...PLUS PAWS-ITIVELY BEACHY, FIELD MUSEUM IS WILD ABOUT HARRY, THE DARK KNIGHT'S CHICAGO PREMIERE, A ST. TROPEZ CHIC DESIGNER, WHITE HOUSE HONORS FOR PAUL, A GIANT NY BOOK LAUNCH, TOM STREHLE’S PERFECT PITCH, A SPECIAL 50TH AND SO MUCH MORE!
The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo hosted its 35th annual Zoo Ball in one of my favorite venues! As 1,000 black-tie clad guests entered the zoo grounds through the East Gate, they were greeted by more than 30,000 feet of dramatic sweeping tents. Earlier in the day, one of the tents came down due to heavy rain but all was well by the time the event began. During the cocktail reception across from the Kovler Lion House, one could hear the big cats roaring their approval as guests raised funds to keep them supplied with kitty food. The Feed a Friend Program offered supporters the opportunity to donate for various zoo animals and receive a corresponding stuffed animal to show their support. Levels included $100 to feed a gibbon family for three months all the way up to $15,000 to feed a gorilla family for a year. It was a great way to get guests involved in the zoo as well as raise funds. And for those who didn’t want to take the stuffed toys, they could be donated to Lurie Children’s Hospital which has a floor sponsored by the Zoo. Themed “The Great Catsby” and presented by Guggenheim (who underwrote the evening’s dinner in its entirety), the event was co-chaired by Suzanne Meder and Cynthia Polayes with Honorary Chair Anne Pramaggiore. Women’s Board President Abby Zanarini welcomed the crowd and thanked Guggenheim and J.N. Pritzker/Tawani Foundation/Pritzker Military Library for their continued support. She also acknowledged Barbara Higgins (Allstate), Anne Pramaggiore (ComEd), John Alexander (Chairman of the Board) and Kevin Bell (Zoo President and CEO). Event Creative’s Jeffrey Foster helped bring the chairs’ décor vision to life: An elegant Hampton’s vibe included masses of blue hydrangeas and twinkling chandeliers as well as a stage that resembled a white gate complete with hedge walls. Auction Chair Bridget Campbell arranged a vast array of silent auction items in the chic Leopard Lounge that included Andrea Bocelli box seats (sold for $5K), Master’s golf package (two passes for all four days sold for $19K), a one week stay at the Four Seasons Costa Rica (sold for $6K), a signed Joakim Noah jersey, Ryder Cup tickets and so much more! Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from J & L Catering that included mini Black Forest ham, gruyere and Dijon panini fingers; Maryland crab cakes; vegetable spring rolls; maple-glazed dates; and mini corn muffins with tomatillo-braised chicken. Following the reception, a recorded lion’s roar summoned guests into dinner. Against the musical backdrop of Rendezvous, guests enjoyed delicious tenderloin with caramelized shallots, fingerling potatoes and succotash and a dessert of strawberry shortcake, key lime tart with Michigan berries and chocolate ganache. The highlight of the evening came when surprise performers The Village People were introduced. As guests jammed the dance floor, this popular 1970’s disco group performed their hits “Macho Man” and “In the Navy.” They whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their closing number “YMCA” amid a sea of camera flashes. It was so exciting – how in the world they kept this a secret, I’ll never know! Seen on the scene were Barbara Higgins and Daniel Glynn, Tina Koegel, Wendy Krimins, William Holdeman, Paul Iacono, Sherren Leigh, Ken Norgan, Myra and John Reilly, Beth Levin and Marcus Lemonis, Vicki and Bill Hood, Kathy Brock and Doug Regan, Rebecca and Charlie Besser, Janet and Rodger Owen, Leslie and Bob Zentner, Gale and Jay Gottlieb, Wendy Chronister and Peter Rogers, John Alexander, Ann and Blake Benjamin, Bridget and Matthew Campbell, Kimbra and Mark Walter, Holly and Peter Francis Geraci, Jeff Shea, Veronica Zepeda and Bob Loquercio, Mary Ann Young, Ami and Kevin Connolly, Donna and Michael Rigert, Cynthia Holbrook, Debra and Martin Beck, Susan Regenstein, Wendy and Steve Beard, Charlie Huebner, Tracey Benford, Joan Cusack, Jennifer and John Caruso and Deborah and Bruce Crown. At the close of the event, attendees received gift bags that contained John Derian glass mementos provided by Guggenheim, along with cool treats from Pinkberry and late-night slices from the Connie’s Pizza and Catering truck. Chauffeured courtesy cars – BMW 750i’s, to be precise – were stationed out front to whisk guests home...LOVED this! Proceeds from the ball ($1 million) will support the Women’s Board pledge to the Zoo’s Nature Boardwalk and will provide critical support to maintain this community landmark that is one of the last free zoos that's open every day in the nation! (Photos by Bob Carl, Violet Dominek, Julia Nash and Alain Miloti...click here for more!)
The night was PAWS-atively sensational at the 10th annual PAWS Chicago Beach party held at North Avenue Beach’s Castaways Boathouse on July 19th. With more than 400 guest and 100 dogs in attendance, this event raised $215,000 for the city’s largest no-kill humane society. Every partygoer received a colorful lei upon arrival at the summer’s largest pet-friendly social gathering co-chaired by Renata and Robert Block and Virginia Stafman. Once on deck, supporters enjoyed a lavish beach buffet courtesy of Stefani Catering that included hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, veggie burgers, salads, pizza, pretzels, ice cream, cookies and more fun food. The doggie buffet offered Swirlz “pupcakes” and Licks’ all natural liquid vitamin drinks as well as other treats. The evening’s signature cocktail, “PAWS on the Beach,” kept guests fueled for fun as they danced to the sounds of Spoken Four. The doggies and their owners were dressed in their best summer fashions with some sporting sunglasses, t-shirts, baseball caps and sundresses. And even though the night threatened rain, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of this loyal group of PAWS supporters. US99’s Lisa Dent, emcee and guest of honor, introduced PAWS founder/chair Paula Fasseas. “It’s great to see our community come together to help save the lives of homeless pets,” said Fasseas, who founded the organization in 1997. Volunteers were then introduced who presented rescue pups Hannah, Sponge, Mikey, Winslow and Clark to the crowd. The live auction packages included something for everyone including the highlight of the night, a VIP package from the Boss himself – Bruce Springsteen! This exciting auction prize included four VIP tickets to his September concert in Wrigley Field plus the opportunity to relax inside the VIP E Street Lounge before the show and his entire discography! Susan Clack bought this one-of-a-kind opportunity and said she might give it to her pregnant daughter. Veterinarian Dr. Tara Clack - Susan’s other daughter - was over the top with happiness. (Her darling boyfriend, Mark Bell, will most certainly approve!) Other auction items included the opportunity to have your pets featured as the official 2013 Beach Party logo. Last year’s winners, Judy and Howard Tullman, had their two dogs and two cats featured this year. Next year, Bonnie and Jim Spurlock’s furry family will grace the cover of the invite and all promo materials. (They paid $8K for this honor!) Lunch with Alpana Singh sold to Jimmy Meyer for $3,500, VIP Lollapalooza tickets sold to Cheri Lawrence for $5,000 and a luxury trip to Beverly Hills sold to Nancy Timmers for $5,500. All in all, the Beach Party raised more than $215,000 for PAWS Chicago. Their Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic will provide sterilizations for more than 18,000 pets of families in underserved communities. PAWS Chicago doesn’t receive any financial support from federal, state or local government agencies and is 100-percent reliant upon the community’s generosity. Charity Navigator, the country’s largest independent charity evaluator, has consistently awarded PAWS Chicago with its highest rating of four stars and honored them with national recognition due to their conscientious use of donor funds. Since PAWS’ inception, the number of homeless pets euthanized in the city each year has dropped by more than 50 percent from 42,561 to less than 18,000 in 2011. For more info, please visit www.PAWSChicago.org. Chuck and I own a PAWS dog (Rooney) and he couldn’t be sweeter! I know there’s a darling canine or feline there waiting for you, too! Stay tuned for Watch312.com coverage coming from this fun event! (Fab fotos by Mila Samokhina.)
My FAVORITE vintage market, Randolph Street Market, returns July 28th and 29th to 1340 W. Randolph St.! I can’t wait to see its “Made in the Shade” summer theme which will include a Shade Shack Cabana filled with new independent artists and designers! And don’t forget to look up my favorite jewelry dealer, Ira Sheck: Many of my statement necklaces come from this eagle-eyed New Yorker! (Tell him Candace sent you!) Randolph Street Market is baaaackkkk!!! :)
The Field Museum’s Women’s Board hosted an Outreach Luncheon that featured the remarkable designs of A.V. Shinde, the renowned Indian jewelry designer for the house of legendary jeweler, Harry Winston. Co-chaired by Liz Sharp and Susan Clark McBride, the program began with the viewing of a variety of rarely seen Indian artifacts from the Museum’s collections. Program speakers included Reema Keswani, an expert on Indian jewelry and the only authorized biographer of A.V. Shinde, and Anthony Ledru, the Global VP of Sales at Harry Winston, Inc. For 40 years, A.V. Shinde was the head designer for Harry Winston where he designed for the rich and famous including the Queen of England, Imelda Marcos and Liz Taylor, to name a few. In his earlier years, he designed for the maharajahs and maharanis of India. He died in 2003, at the age of 85. An Indian-themed luncheon followed the presentation in Stanley Field Hall where Field Museum researcher Charlene “Charlie” McCord was honored as this year’s Women in Science Fellow. For more info, please click here! (Photos by Steve Starr and Tonja Hall.)
Eloise Lapidus, daughter of famed designer Ted Lapidus, is bringing a fresh style and Parisian charm to her new line of apparel for BoBo House. Her keen sense of fashion was inspired by her father’s designs, which were worn and coveted by icons such as Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Francoise Hardy and John Lennon. Eloise was greatly influenced by ‘60s and ‘70s bourgeoisie bohemians, or “Bobos” of Paris and St. Tropez. Take a look at her ultra-soft, luxurious basics fit for a relaxing day at Club 55 or on your yacht in the Port and see for yourselves!
How about some party news from the East Coast? A blow-out bash at NYC’s No. 8 hotspot celebrated NY Giants star Victor Cruz’ new memoir, “Out of the Blue.” “It may seem like I came out of the blue. But, my road was long, windy, full of hurdles, and even some dead ends. I lost family. I lost friends. I even lost my way. When I reached what felt like rock bottom, I realized I had a responsibility to everyone who believed in me and to kids, like me, who just needed a chance and something to believe in,” said Cruz in the epilogue of his new book. Famous for his amazing plays as a wide receiver as well as his post-touchdown salsa moves, Cruz partied like a rock star to celebrate his book launch alongside an array of celebs and friends who included rap music artist Wale, singer/actor Josh Groban, Eric Benet, “Empire Girls”stars Julissa Bermudez and Adrienne Bailon, DJ Kiss, DJ Clark Kent, Peter Rosenberg, K. Foxx, Joell Ortiz, Jeannette Jenkins and DJ M.O.S. (Photos by Jerritt Clark.)
Paul Hamann, President and CEO of The Night Ministry, was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House on July 12th as one of 13 individuals who have made a difference in the way their communities combat homelessness among children and youth. The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s “Winning the Future” initiative and, each week, a different sector is highlighted. Founded in 1976, The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides housing, healthcare and human connection to members of the community who are struggling with poverty or homelessness. Congrats Paul on this prestigious honor and keep up the great work!
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation hosted its 10th annual gala to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of 40 outstanding Greek-American college students. The 2012 recipients were inducted as members of the Foundation’s prestigious PanHellenic Honors Society, which now has 227 members. Chairman and Founder of the PHSF Chris Tomaras welcomed more than 450 guests to this event that featured Academy Award winning filmmaker Alexander Payne as the Paradigm Recipient. WGN-TV’s film critic Dean Richards served as Master of Ceremonies while renowned Greek singer/songwriter Petros Gaitanos provided star quality entertainment during the evening’s festivities at the Merle Reskin Theater and Hilton Chicago. For more info about this passionate organization, please visit the Foundation's website. Congrats and good luck to this year’s deserving honorees!
Don’t miss this year’s Art in the Garden soiree on Saturday, August 11th, at La Paloma Gardens, located at 3622 Brookview Road in Rockford. (It’s worth the trip!) Hosted by longtime patron of the arts and passionate gardener Karen Harding along with Lon and Dick Behr and Sharyn and Joe Castrogiovanni, the party will include en plein air cocktails and hors d’ouevres beginning at 6 p.m., a seated dinner by Jewell Events Catering at 7:30 p.m. and music provided by Clutch Cargo. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Rockford Art Museum, the event’s beneficiary. (For more info, please click here.)
Thanks to Margaret O’Connor for our first look at the blockbuster film, "The Dark Knight Rises"! The premiere was hosted by WGN at Navy Pier’s IMAX Theater with guests who included Chicago Bears players Charles Tillman (with his wife, Jackie) and Israel Idonije, former Bears players Anthony Adams and Jerry Azuma, Mich Mag’s Dan Uslan and JP Anderson, David Martinez (one of seven final remaining finalists on FOX’s “Master Chef”), Kelli Zink, Charley Jordan, DC Crenshaw, Katie and Jason McLenaghan and Jennifer Sutton. I also saw expert film critic/friend Geoff Burton, whose Cinema Trek movie reviews are always spot-on! He loved this movie and so did I! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity, Margaret!
Chuck and I were thrilled to participate in Kenmore LIVE’s recent taping of “Wisdom of the Ages.” This segment – which offered marriage advice from three couples ranging in age – is a prelude to their upcoming “Bridal Wave” series that will showcase all things wedding-related. Stay tuned for more info and congrats to Judy Faulkner Krause on another sure-to-be-a-hit internet show!
Beam’s VP of Human Resources Tom Strehle is a HUGE baseball fan! His collection of memorabilia would rival Cooperstown’s and, recently, he had the thrill of a lifetime throwing out the first pitch at the recent Cubs game against the Arizona Diamondbacks thanks to his good friend, Kerry Wood! He threw a perfect strike (or at least this is what he told me!) and I’m so happy for him. Not only is he a Cubs fan but his charitable contributions make him someone very, very special on top of it!
And finally, happy 50th anniversary to the loving and lovable couple, Angela and Paul Murges! Their darling only daughter, Giana Pisellini, along with Kathy O’Malley Piccone, planned a surprise party at Gibson’s that they’ll never forget! Even though Angela balked at going out on a Sunday, Giana finally convinced her by telling her they were just meeting Kathy for an anniversary drink. The hard work was getting Angela up the stairs, which Kathy did brilliantly by asking her to look at the balcony being planned for the second floor (which is true, BTW). Loving longtime friends included Skip Pope, Jerry Ranalli, Irv Solganik (the Judge), Leah and Jack Bowman, Barb and Gene Compari, Rich Gregorin, Giana’s cute husband Preston and us. Here’s to another 50, Ang and Paulie! Love you! (Check out more fun pics here!)
I’m really enjoying the dog days of summer and I hope you are, too! I also hope you’re checking out my Candid Candace column in Sunday’s Tribune Magazine! And remember to take a peek at the Tribune’s online column, too, since it contains a LOT more pics and an unedited version of my party coverage!
Love you, as always,
P.S. Hope to see you at one or both of these great events on Friday night!