Six years ago, then director of the Illinois Film Office, Brenda Sexton, decided Chicago needed a greater presence at the Sundance Film Festival. So she bought a condo large enough to host about 100 people and created the Annual Chicago at Sundance Party. I was so sad I couldn’t go this year but I know it has now become such a big hit that people send their resumes into Brenda for consideration to get in! This year, she has joined forces with Denis John Healy, Chicagoan and CEO of Turtle Wax, and moved the party to his magnificent large home in Deer Valley. Over 200 guests RSVP’d to this party, one of the hottest events at Sundance. The Peninsula Chicago decided to become the name sponsor this year to help encourage filmmakers to produce in Chicago as well as supporters Garrett’s Popcorn and Eli’s Cheesecake, who flew in treats for the event. Guests in attendance this year included Gabe and Alan Polsky (producers of the film “Bad Lieutenant”), Jack Gilardi (mega ICM talent agent), Jim Stern (CEO of Endgame), Christie Hefner and Billy Marovitz, Billy Dec, Les Coney, ABC’s Sylvia Perez, Diann Burns, Lance Chody (CEO of Garrett’s Popcorn), Susanna Negovan, Dr. Warwick Carter (Prez of Columbia College), Dr. Eric Winston (VP of Columbia College), Wade Bradley (CEO of IndieVest), NBC’s Andrea Metcalfe, Betsy Steinberg (Director of Illinois Film Office), Todd Lizak (AD of Ill. Film Office), Marc Anderson (Peninsula’s Director of Marketing), Lake Forest’s Ann and Kevin Dwyer and Lynne Bredfeldt. Lynne reported that she talked to late night talk show host Chelsea Handler and her new beau, hunky hotelier Andre Balazs, at Tao Saturday night, saw two great movie premieres (“The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” and “Cedar Rapids”) and spotted Chaz Bono, James Franco (in a blond wig), Anne Heche and Ed Helms. She was one busy girl!!! Chicago Link Productions is also the host for the annual bash in LA for Chicago alumni with RJ and Jerrod Melman at their Santa Monica eatery, La Grand Orange. Wherever you find Chicagoans, you find FUN with a capital F! Congrats Brenda for taking your show on the road to Park City! They are so lucky to have you!!! We miss you here big time! Click here to see who the party animals were!
I’m beginning to feel that Chicago is the center of the world. Everyone who is anybody comes through here, makes movies here, opens restaurants here and opens world class stores here. It’s also good to know we’re pretty safe from earthquakes, tsunamis and rocket launchers from the Middle East. In other words, I think it’s a pretty special place to live. Even our winters are getting milder, go figure! And the longer I write Candid Candace, the more aware I am of all of the wonderful charities and worthy organizations that are thriving here. Here’s just a sampling of some of the recent events along with exciting upcoming parties. This week at Rockit, I supported Scott Norton in his efforts with his new charitable idea called “Make My Day Mondays.” It’s a simple concept with far reaching results. As a player agent for 17 years, Scott has enlisted some of his sports star clients like St. Louis Blues enforcer Cam Janssen who tweeted on a Monday, “Dinner at Indian Rest. Walked out and gave homeless man leftovers with a $20 bill inside in case not a big fan of Indian! Make My Day Monday!” Scott described how this idea came about, “I talked with the guys about a way to get our company involved in a charitable movement and help people. I came up with this idea and name. I want to lead by example and show people that EVERYONE can help a little!” Through social media, Scott and his clients don’t focus on a dollar amount or specific organization, but behave with a sense of morality and support for the community in ways that don’t require a ton of money but rather a desire to help someone in need. Scott explains, “People feel they cannot give enough, so they don’t give at all.” Fans can follow Norton Sports clients such as Los Angeles King’s Dustin Brown (@DustinBrown23) and Cam Janssen (@CamJanssen55) each Monday on Twitter. This week’s MMDM event at Rockit brought out over 150 friends in support of Step-Up Women’s Network. So, hopefully, you can take a moment this Monday, and every Monday, to make someone’s day! What a wonderful idea Scott and what a great way to be on Karma’s good side! For more info, contact Scott at 312-330-0329 or on Twitter, @NortonSports. Click here for more photos from this fun event!
CS Magazine’s Samantha Saifer is hosting a BIG launch party for Luxury Garage Sale, a company specializing in upscale consignment. This two day, Saturday and Sunday, February 12th and 13th, shopping event will be held at Galleria Unico, located at 1936 W. Division (2nd floor) from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Shop an inventory of new and gently used designer, contemporary and vintage clothing, accessories and shoes from the most sought after fashionistas’ closets in town. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide. Needless to say, this will be the biggest and most handpicked consignment sale of the year! Hope to see you there!!!
On Saturday, February 26th, you won’t want to miss the 2011 Bear Tie Ball, “Tropicure.” This year’s event for the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, will be held at Union Station from 6 p.m. until midnight. Ball chairperson Maxie Clarke promises an island adventure with captivating raffles, sizzling auctions (with new iTouch bidding) and dancing, dancing, dancing! Black tie preferred, island flair encouraged! Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a national organization founded in 1992 by Kathleen Casey and her 8-year-old son, Bear. Their mission is to eliminate pediatric cancer and to provide hope and support to those who are touched by it. For tickets, starting at $325, please visit www.bearnecessities.org or call 312-214-1200, ext. 29.
The Benjamin Marshall Society will host a celebration of the First Centennial Anniversary of East Lake Shore Drive, 1911-2011, on Friday, March 4th at the Drake Hotel. This 100-year milestone in Chicago’s social and architectural history will honor Benjamin Marshall, who designed five of the eight buildings on iconic East Lake Shore Drive including the Drake and 999 N. Lake Shore. Marshall’s creation of the Drive came at a time when that piece of land was merely a landfill and when the wealthy were still living in sumptuous residences on the south side of Prairie Avenue. Jane Lepauw of Northbrook and Jennifer MacGregor of Lake Forest are co-chairs for this upcoming gala along with Honorary Chair, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly. Tickets are $250. Reservations can be made at BenMarshallSociety@yahoo.com or by calling 312-932-4309.
Under the “it’s about time” category, we have the upcoming Stanley Paul-Raelene Mittelman Scholarship Benefit for AIBI which will honor the Duchess of DuPage, our own Hazel Barr! Her contributions to Chicago’s philanthropic community are unparalleled and her singular drive and leadership towards her goals have endeared her to so many. As a matter of fact, I believe the term “Grande Dame” was created just for HER! She has so many admirers that I’m not sure the Casino will be able to hold them all on Wednesday, April 27th. I am very proud to call her my friend. Tickets are $200 and include a cocktail reception from 6 to 9 p.m. and a light supper. Reservations can be made by calling 312-836-1041. See you all there I hope!!!
I ran across a very interesting blog lately called “At Home with the Farmer’s Wife.” This website is the kind you want to read on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee. It’s a feel good column about life in rural Illinois and I love it. It reads, “The Farmer’s Wife lives 9 miles from anything. Join her on a journey to connect with the rest of the world and find some common ground. The screen door will be open and the porch light will be on.” Too charming for words! I wonder if her farm looks anything like auctioneer Leslie Hindman’s whose Fair Warning Farm was featured in a great spread in this month’s Chicago magazine?
This year’s Service Club Gala promises to be quite a party so save the date now for Friday, November 4th! Co-chairs Dusty Stemer, Toni Canada and Laurie Davis are planning an evening at El Morocco filled with 1940’s glamour so stay tuned for more info! Click here for pics.
And last but not least, the Maxim Chicago Party, celebrating the biggest weekend in football, will be held on Friday, February 4th at SpyBar, located at 646 N. Franklin, Chicago. This VIP event will be hosted by NBC Chicago’s Marcus Riley alongside Maxim spokeperson April Rose. The Blackhawks Ice Crew and Maxim models will be featured this evening along with the world renowned DJ D Ramirez. Doors open at 10 p.m. and the party will go on until 4 a.m. For more info, please contact Hannah at 773-963-1333 or e-mail Hannah@spybarchicago.com. Congrats to Marcus and April on what I know will be a very full house!!
I know it’s getting a little gloomy around here with the lack of sun and never ending snow, but take a look at this little video of 10-year-old LaLa who just LOVES this kind of weather!
P.S. Don’t miss the documentary, “Louder Than a Bomb,” coming on February 4th to the Gene Siskel Film Center. Filmmakers Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs, have already garnered 11 awards at film festivals across the country with the biggest accolade being chosen by the Oprah Winfrey Network for her upcoming “OWN Documentary Club.” The film is based around an annual event where more than 600 teenagers from over 60 Chicago area high school poetry teams gather for the world’s largest youth poetry slam. Roger Ebert called it, “Surely one of the best and most powerful films in this year’s Chicago International Film Festival.” I can’t wait to see it. Take a sneak peek here at this powerful documentary about finding one’s voice at www.louderthanabombfilm.com.