book has been restructured to include photos and descriptions of all of our 150th Anniversary Celebration activities. We are still accepting submissions until January 15, 2023. Anticipated publication is March 1, 2023.

150th Book Invitation Form (PDF)