Two great events for wonderful causes BOTH on the same night! What is Candid Candace to do? Go to both, of course! The first “Shine & Dine” was held at Galleria Marchetti recently to benefit Step Up Women’s Network. This event, the first of its kind, attracted more than 400 guests. Honorary Chair, ABC 7’s Valerie Warner, sparkled and inspired from the stage to the crowd consisting of local professionals and notables. The evening was a mix of philanthropy plus seasonal fare from Chicago’s hottest restaurants all to benefit the charitable programs of Step Up Women’s Network. Managing Director Gina Marotta said, “Step Up has been a fixture in Chicago for five years and this special event is the perfect way to celebrate our work with local women and girls, as well as attract new enthusiasts to our cause.” Wave Executive Chef Kristine Subido and ZED451 Executive Chef Patrick Quakenbush were on hand to offer guests their exclusive tastings as well as favorites from The Purple Pig. The event’s host committee included D.C. Crenshaw, Cameron Croft, Amalie Drury, Cassandra Gaddo, Todd Helmink, Jonny Imerman, Stacy Levy, Kim Lichtenstein, Peter Marsh, Robert McGhee, Susanna Negovan, Daphne Ortiz, Todd S. Pugh, Marcus Riley, Laura Schwartz, Erica Strama, Genevieve Theirs, Julee White and moi. This wonderful organization supports and mentors teen girls in Chicago’s most underserved communities to become confident, college-bound and career-ready! For more info on how YOU can become involved, please visit www.suwn.org. (All photos by Caitlin Saville Collins.)
This same evening, one of my favorite new spots in town, The Rooftop at Studio Paris, was the scene of a party hosted by The Women’s Auxiliary of Ronald McDonald House Near Lurie Children’s. This benefit was co-chaired by three of the most enthusiastic ladies I know - Carol Beitler, Lesley Goodman and MaryAnne Smith (Coach Lovie’s vivacious wife). Two hundred plus supporters participated in this benefit that raised more than $50,000 to support the Rooftop Retreat of the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House. Debuting in 2012 and designed to give families a chance to relax and replenish after a day at the hospital, this impressive space will be surrounded by nine-foot glass walls with both a family activity area and a meditation garden. The brick sculpture dividing the two areas will feature the city’s first skyline bricolage mosaic, a customized mural constructed from pieces of tile, mirrors, paintings and photographs which the Auxiliary is sponsoring. On this night, guests were introduced to some of the wall’s artists as well as having an opportunity to create a tile to be embedded in the structure.Another fun event is planned for September 27th. Starting at 4 PM, “Topping Off” festivities will begin on the garage rooftop across the street from the new House at 211 E. Grand. Following the official ceremony at 5 PM, Saks on Michigan Avenue (courtesy of Heather Farley) has invited everyone for an exclusive night of fashion and cocktails from 6 to 8 PM. (Photos by Caitlin Saville Collins. To view ALL images, please click here.)
Film star and Oscar winner Russell Crowe tweeted to his 250,000 followers: "Rode from Algonquin to Lake Geneva (WI). Beautiful place, my first ever visit to Wisconsin. If you are in the area, check out Baker House." Well, it just so happens my darling friend, Bethany, OWNS Baker House and this is her report: "Last night (8/25), Russell Crowe arrived (unannounced) at our new restaurant, The Baker House, in Lake Geneva, WI. He came in with two male friends and asked to be seated in our lakefront garden. They were hungry and seemed a bit tired...evidently, turns out he and his two male companions had biked from Algonquin, Illinois, to Lake Geneva, 40 miles, and then spent the day trekking around our scenic 28-mile lake! Russell said it was his FIRST VISIT EVER TO WISCONSIN and thought it was beautiful, and when he left he tweeted to his fans that if ever in the area, they should check out the Baker House! Our staff all wear costumes set in the 1890's through 1920's and Russell was amused asking our waitress if she liked dressing up when she came to work! When he and his friends left, they said they had an early day in Chicago or would have spent the night in our luxury hotel rooms that just opened. That would have been awesome!" Truth be told, this beautiful, vintage hotel with a lakefront setting has been on MY hit list for quite some time. My neighbors love it and we have been invited a few times but my schedule has never allowed us to go. Nestled in scenic beauty on Geneva Lake, this hotel was built in 1885 as a summer home for a wealthy family. Situated at 327 Wrigley Dr. in downtown Lake Geneva, this vintage, painted lady boasts 30 rooms, 13 fireplaces, nightly entertainment, a lakefront garden and is a Nationally Registered Historic property. Luxury suites begin at $340 and there are many packages available. I am sure Russell will be returning...and I hope I can meet him for cocktails in the lakefront garden! (With my husband, of course!) (Baker House, 327 Wrigley Dr., downtown Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, 262.248.4700)
I love feel-good stories, feel good movies and, of course, feel good campaigns! And this one is pretty special. Chicago Loop Alliance, along with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, in support of their public art initiative, created the “GO DO GOOD” campaign. (You would only miss the brightly-colored yellow signs around town if you were living in a cave, which hopefully you aren’t!) This campaign is a summer long, citywide movement to prepare Chicago’s kids to succeed in school and to also encourage good deeds around town. The theme is based on the Chicago Loop Alliance’s commissioned “Go Do Good” art installation which is a six foot story mural by Midwest based, internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist, Kay Rosen. This 30-second PSA was produced by Julee White’s Testarossa Entertainment in association wih the Illinois Center for Broadcasting (that shot and edited the spot). Check it out (campaign ends on Sept. 10th) and GO DO GOOD!!! :)
And now, here are some wonderful upcoming events that Candid Candace Recommends!
The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival is the first of its kind in Chicago! “In-Fashion,” presented by MasterCard, will feature a two-week (August 26th through Sept. 8th) celebration of style featuring exclusive shopping offers, hotel packages, sweepstakes, culinary events and celebrities galore! Stylist Carson Kressley kicked off the event early on Aug. 26th in Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue. There are too many events to mention here but expect to see Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, "Real Housewives'" Kyle Richards, Bill Kurtis, hunky shoe designer Brian Atwood, Chef Gale Gand and "Project Runway’s" Mondo Guerra at events around town. I will be dividing my time on Sept. 8th between Saks Fifth Avenue’s shoe salon re-opening (10022-SHOE) with Brian Atwood (6 to 9 PM) and 900 Shops VIP party featuring Bravo’s Brad Goreski (6 to 9 PM). Congrats to Carrie Lannon, In-Fashion Chairperson and National Director of PR for ULTA Beauty! For more info, please visit www.shop900.com/fno.
On Tuesday, Sept. 27th, the Goodman Theatre will present its opening benefit featuring the Tony award-winning play by John Logan, “Red,” which is described as a journey into the mind of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, for whom paintings are “pulsating” life forces intended “to stop the heart.” The evening will begin with cocktails and dinner at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute, located at 159 E. Monroe, followed at 8 PM with the performance of “Red.” Gala and performance tickets begin at $500. Performance only tickets start at $25.
As you know, there was extensive damage to our fabulous Garfield Park Conservatory during the hail storm on June 30th. Thus, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is spearheading a fundraising campaign to restore the damaged panes. Entitled, “Wine & Wildflowers,” this fundraiser will be held Thursday, Sept.1st, at the Lincoln Park Zoo from 5:30 to 8 PM and will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a meet-and-greet with author Julia Bachrach. Tickets are $95 and can be purchased by visiting lpzoo.org/wine.
On Friday, September 23rd, an event very close to my heart, “Couture & Cocktails,” will be celebrating its sixth year as one of the biggest fundraisers for The Joffrey Ballet. Co-created by Helen Melchior and myself, this year’s event is being chaired by matching dynamos Kristina McGrath and Rebecca Besser. Held for the first time at this hot, new, BIG (115,000 feet.) venue, the Hudson at 2222 S. Michigan (where Ikram hosted her anniversary party!), this party/fashion show will feature the designs of David Meister (presented by our great friends at Neiman Marcus). Beginning with a VIP Party at 6 PM, there will also be a live and silent auction as well as the event’s signature “fun food.” Live auction items feature a Championship Round Masters Golf Package for four, a dream trip to British Virgin Island’s Bitter End Yacht Club, a private yacht for eight in Florida and a Ready-Made Champagne and Wine Collection. Tickets start at $275 with packages available. For more info and tickets, please visit Joffrey.org/CoutureandCocktails.
The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation will host its 26th Annual Fall Benefit luncheon on Monday, Sept. 19th at the Ritz-Carlton. (Chuck’s birthday!!!!) Featuring Goldie Hawn, the event will begin at 11 AM followed by a luncheon at noon. Event chairs are Ashley Netzky and Lara Shipp Shiffman with Maggie Daley serving as the Honorary Chair. For tickets or more info, please visit www.lynnsage.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.926.7133. And that’s this week’s lowdown on Chicago’s fabulous highlights! :)
P.S. And I hope you’re not sick of my constant pleas for you to vote for me in CBS’ “Most Valuable Blogger” contest! I am proud to be a finalist and hope to be a win-alist! Just click and vote HERE! Remember, you can vote once a day until Sept. 9th, yadda, yadda, yadda... :)