Man about town Bunky Cushing has done it again! He assembled a group of gorgeous, talented and philanthropically bent women for his 16th St. Valentine’s Day Tea. For the first time, the party was held at the Four Seasons since construction is ongoing at the Ritz-Carlton, where the event has been held in the past. Everyone loved the new venue and thought it was one of the best parties ever—which is why Bunky has decided to have the Tea at the Four Seasons indefinitely. No hard feelings though since the two hotels have the same owner. The invitations, as always, were from Tiffany—only the best for Bunky! And when these red and white engraved invites arrive in the mail, you feel very special indeed! They included the instructions, “Ladies, please wear red.” The Four Seasons did a great job and the champagne was flowing…the food displays were works of art and included curried chicken salad in profiteroles, egg salad on brioche buns, French ham, Dijon and Gruyere sandwiches, assorted tea breads (lemon poppy seed, carrot cake and zucchini bread) and traditional scones with Devonshire cream. On every table there were elegant displays of crystal candles of varying heights with multi-colored rose petals scattered around. The floor-to- ceiling windows offered an enchanting scene of falling snow while we were cozy inside. Around 85 attended the Tea this year including Kathy O’Malley Piccone, Maria Pappas, Carrie Hightman, Judge Mary Pat Burns, Cindy Burns, Hazel Barr, Jean Antoniou, Diane Edelman, Deirdre Platt, Helen Melchior, Lee Bauer, Dori Wilson, Carrie Lannon, Liz Sharp, Carlette McMullan, Laura Barnett, Felicia Winiecki, Greg Hyder, Mary Lasky, Toni Canada, Shauna Montgomery, Sherren Leigh, Ivy Gracie, Cathy Bell, Diane Cortino, Graham Kostic, Amalie Drury, Susanna Negovan, Rebecca Besser, Jannie Pearlman, Megan McKinney, Zarada Gowenlock, Whitney Lasky, Ann Wallace, Peggy Martay, Sally Jo Morris, Barbara Samuels, Susan Ellefson, Dr. Stacie McClane, Linda Heister, Shelley Farley, Denise Stefan, Lisa Malkin, Diane Palmer, Melissa Fadim, Susan Grimm, Vicki Hood, Alice Sabl, Dusty Stemer, Jodi McNally, Carol Prins, Lynda Silverman and many more. Bunky’s next event will be the second annual Early Birds & Bookworms Breakfast to benefit the Jane Addams Senior Caucus. This by-invitation-only event will be on Tuesday morning, May 18th, at RL. Alessandra Branca will be the guest speaker and she will be signing her beautiful new book, “New Classic Interiors.” Eighty-five lucky ladies will be on the invite list…fingers crossed! :) (Photos by Caitlin Saville...click here to view more!)
ABC’s Terry Moran was due to fly in but the Washington, D.C. airport was closed. This didn’t stop resourceful event organizer Sugar Rautbord from having him Skyped in. The Kick-Off Reception was hosted by Sugar, Jim Tyree, Diane and Quintin Primo III at his Capri Capital office in the Hancock to celebrate and bring attention to the Alzheimer’s Action Summit and the seventh annual National Alzheimer’s Gala in Washington on Tuesday, March 9th. Diane Primo is one of the National Committee co-chairs and Terry Moran will be the recipient of the Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award. According to latest reports, the numbers of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease continues to escalate and the need for action is more critical than ever. In just another 40 years, the number of people with Alzheimer’s will more than triple to up to 16 million and the impact on families, the economy, care facilities and medical resources will be overwhelming. Unless we control it, it has been reported, that it will wipe out Medicare and Medicaid in 15 years as the population ages. Terry Moran took the test as a spokesman and disclosed via Skype that he has several of the markers. When he asked his wife if she would take care of him, she responded, “That’s what marriage is all about.” Among the notables in attendance on this snowy night were Jim Tyree, Diane and Quintin Primo III, NBC’s Marion Brooks, Gwendolyn Brooks, Edie, Larry and Ben Soldinger, Jim Stone, Marty and Jack Higgins, Mr. and Mrs. George Vradenburg, Maria and Bill Smithburg, Kathy Schmalen, ABC’s Sylvia Perez and Leah Hope and Chicago Mag’s Richard Babcock among others. The Chicago event benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association will be the 23rd annual Rita Hayworth Gala on Saturday, May 8th, at the Fairmont Hotel. For more info, please call 312-335-5216, visit www.alz.org or e-mail email@example.com. (Photos by Mitch Canoff; more images can be viewed here.)
I received a rather large envelope in the mail from my super doctor, Dr. Gerald Sobel, the other day. I thought oh-oh, now what test will I need! I opened it and to my delight, there was a children’s book enclosed. It isn’t really a book just for children but rather has a message for every pet lover, young and old. The title is “Annie Bananie: My Forever Home” by Monique Joyce (illustrations by Anne Farley Gaines) and it is so moving and so timely for this throw-away society. It is the true story of Annie, a toy poodle who through no fault of her own has changed homes and names several times in her 16 years. At the age of 14, blind and requiring special food and medicine, she is the voice of older dogs who all too often find themselves hoping for a “forever home.” Often thought of as too old for adoption, older dogs spend their remaining years in animal shelters. Author Monique Joyce is a nutritionist and diabetes educator who works in Chicago with Dr. Sobel. She is the founder of Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp, an organization sponsored by the Chicago Bulls. This scholarship camp is free to all children with diabetes, ages 5 to 18 years. “Annie Bananie” is told from Annie’s perspective and offers many life lessons: remain hopeful when things seem hopeless and appreciate the value in all living things…young and old. But most importantly, don’t overlook an older pet for adoption, they can bring you more joy than you know. Save a Senior! I hope you buy this book and inspire others with its life lessons. There will be a “Read-In” on Saturday, Feb. 20th at the Coffee Break Café located at 10307 S. Hale. To order this delightful book, visit www.anniebananiewebsite.com.
If you don’t know David Rothstein, I think you should. First of all, he was recently featured in TCW Magazine this month as one of the top singles…I know why since he is very cute. But his history and his character are what make him stand out from the crowd. He founded David Rothstein Music in 2000. After he toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1994, he started playing with various wedding bands in the Chicago area. He was frustrated over the fact that he could predict every band’s playlist since they were never tailored to the individual. He decided he wanted to change this and has done just that with his talented band. However, the one thing that sets him apart is his charity, Share Your Love. After the wedding is over, he asks the bride if she’d be willing to donate her floral arrangements to hospitals, nursing homes or care centers. At no cost to the bride, he takes the arrangements himself to those less fortunate. All he needs is the bride’s okay and off they go to make someone else’s day! The staff of the facility will distribute the flowers to those most in need the next morning. His first wedding with the program was on June 27th, 2008 and the bride and groom donated 27 arrangements to the Lexington Assisted Living Facility. To date, his couples have donated over 200 flowers. Keep up the good work David…on AND off the dance floor! Call 773-244-1239 or visit his site to learn more.
Do you know what a “Scarfee” is? Designer Julia Saeid created these delightful little scarves in a variety of fabrics, styles and colors. They can be worn in numerous ways to create a cool cowl neck, shawl, hood or a traditional scarf. It is a great way to add a little style (or warmth in this frigid weather!) to an outfit without breaking the bank—they are all under $50. She plans on expanding her line once she finishes up at Columbia College in May. Her ideal client is someone who wears their clothes and doesn’t let their clothes wear them. She plans on doing a complete clothing line in the future—her inspiration was the late Alexander McQueen. We wish her the best…we love Scarfees!!! For more info visit www.etsy.com/shop/juliasaeid or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victory Gardens Theater has another hit play on its hands with “Blue Door.” Playwright Tanya Barfield’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama showcases Bruce Young and Lindsay Smiling as they journey through four generations of black history in one sleepless night. It is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to live with—or escape—the past. It runs through February 28th at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.). For tickets and info, call the box office at 773-871-3000 or e-mail email@example.com.
I want to send out HUGE KUDOS my friend and writer extraordinaire, Lucinda Hahn, who wrote the profile on me for Chicago magazine. She has just been tapped by Coastal Living Magazine to be a contributing editor, a position that will have her writing travel stories; her first assignment will be a road trip through the Florida Keys (nice job if you can get it!) but she’s also scouting for photo-friendly coastal homes such as Lake Michigan summer retreats, Palm Beach and the Carolinas. She's also got her eyes peeled for any other unique coastal story ideas: families with on-the-beach holiday or food traditions, or folks whose work or play relates to the coast in an interesting way. This lifestyle magazine (circulation 600,000) is very food- and eco-oriented so if you think you’ve got a great story or know of a photogenic house, e-mail Lucinda at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congrats Lucinda…oh, the places you’ll go! :)
I hope your Valentine’s Day was special and that you didn’t eat TOO much chocolate! Have a great week and I will return on March 3rd after a little vaca to South Beach! :) Hopefully, the weather will be a little better there!
P.S. The Old Town Triangle Center will be presenting “The Teahouse of the August Moon” on Saturday, March 6th, at 3:30 p.m. at 1763 N. North Park Ave. For reservations, please e-mail Shirley Baugher at email@example.com. My son, Charley Jordan, will be appearing in it along with a very talented cast so you KNOW it will be good! :)
P.P.S. Don't forget to check out my profile, "Belle of the Blog," in the March issue of Chicago magazine...it hits newsstands this Thursday. I can't begin to express how excited I am; I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed the interview and photo shoot!