PLUS RONALD MCDONALD CHARITIES HONOR BELOVED CHICAGOAN; INSIDE THE POLAR PLUNGE WITH KATIE AND BETH; VAL'S 40TH BIRTHDAY BASH; SHAKEN & STIRRED AT THE SYMPHONY; MAKING A DIFFA-RENCE; BORRIS' FABULOUS FASHION SHOW; THE BIG PROM; RIVET NEWS RADIO; MICHI AND BRANDON'S FUNDRAISER; GIBSON'S SILVER ANNIVERSARY; PLAYMATES AT GLAMOURCON 57; MIAMI FASHION WEEK; JOE FISH OPENS BIG; NEW WATCH312 VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
I didn't know what to expect for the first installment of "Chicagoland" that recently aired, but I could tell by the buzz in the room at its exclusive, by-invite-only premiere that we were in for something very special. It was held at the Bank of America Theatre on Tuesday, March 4. The 8 part CNN Original Series was filmed over 8 months in Chicago and produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn (Sundance Productions) and Brick City TV's Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin. The theatre was packed with bold-face names, many having parts in the series like Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Fenger High School's beautiful and inspiring principal Elizabeth (Liz) Dozier who will be the star of this series for sure! CNN's Jeff Zucker greeted the crowd before the film began thanking Chicago for its participation and wishing us all a happy 177th birthday. I sat in front of Levin and Benjamin and noted them watching people's faces intently throughout the film to gauge reactions. They had nothing to fear because this film was riveting. Did it show the terrible violence in our fair city? Yes it did, but it also showed our hearts which was the bigger story. Head writer/narrator/ Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Konkol told me it wasn't so much about the problems we have here but rather how we deal with them. It showed the Mayor in full "power mode" making the hard decisions on school cuts and then in another scene telling a class of kids how he cut his finger off by not being careful. Producer Marc Levin told me he knew the audience became engaged when Principal Dozier's shoe strap broke and she says into the walkie talkie, "Principal down, principal down." After a tense scene involving gang members, this moment lightened up the mood and put the audience firmly on Team Dozier. Following the film, I told producer Laura Michalchyshyn that I imagine Dozier might be offered her own series. She nodded her head which told me this idea wasn't so far fetched. She also told the principal that her life would probably never be the same after this series. And I believe it. In the opening segment, Dozier is worried about where funding might come from to keep her school going. I don't think she will have any worries after the world hears/sees her story. Ahhhh, the power of film. There were lots of other familiar faces in the opening segment like Karen Lewis, Jesse Jackson, Justin Jacobson, Jay Levine, Billy Dec, Chef Grant Achatz, rapper Common, child school activist Asean Johnson, Eric Zorn and Neil Steinberg. Zorn and Steinberg are shown in a radio booth during a discussion. Steinberg says, "Rahm is Mayor Daley with a circumcision." I heard a collective sigh from the crowd. Redford calls Chicago a "hallmark of American cities" and I couldn't agree more. I believe Chicago is the pulse of the nation. After the film, CNN's Amy Entelis and Vinnie Malhotra shared this thought, "We hope this series inspires other cities to look to Chicago." I think they already do. I can't wait till the next installment! (Photos by Mila Samokhina. Check out the Watch312.com video below!)
The annual "Big Mac Under Glass" event is always a special night in Chicago. Not only is it a fun-filled fundraiser but it also benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) which recently built the world's largest Ronald McDonald House on Grand Avenue and is a charity close to my heart. On March 8th, the charity celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its largest fundraiser, lovingly called "BMUG", and honored longtime supporter and dear friend Ken Norgan. Themed an "Evening in the Emerald City", the event attracted more than 900 guests to the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers for a black-tie dinner gala which raised more than $575,000 to support families of hospitalized children staying together at the four Chicagoland Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Room in Edward Hospital.Guests joyously posed with characters from the Wizard of Oz before the program began. Doug Porter, RMHC CEO, gave welcoming remarks and introduced the Ambassador Family, the Won Family (Dad Michael, Mom Anne, and kids Ella Joy and Asaph). They helped guest emcee/comedian Chris Witaske with the auction count down. Nubia Chaidez, Director of Family Care at the Lurie House, was also onstage. A special heads or tails raffle sent one lucky guest home with a Rolex watch valued at $8,550 thanks to James & Sons Fine Jewelers. Guests also participated in a silent auction which featured over 230 exclusive packages and took fun, interactive photos in the Action Booth at the end of the evening. My friend Ken Norgan, a longtime McDonald's owner/operator, co-chaired this event with Lorraine Klemz. Ken has been a longtime supporter of so many worthy charities around town. He's retired (although he hates this word) from McDonald's and was honored on this night for his 37 year commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. "I started making milk shakes and french fries at our first two restaurants in Glenview and Libertyville in 1958 when I was 15 years old. After an M.A. in linguistics in 1971 from U of Michigan, I worked full time with McDonald's until I sold my last location in August 2013. Now I'm on permanent sabbatical (not retirement, please) and I don't know how I had time for a job with the 5 charitable boards and a bit of travel. And I'm lovin' it!", said Norgan. Congrats with love Ken! Can't wait to see where you take us next! (Photos by Oren Amzaleg) (www.rmhccni.org)
It was a real surprise and Windy City LIVE pulled it off without a hitch! Val Warner, as the world now knows, celebrated her 40th birthday party recently with a packed party at the Godfrey Hotel. It was filled with friends like Richard Roeper and his cute girlfriend Sarah Cooley, Roe Conn, Urban Prep's Tim King, Jada Russell, Merri Dee, Deborah O. Brown Farmer, Billy Dec, Ana Belaval, Muriel Clair, Jacinta Fisher, Robin Baumgarten, Dean Richards, Mary Hynes, Jessie Kalin, Val's darling mom Diane Jackson and so many others. DJ Vince Adams kept the crowd on the dance floor as the Garrett's Popcorn, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails flowed. Val even tried to teach me how to "step" to no avail, sadly. The hotel is so chic with a rooftop patio that has breathtaking views of the city. There's a fire pit, white leather seating vignettes and the most delightful staff. I saw man-about-town Marc Brooks there, too, celebrating his birthday with a huge group of friends. Everyone was in 'da house! Val's handsome fiance Jeff Cartwright was smiling from ear to ear and clearly so proud of his girl. No one would believe Val was 40, although 40 is such a little baby number. She looked striking in a black catsuit slit down the back with a pair of fancy Louboutins that were so cool people were taking pics of just her shoes! There were lots of photos, hugs, kisses and good wishes and it made you feel good just by being in the room. This girl's aura is all sweetness and light and people gravitate to her. Before I ever met her, executive producer Marlaine Selip called her "lightning in a bottle." The show on Monday was a surprise and featured greetings from friends, gifts, entertainment and more. Ryan said the pre-show meeting went so smoothly that he had to ask the producers if the surprise was still on. Even he was fooled. Guests bearing good wishes included Jenny McCarthy, Mellody Hobson, Tracy Butler and Cheryl Burton, Val's friend from high school, her darling kids Zoe and Max, Mayor Emanuel, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, Linda Yu and me :-))), among others. The show also included some of her favorite foods like Garrett's Popcorn, Big Daddy's BBQ and Sprinkles Cupcakes (the entire audience received one). The Homewood-Flossmor Steppers performed and brought tears to Val's eyes. (Actually, she cried throughout the show! So sweet!) I was so thrilled to be included (see my greeting below) and the WCL segment here. Here's to 400 more birthdays Val and I hope I'm around to celebrate with you! (Fab fotos by Mila Samokhina, a friend of Windy City LIVE!)
Well, the Polar Plunge story with Jimmy Kimmel has been beaten to death and viewed from every angle imaginable but NOT from this one! I'm thrilled to include my friend/ guest blogger (two actually) who do so much for the charity scene in Chicago and who have written their own personal accounts of their experiences here on Candid Candace. The event raised more than $1 million for Special Olympics and had 3,200 participants. You can still donate here until April 1. Without further ado, welcome Katie McLenaghan and Beth Feiwell:
Once I decided to do this, there was only ONE person I knew of who I could count on to do this with me, and it was Beth. Beth and I like to run races and last year, we ran the marathon together for Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. To say it was cold the morning of the Plunge was an understatement. I remarked to Beth and to Jason (my darling husband) on our walk over to North Avenue Beach that the lakefront resembled the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars! We had just gotten through the registration tent and I was making my way to the front of the North Avenue boathouse when all of a sudden I heard whistles and claps and turned around to see Rahm and Jimmy walking up. They were both laughing and smiling and the energy around them both was really great. They reminded me of two high school buddies getting ready to pull off a fun prank - that's how palpable their chemistry felt to me. Jimmy made a short speech before he jumped and basically expressed what an amazing city Chicago is and how special its people are. (He later shared on his show that he would never return for this event. LOL!) They did a countdown and then kicked it off. The cheers from the crowd were loud and enthusiastic and it went very quickly.... the first one up the walkway after the initial plunge was Israel Idonije who was bare chested, except for a tie! Beth and I yelled out to him and waved and he smiled back, but you could tell he was hurtin' -- he looked COLD, the poor sweetheart! Jimmy came up the walkway and, as you can see from the photos, he was smiling but chilled to the bone. Shell-shocked is absolutely the best description. He was in his full suit and tie and his head was wet, so he clearly had gone all the way in! What a trooper!! They rushed him into the boathouse pretty quickly. Beth and I were both absolutely frozen solid by this point and thought it best to try and head into the boathouse to warm up a little before we really froze when we went to do our jump! Moments later Olympian Nick Goepper came in from the water and Beth yelled to him and I got a great shot of the two of them. After seeing Nick, we realized we had minutes to OUR plunge, so we ran into the bathroom, changed our shoes, etc. and then ran into the "Plunger's Tent". It was a sea of people of all ages and sizes and various stages of undress... the people watching alone was incredible, but even more wonderful, it was another one of those great moments in life when you look around and are reminded that there are still a lot of good (and fun) people in this world and what a blessing it is to be able to take part in something with a group of people who share your vision of bringing attention and awareness to an important cause. The line moved quickly, they were sending people off in pairs or teams.....when Beth and I got to the front, I remember looking down the "runway" to the beach at all the men standing in the water that only went up to their knees in scuba suits and thinking "ok, this won't be so bad" and I felt that way......until I hit the water and then it was like a thousand sharp needles....LOL!!! I had barely gotten in to my knees when I turned around to head back out and I look back for Beth and she proceeds to drop herself into the water all the way up to her neck! I stood there for a couple seconds looking at her and smiling and could not help but be proud because in true form, when she does something, she does it all the way. She got up and we began to run out of the water together when we heard all this shouting coming from the left of us.....we look up and there is Paul Iacono, William Holdeman, my Jason, Beth's husband Todd and their kids Lolo and Eli, Connie Dec and her son Jake Evey (who is a Special Olympics athlete). That to me, was the best moment of the day --- looking into the faces of our friends and loved ones who were there to support us and into the face of a young man who was going to benefit from us doing something so crazy and nutty like a jumping in a lake during winter. Paul was our St. Bernard "Berniece" and had a flask of scotch literally around his neck to give us a sip to warm us up, which was hilarious!! There were lots of hugs and kisses all around, but the real moment of the day is when our friend Jake Evey asked to have his picture taken with Beth and me and then looked at us both and said "Thank you for doing this for me. You are my friend". Again, these are the moments where you are blessed with the experience of being able to realize how incredibly beautiful life is and what a privilege it is be witness to helping someone else on their journey. I think Beth will agree with me when I say this is why she and I will be charity athletes as long as our bodies allow us.
First of all Katie gives me way too much credit! I'm only trying to match my energy with her heart in pursuing these endeavors together. I never know what might come next, however, I trust her implicitly and love hearing about whatever new challenge she lays before us! I've resigned to just let her handle our calendar. The real passion that drives us both small town girls is the feeling we felt yesterday as Jake said a truly honest and genuine "thank you." Looking directly into the eyes of the entire reason it all takes place--hoping what I/we had done was good enough and at the same time wanting to do more. Talk about moving...WOW! No matter what cause we put our hearts and time towards, they obviously strike deep in some way to ignite our passion for involvement; we seldom get to see and get to know the lives we are participating for. Yesterday was so incredibly meaningful, beyond my expectations, in that I had no idea I would have the privilege of meeting a few of the Special Olympians! Another great highlight of the Plunge was that I was able to meet Nick Goepper, Bronze medalist in slope-style skiing fresh from his return from Sochi. Nick is also a native from my very small southern Indiana hometown, Lawrenceburg...a town of about 5,000 people which averages about an inch of snow a year LOL! Nick learned to ski on a tiny ski hill essentially in my back yard, which is where I learned to ski as well. It was an extremely special moment for me and I was so proud to have the chance to catch and meet him here in Chicago! You might have caught his story leading up to and during the games as he was a guest on Letterman twice and Brian Williams featured his unique and unbelievable road to becoming and Olympian. Basically we learned to ski on rocks, mud and a skid of snow...haha! THANKS SO MUCH KATIE AND BETH! Much love, appreciation and thanks to these two dynamos for sharing their exciting stories and perspectives, but more importantly, for inspiring us all to climb bigger mountains than we think we can. You have raised so much awareness and funds for so many charities. You are the first recipients of the "Katie and Beth Inspiration Award." Love you so! (Follow their adventures on Twitter @KatieMcLenaghan and @BethFeiwell)
The Women’s Board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association presented REMIX IV: Shaken & Stirred, a one night only fundraising event that featured a concert by the popular, retro-vogue musical group Pink Martini on March 7. The event kicked off the festivities in the historic Grainger Ballroom with a glamorous pre-concert reception complete with a tantalizing selection of global bites ranging from Moroccan tacos to Vietnamese spring rolls plus a medley of martinis featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Guests were greeted by dramatic décor designed by Jim Whitehead from James Daniels Designs, Inc. as a trio of musicians from The Civic Orchestra of Chicago including bassist Dominic Azkoul, guitarist Brandon Hunt, and trumpeter Brian Bean performed. Guests also participated in a one-of-a-kind live auction with exclusive items such as a rock-star worthy trip to the 2015 Grammy Awards complete with airfare and accommodations at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, a VIP Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament package hosted by Bill and Joel Murray and an elegant, week-long Caribbean island retreat on St. John’s. The centerpiece of the evening was the concert by Pink Martini and special guests the von Trapps. For the concert, Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale created ensemble arrangements filled with the signature, witty, vocals of lead singer China Forbes alongside the unique four-part harmonies of The von Trapps, the great-grandchildren of the famous family portrayed in the Sound of Music. Chicago’s own DJ Madrid along with violinist Katrina Visnevska added energetic musical sounds to the post-concert party.
Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC), a nonprofit civic leadership organization, celebrated 30 years of educating, connecting and inspiring effective community leaders at its annual Celebrate Leaders Dinner Thursday evening. The event, held at the Hilton Chicago, gathered more than 525 Chicago-area leaders, including the Mayor, who delivered the keynote address. The program for the evening also included the recognition of Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, as LGC’s Distinguished Fellow of the Year. LGC’s founder, The Chicago Community Trust, was celebrated for its 30 years of continued support and commitment to the organization. Terry Mazany, president and CEO of Chicago Community Trust, accepted special founder recognition at the event. David Vitale, president, Chicago Board of Education and chairman of the Urban Partnership Bank, served as the Dinner Chairman. Vitale is an LGC Fellow from LGC’s very first Class of 1985 and is a past president of the organization’s Board of Directors. The event raised more than $462,000 in support of LGC's Fellows Program and ongoing educational programming for LGC's Fellowship of more than 900 individuals. During the event, the Chicago Community Trust also announced a matching gift pledge for additional funds raised up to $12,500. (For more info, visit www.lgcchicago.org ) (Photos by Abby McKenna)
The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS/Chicago (DIFFA/Chicago) Auxiliary Board hosted its second annual DIFFArence Ball on Feb. 28 at Center on Halsted. The event, “Kiss for a DIFFArence”, celebrated making a difference in the Chicago community in support of area service agencies that provide direct services, preventative education and outreach to people who are HIV positive, living with AIDS or at risk for infection. The event welcomed local design professionals and enthusiasts for a delightful evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music and dancing. DIFFA/Chicago Auxiliary Board Co-Chair Susanne Nelsen said, “In 2012 we raised more than $12,000. All attendees felt the ‘DIFFArence’ they were making in helping promote HIV/AIDS education and awareness throughout Chicagoland. It was a truly memorable evening and this year's ‘Kiss for a DIFFArence’ is even more extraordinary!” For more info, visit www.diffachicago.org . (Mark your calendars now for DIFFA's Crystal Ball coming to Navy Pier on June 7!)
Step onto the red carpet and travel to Monte Carlo this spring to support one of Chicago’s cultural treasures, the Alliance Française. The Woman’s Board will host its biennial Gala on Saturday, May 10th at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. This year’s theme, Red Carpet at the Monte Carlo Casino, will provide guests a luxurious evening of French Riviera glamour and thrilling casino games. Gala co-chairs Lisa W. Bailey and Veronique Bushala, along with honorary co-chair Betsey N. Pinkert, will ensure guests feel like celebrities as they walk the red carpetto enter the casino, where they can challenge the croupier at a game of Roulette, Baccarat, Trente et Quarante, and more. “We are bringing the glamour of Monaco and the excitement of the Cannes Film Festival to this year’s Gala,” said co-chair Bushala. The event will include a French Mediterranean-inspired dinner prepared by Executive Chef Mark Payne, dancing to the music of Stanley Paul Orchestra and a live auction led by Steven Zick of Christie’s featuring one-of-a-kind international, French and Riviera travel opportunities and exquisite jewelry at 8:00 pm. Casino gaming follows at 9:00 pm and dancing continues until midnight. “The gala also is critical to ensure the success of the Educational Outreach program, an after-school immersion that provides rich language and French cultural exchange for students with six area high schools,” said co-chair Lisa Bailey. For tickets and more info contact Gala Coordinator Tom Driscoll: (312) 337- 1070 ext. 113 or visit:www.af-chicago.org.
Guaranteed to be an improvement to your best (or worst) night of high school, Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to present its annual fundraising soiree THE BIG PROM: Space Horses in Space on Saturday, March 29, at The Drucker Center, 1535 N. Dayton. This year’s theme comes from a student-written story that will be performed at the Prom. Embracing this playful theme, the fancy schmancy affair will include adult beverages and light appetizers, live music from Diego Sol & The Metronomes, dancing to the tunes of DJ Bouncy Castle, a space horse-themed photo booth, a king and queen crowning ceremony and more. The fundraiser will also feature an enticing silent auction and a raffle for tickets to Saturday Night Live! The BIG PROM: Space Horses in Space supports Barrel of Monkeys’ creative writing residencies and performances in Chicago Public Elementary Schools and the Chicago Park District. Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble now in its 16th season, conducts creative writing workshops with 3rd through 5th grade students in underserved Chicago Public Schools. The ensemble of actor-educators then turns their stories and words into professionally performed theater, presented both in-school and for the general public through its revues. Barrel of Monkeys annually performs more than 300 student-written stories for the students in their schools and 175 stories on the stage for the general public. For tickets and more info, visit www.barrelofmonkeys.org/bigprom
Consummate networker Laura Schwartz celebrated her Smart Meetings magazine cover with a reception at the Park Hyatt. Among those joining the celebration were Laura's mother and father, Judith and Dennis, and sister, Andrea Schwartz, VP of Public Relations for Macy's Chicago. The setting was the intimate private lounge at Nomi restaurant. Guests were treated to sushi, charcuterie, cheeses and chutneys, and for dessert - pastries and tartlets. Laura, a sought after professional speaker, television commentator and frequent event emcee warmly welcomed her guests and spoke about turning networking events into opportunities. She's also written a book - Eat, Drink & Succeed - which outlines how a business can use networking opportunities to advance their business and people can too. She’s received several awards and recognitions including being named as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Chicago by Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine in 2011 and also one of Chicago’s 5 Most Bold and Beautiful by Chicago Magazine in 2010. She sits on the Common Threads Advisory Board and is involved with several other charity organizations as well. Guests left with a copy of Laura's book as a take-home gift. (Thanks to PR/Event Guru Margaret O'Connor for this info!)
Designer Borris Powell presented his Fall/Winter 2014 collection at Block 37 on March 14. The room was packed with friends, fans and supporters who turned out in force to see what this beloved designer had up his sleeve and, believe me, it was magnificent! In shades of brown and navy with pops of red thrown in, models strutted down the runway in perfectly tailored cocktails dresses, gowns, menswear and day wear to wild applause. Even Borris took a turn as a model wearing a gorgeous brown suit. In a nod to his love of cowboy boots and all things Western, Borris showed a male model sporting a pair of shorts with cowboy boots and a chic blazer. One particular fabric caught my eye. It appeared to be woven ala Bottega Veneta's knot clutches and was fabulous! I loved the men's navy blazers turned out in this unusual fabric. I saw lots of familiar faces in the front row including Rich Gamble, Carmen Rivera, Jodi Fyfe, Nicole Townsend, Brenda Arelano, Benjamin Cottrell, Jeff Conway, Nevena Zee (whose Custom Hair Lounge created all the glam hairstyles), Leah Chavie and so many others! Before the show, Borris said, "Well, today is the day. Let "FREEDOM" ring. Some will never be the same after tonight. I'm so excited to show this collection." And well you should be Borris! Congrats on a great night of fashion! (www.BorrisPowell.com)
More congrats are in order for former Joffrey Ballet Executive Director, Christopher Clinton Conway. He will be honored by Washington University Law on April 24 with the Distinguished Young Alumni Award at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis. #MuchDeserved
The Thompson Hotel recently hosted a party to introduce their new candle scents to locals. It was a hot party, "Sounds & Scents", with hosts Azeeza Khan, Helen Berkun and Jessica Murnane with live entertainment by Smith Westerns but what was really cool, was that I had a chance to tour the hotel's 22nd floor penthouses! These two-level pads feature pool tables and the most amazing views of Chicago I've ever seen! Take a look!
Have you downloaded the Rivet News Radio app yet? It's free on Itunes and seems to offer everything your heart desires in an easy-to-reach format. Described as Pandora without the music, this new source of news and entertainment is an exciting new development that's happening right here in the heart of Chicago! I had a great interview in their Loop offices recently which was a beehive of activity....An incredible think tank of cool forward-thinking people! I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, check it out! Rivet News Radio is here to stay!
In celebration of its 25th anniversary at the flagship Rush Street location, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse will give back to the dining community after a quarter century of support. March 27 kicked off the "25 Days of Gibsons" in which more than $25K worth of exclusive prizes will be awarded to lucky patrons and will culminate with the grand prize: a luxury, all expenses paid trip for four to Napa Valley. This milestone will also include the unveiling of a brand new USDA Gibsons Prime Angus steak to the menu and the Silver Anniversary Celebration, in which all steaks on the Gibson's menu will be $25 for one day only. To enter the exciting raffle, click here! Chuck and I will be celebrating our silver anniversary in July and celebrated our engagement in Gibsons 25 years ago! Love this venerable hotspot and have great memories, as we all do! Congrats with love Gibsons!
Hope you can join me and lots of other Playboy Playmates at the 57th Annual Glamourcon in Long Beach, California on August 23 and 24. This is the biggest and most popular glamour/pin-up collectible show in the country and I always have a blast seeing old friends, glam Playmates and longtime fans. Make your reservations now and bring your collectibles! (Rumor has it popular and gorgeous 1977 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Patti McGuire Connors, will be in attendance, too!) Wowza! Congrats in advance Bob Schultz! (www.Glamourcon.com)
The stars shined at the 6th Annual Autism
Speaks fundraiser, An Evening with the Stars, which raised over $80,000 to benefit children and families struggling with autism. More than 200 guests attended the star-studded event on Sunday night at the Hotel InterContinental Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont. Since its inception, An Evening with the Stars has raised over $500,000 for autism research and awareness and brings the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the Windy City on Oscar night, featuring glamorous red carpet arrivals, pre-show interviews broadcast live on the big screen, and live and silent auctions with prizes ranging from dinner-theater packages to all-expense paid getaways. The evening was co-hosted by WGN Radio’s Steve Cochran, and Comedienne and WGN Radio’s Patti Vasquez – who both have a family connection to autism. THE GAME 87.7’s Spike Manton joined Cochran and Vasquez on the red carpet on the stage. Other notables attending included Chicago Fire & Chicago PD actors Jon Seda and Christian Stolte, former America’s Next Top Model winner, Jaslene Gonzalez, Former Bears players Mark Green and Jim Thornton, State Senator Julie Morrison and State Representative Scott Drury to name a few. (For more info, click here).
The Brandon Marshall Foundation will co-host a Spring Benefit with NAMI CCNS (National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban) on Saturday, May 10, at the Northbrook Renaissance Hotel. These two organizations are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with a mental illness and those who love and care for them. Brandon created the Foundation to give others the same chance he had to recover from mental illness. The Foundation partners with leading mental health charities and service providers to provide the care people need to treat their mental illness and to fight the stigma that deters people from receiving needed treatment. (For tickets and more info, visit www.namiccns.org or www.thebrandonmarshall.com/Foundation .. Michi and Brandon are guest speakers. #LoveThem
Are you yearning for some sun, fun and fashion! Then don't miss Miami's Fashion Week, May 15-18, at the MiamiConvention Center! Enjoy designer shows and pop-up boutiques as well as the 2015 Resort/Cruise collections of some of the best established and emerging designers from around the world. 60 designers from 20 countries will present their men's, women's, jewelry and accessories collections during this exciting week of fashion in sunny Miami. For tickets and more info, visit www.miamifashionweek.com) (Wish I was there now! LOL!)
Good for legendary comedian Tom Dreesen! He ripped Hollywood's "elitist group of ignorant lowlifes" in a great column by Mike Sneed in the Sun-Times shortly after the Oscar snub of his friend, the late Dennis Farina. Farina was not included in the "In Memoriam" segment of the Academy Awards recently and Dreesen let them have it! Read Sneed's entire column here and congrats for your incredible love and loyalty to your friends Tom! We love you and appreciate your stand on behalf of Dennis!!!
Congrats to Rosebud Restaurant Group's latest offering to our amazing dining scene! Welcome JOE FISH! This hot seafood concept restaurant, manned by Chef Joe Farina, is THE place to be at 445 N. Dearborn. We went to its packed opening recently and the food was out of this world! Call now for YOUR reservation: 312.832.7700.
More congrats are in order for popular Chicago hairstylist Charles Ifergan! After more than 30 years in the business, he has developed his own line of hair care products! I've been going to him forever and have always admired his styling skills. I can only imagine how fabulous his new products must be! Congrats to my hairdresser, Charles Ifergan! (106 E. Oak Street, www.charlesifergan.com )
I hope you've enjoyed this latest edition of Candid Candace! Please email me with news, events and photos and I'll try to include them in an upcoming blog! In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, in the Chicago Tribune and on my internet show on Watch312.com! I want to share the 411 on 312 with YOU!
Love, as always,