PLUS CHICAGO FILM FEST'S 51ST OPENING NIGHT; FRIENDS OF PRENTICE BENEFIT; THE JOFFREY'S SYLVIA LUNCHEON; RUSH FASHION SHOW; TASTE AMERICA; HOWARD BROWN'S 1ST EVER ORANGE BALL; PLAYBOY CLOTHED?; STK CHICAGO OPENING; JIM MCMAHON HONORED; DAVID ADJAYE AT THE ART INSTITUTE; COLLABORACTION; BARBARA WESTBROOK AT PARIS CERAMICS; PAWS FUR BALL; ANTIQUES ROADSHOW; GOING HOME; DARLING VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
For the 4th annual Primo Classico, held at Hawthorne Global Aviation Services in Wheeling, IL. on October 10, more than 350 guests were on sensory overload! Hosted by Diane and Quintin Primo and chaired by Cassie Carver of Lake Forest Sportscars, the event benefited the Primo Center for Women and Children, and featured all the
joys of the luxe life! Ducati motorcycles lined the registration area and waitstaff passed Brut Cremant de Bourgogne for partygoers to enjoy before entering Hawthorne’s new 30,000' ft. hangar. Once inside, hot pink and electric
blue lighting complemented the soft aqua and coral décor designed by Debi Lilly's A Perfect Event. The reception featured an antipasti bar that offered delicious, signature dishes from Basil Leaf, Bella Via, Francesca’s Intimo, Prosecco, Tocco Chicago and Shop &
Save Markets. Wine pairings were sponsored by Wine Channel TV and selected by its founder, sommelier Jessica Altieri. Featured wines included three of Tenute Rubino’s wines with family member Ms. Romina Leopardi flying in just
for the occasion from Puglia, Italy. Planes and exotic cars were scattered throughout the venue and created dramatic photos opps. They included a Challenger 300, a Hawker 800XP, a DB5 and James Bond’s “Goldfinger” 1964 Aston
Martin. Next to the DB5, Kate Johnson of Kate Johnson Artistry busily painted a tuxedo jacket on the torso of a male model, while three female body-painted models glided through the room. In the center of the hangar, Ferrari’s 488 GBT
was waiting under red cover for its debut, while three other Ferraris formed a line at the back near the hangar doors. Chicago skyline helicopter rides were offered by Chicago Helicopter Experience in their new Eurocopter EC-135,
a luxurious, high-performance executive helicopter. (All proceeds from rides were donated to the Primo Center). Dinner was a sumptuous two-course affair generously underwritten by Chef Mauro Mafrici of Pelago Ristorante.
NBC-5's Marion Brooks emceed the evening and invited the Primos to join her onstage. They spoke eloquently about the Center that was founded by Quintin’s father almost 40 years ago. Angelica Burgos, a Center resident, discussed the life-altering changes to her
life because of the help she received there. (She has now completed courses at college, earning a grade average of over 3.6 out of 4.0 towards her bachelor’s degree). Congressman Danny K. Davis received the first Primo Global Service Award. Established this year, the award was created in recognition of the Primo Center’s
founder, The Rt. Rev. Quintin E. Primo, Jr., a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, and his devoted wife, Winifred P. Primo, an early childhood educator. During their lifetimes, they worked as a seamless team to help the
neediest among us. The award honors individuals, like Congressman Davis, whose leadership and broad vision are helping to address one of society’s most challenging sectors – homeless parents and their children. Lalique was a sponsor of the award, the Victoire, a crystal replica of a
mascot originally designed by René Lalique in 1928 to adorn the vehicles of the day. Next, it was on to the live auction with auctioneer David Goodman. Exciting packages included exotic trips to Bali and Tanzania accompanied by
Qatar Airways business class tickets, training for four with former Navy SEALs, a $22,000 Hublot watch along with a Tom James custom made suit, a private party for twenty at Lake Forest Sportscars with the James Bond DB5, and trips to Italy, Costa Rica and the Bahamas.
Then, the exciting unveiling of Ferrari’s 488 GBT! Filling the room with sound, a heart pounding video of the 488 GBT traveling through Italy’s countryside was shown while the Ferrari was unveiled.
Following dinner, guests sipped Champagne while enjoying an exquisite dolce bar with gourmet cupcakes from Swirlz Cupcakes, macaroons from Vanille Pâtisserie, gelatos from Angelo Gelato Italiano, Medallion Champagne and dancing to the energetic sounds of DJ Madrid. Christine Achre, CEO of the Center said, “We are truly grateful that the funds raised will directly impact our success in breaking the cycle of homelessness in families.” Quintin, co-chairman of the Board added, "The Primo
Classico 2015 was a magical event. The people, food, vehicles and planes were on a level I have not seen before at a charitable event. Everyone had
an extraordinary time escaping, if just for an evening, to the European luxe life. But the evening was all about the cause, helping the Primo Center help people in need, those in our community who find themselves homeless,
mentally anguished, and all but forgotten." The event raised over $500K for the Center! A brunch was held on Sunday at the Primo residence in Lake Forest for VIP sponsors and guests. Featured chefs were two award-winning masters, Chef Paul
Kahan of the One Off Hospitality Group and Chef Matthias Merges of Folk Art Management. (Photos by Mila Samokhina and Paolo Cascio) (Submitted by Margaret O'Connor)
Friends of Prentice, the volunteer fundraising board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, raised nearly $1,000,000 and increased net proceeds by an impressive 42 percent at their annual fundraising benefit on September 25 at the Four
Seasons. The event welcomed over 400 guests from Chicago’s esteemed business, civic and medical communities, all gathering to further the organization’s mission of improving the quality of health for women and infants in Chicago and
around the world. This annual event is the sole fundraising initiative for the organization, allowing them to invest in over 45 grants to date, that fund groundbreaking research, clinical care programs and innovative
educational opportunities. Founded by Carol Bernick, Friends of Prentice has raised and invested over $20M into research promoting the superior delivery of healthcare to women and infants. Board President, Julie Vander Weele, along with event co-chairs Donna Socol and Sharyl Mackey hosted the event at the Four Seasons. ABC 7's Kathy Brock emceed the
benefit. Vander Weele shared, “I'm honored to be a part of an organization that has had such a significant impact on women’s health. It’s because of the overwhelming support we receive from the community that we’re able
to continue investing in life-changing initiatives, from women’s mental health to ovarian cancer research, year after year.” Highlights this year included a live auction offering
luxurious getaways to Paris and Italy (donated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts), a Napa Valley winery tour and a trip to Punta Mita, Mexico (courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts), with first class airfare courtesy of United Airlines. A lively paddle raise, followed by dinner and dancing rounded out the evening.
The Chicago International Film Festival kicked off its 51st edition with the critically-acclaimed Opening Night Presentation of Mia Madre at the historic Auditorium Theatre with a celebratory
cocktail reception immediately following at theWit hotel on October 15. Audiences at the theatre were treated to a special musical performance by Chicago’s own Terisa Griffin, who competed on season three of NBC’s The Voice, as well as a sneak peek of
anticipated highlights of the upcoming Festival, running from October 15-29 at the AMC River East 21 Theaters. The Festival brings an international selection of more than 150 feature films, documentaries, and short
films from over 50 countries, including world and US premieres all with visiting directors to Chicago from around the globe. Drawing an expansive crowd of partygoers including local Chicago and international filmmakers,
celebrities, socialites, sponsors, board members, and film enthusiasts, guests mingled and sipped champagne and craft cocktails while enjoying sumptuous hors d’oeuvres as they engaged in lively discussion about the Festival’s slate of a critically acclaimed films and its well respected
filmmakers. “This is a ‘Director’s Festival’ and the filmmakers are our STARS!” said Festival Founder & Artistic Director Michael Kutza. “From the very beginning of the festival 51 years ago, we have been discovering the next great talents in cinema from around the world.” Guests in attendance included: world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn featured in this year’s special section Festival Spotlight: Architecture+Space+Design; French New
Wave film director and professor at the European Graduate School Agnès Varda; the Festival’s International Features Competition Jury President Andrew Davis (director, The Fugitive); Jury Members including director general of the Guadalajara International Film Festival Iván
Trujillo, writer/director Laura Astorga, actor/director Nawaf Al-Janahi (The Circle, Sea Shadow), and actor/producer Jossie Harris Thacker (Mississippi Damned); Festival Programming Director Mimi Plauché; actor Christopher Abbott
(James White); director Josh Mond (James White); Chaz Ebert (Publisher & Contributor, RogerEbert.com); CineYouth filmmakers Jordan Blazak, Alan Dembeck, and Hanna McEwen; as well as Ron Leary of TIAA-CREF and Flynn McRoberts of Bloomberg News. Both companies are Festival sponsors. The Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival! Congrats to all! (Photos by Timothy Schmidt and Robert Martinez).
It was an evening of fashion, friends, and giving back at the 89th Annual Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) fashion benefit “InSIGHTS” that took place on October 1st at Morgan Manufacturing. Over 650 people came out to watch philanthropists, sports figures and leading
Chicagoans walk the runway in a variety of designs from retailers Chalk, Jill Sander, Johnnie-O, Lake Forest Shop, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, MAJE, Neapolitan, Oscar de la Renta, P.45, Ralph Lauren, Sandro, and Wilfred Newman.
Models included Ryan Chiaverini (Windy City LIVE), Anna Davlantes (WGN Radio), Dan Proft (host of Chicago’s Morning Answer), Hunter HIllenmeyer (former Chicago Bear), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire Soccer), Joe Minoso (Chicago Fire), Nazr Mohammed (Chicago Bulls), Brittney Payton (WGN’s Chicago’s Best) and Sarah Spain (ESPN radio), to name
a few. "This annual fundraising event is about fashion bringing together members of our community to raise money for cancer
treatment and research at Rush University Medical Center,” explains Sarah Bogan, Fashion Show Chair. Nearly $500,000 was raised to support Bioinformatics, which combines computer science, statistics and mathematics with insights by doctors and researchers to provide individualized medical
treatment. This is the fifth year for the Woman’s Board and their five- year commitment to raise $2.5 million for the Rush Cancer Center. The Benefit continues to be one of the longest continuously running charitable fashion shows in the country. To date, it has raised approximately $20 million in support
of the Medical Center and its research endeavors, community service programs and relationships which enhance excellence in patient care for the diverse communities of the Chicago area. The Woman’s Board has endowed Chairs in Pediatrics and Child Psychiatry, a College of Nursing Scholarship and directed funds to the Medical Center’s most promising and important programs, in excess of $30 million.
The Joffrey Ballet's Women's Board hosted a cultural conversation between one of the world's most acclaimed choreographers, John Neumeier, and Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater that included many Joffrey WB members as well as civic and social leaders to celebrate the debut a new
ballet for the Joffrey, Sylvia, that opened October 14 and will be at the Auditorium Theatre until the 25th. More than 200 guests attended the luncheon on October 6 at the Chicago Athletic Association to celebrate both the Joffrey Ballet’s 60th anniversary and
the U.S. premiere of Neumeier’s female-empowerment themed new work, Sylvia. Co-chaired by WB members Kathleen Henson (Founder/CEO of Henson Consulting) and Ellie Forman (Corporate Community Relations Manager, Mesirow Financial Holdings), the event raised funds to support the Women’s Board mission of supporting the activities
of the Joffrey and securing its prominence as one of Chicago’s cultural treasures. Attendees included Rochelle Trotter, Melissa Harris, Tarrah Cooper, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Andrea Schwartz, Lois Scott, Debi Lilly, Jamie-Clare Colvin and Kristie Paskvan. “Sylvia in Chicago is a
unique experience. I approached the company believing not that I will replicate what’s been done before, but focused on making the ballet a living thing,” shared Neumeier, describing what guests will see in this production of Sylvia. “I believe dance is the living shape of emotion.” (Photos by Barry Brecheisen)
An exclusive dining event, "Taste America" benefiting The James Beard Foundation, will be held on Friday, October 23, at Chicago's hottest new venue, The Geraghty (2520 S. Hoyne). The evening begins at 5:30 pm with a cocktail and tasting reception and dinner (a four-course menu) follows at 7 pm. Come share this culinary adventure with Chicago's finest chefs and enjoy magnificent decor
On October 6, I had the pleasure of co-hosting an evening with Gayle Anthony at her elegant Paris Ceramics' showroom at the Merchandise Mart. The cocktail and book-signing reception welcomed acclaimed
interior designer/author, Barbara Westbook. Her latest book, "Gracious Rooms", showcases some of her exquisite work. Guests lined up to chat and discuss design with this gracious author who is as beautiful as the rooms she creates through her firm, Westbrook Interiors (based in Atlanta). The event
preceded the Mart's Chicago VIP Luxury Gala which attracted nearly 1000 guests. Congrats on a wonderful night Gayle and for all the cool work (tile, stone, mosaics and wood) your company does to beautify homes and businesses throughout the world!
The following night, Saturday, October 24, another fabulous event will be held at The Geraghty! The Howard Brown Health Center will host its FIRST EVER Orange Ball, a spooktacular event (from 6 - 11 pm) that will include DJs Megan Taylor and Gloria Alers, cocktails, catered treats, a silent auction, a Halloween photo booth and a 50/50 cash raffle! Guests are encouraged to don their scariest attire--or they can choose from a selection of costumes from Howard Brown's Brown Elephant resale shop when they arrive. To help ensure guests arrive safely, the Center will have a shuttle at the beginning and end of the
night, dropping off and picking up guests at Roscoe's Tavern on Halsted. Funds raised will support Howard Brown Health's vital medical care and community initiatives for adults and youth. For tickets and more info, click here!
Chicago’s newest steakhouse, STK Chicago (9 W. Kinzie), held it’s (private) Grand Opening event on Wednesday, October 7, inviting local neighbors, celebrities, politicos and VIPs to
the 10th opening for this popular eatery. Described as a "unique concept that artfully blends the modern steakhouse and chic lounge into one, offering a dynamic, fine dining experience with the superior quality of a traditional steakhouse", the event brought out the who's who of Chicago to sample this latest edition to our dining
scene. A VIP party in the new space featured burlesque dancers who welcomed guests with Prosecco and STK Chicago signature cocktails--The Cucumber Stiletto and Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan. Guests also enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres while local DJ Lani Love kept the crowd fueled for fun. Attendees included Representative Jack Franks; Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White; Chicago
businessman and former State Senator, William Marovitz; Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at Illinois Secretary of State, Jill Zwick; radio and TV personality Mancow Muller and Chicago City Clerk, Susana Mendoza; The ONE Group’s co-founder and senior VP, Celeste Fierro; Shameless cast members Shanola Hampton and Jeremy Allen White; Chicago PD cast members Brian
Geraghty, Marina Squerciati and LaRoyce Hawkins and America’s Next Top Model winner, Jaslene Gonzalez. Singer and Empire cast member, Becky G, arrived with her entourage later in the evening, dining on the STK Chicago VIP platter, dancing and snap-chatting her fans. So now 'ya know! (Photos by Francis Son)
The Art Institute of Chicago celebrated the exhibition opening of Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye (through Jan. 3, 2016) at an exclusive event that benefited the museum’s Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC). The LAC is comprised of African American community leaders whose mission is to promote and
sustain diversity within the institution. Guests at the event were offered a unique opportunity to preview the first major career survey of internationally acclaimed architect David Adjaye before it opened to the public. The
exhibition features Adjaye’s world renowned projects including his highly anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event was attended by Adjaye, cultural and civic leaders in Chicago and well known
contemporary artists including Theaster Gates, Lorna Simpson, and Martin Puryear. An elegant dinner in the Modern Wing’s dramatic Griffin Court was followed by an unforgettable party featuring globally renowned DJ Kiss.
Collaboraction, the Chicago based theater company dedicated to social change, collaboration and original work, launched its 20th season with a fun, raucous and
profitable Beggars’ Banquet benefit on October 3 at Chop Shop/1st Ward Events in Wicker Park. Over 200 supporters raised more than $50,000 for the company while having an absolute blast at the time-traveling celebration of the company’s origins, 20-year history and
exciting new future. The evening kicked off with paparazzi shots on the Orange Carpet, cocktails and a delicious Chop Shop buffet, followed by a raffle and live auction. Artistic director Anthony
Moseley, executive director Darcy Addison and original company member Sandra Delgado led a funny, emotional salute to Chicago theater artist and nationally acclaimed director Kimberly Senior. He directed Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, including its world premiere at American
Theatre Company on Broadway, and now at the Goodman Theatre thru October 25. Senior founded Collaboraction in 1995 and, to date, the company has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000
audience members. It tackles difficult subjects such as crime and violence, cancer, and the education system and collaborates with artists, community leaders and citizens throughout the city to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans. Connected, a new theater piece exploring the
difference between face time (in person), face time (on a mobile device), or how technology is changing our world will debut in April at the company's home in Wicker Park’s historic Flat Iron Building. Chaired by Melissa Neis Wittenborn, VP Parr Insurance, the Beggars’
Banquet proceeds will help fund the Collaboraction Teen Youth Ensemble with After School Matters, its Crime Scene summer parks tours, new play development and
salaries for dozens of actors, performers and artists.
The last few days have been pretty HUGE (in Donald Trump speak) for me due to Playboy's decision to go "nude-less" beginning March 2016!
I've appeared on several media outlets around town. First, thanks to legendary Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan for including me in his awesome feature on Wednesday! Also, big thanks to Wendy Widom and Audrina Bigos for this fun interview on CBS, WGN's Scott Kitun for this interview on his show "Tomorrow's Business
Today" and to Leah Hope for our interview on ABC! I LOVED returning to my FAV show, WCIU's "You & Me This Morning" to chat with Jeanne Sparrow and Melissa Forman about this hot topic, too! Check this interview out here!
And just to make sure you're plenty tired of seeing me on TV, I also appeared Thursday night on a special "Behind the Scenes at the Antiques Roadshow-Chicago" on WTTW-Ch. 11. The national PBS show aired Monday night and I found out what my Playboy memorabilia is worth--although now, with the number of Playboy Centerfolds apparently in decline, I think this amount might be a lot more! LOL! To see this fun clip, click here!
I had the thrill of a lifetime on October 14 when an article I wrote in my Chicago Now blog about Playboy got published in the Chicago Tribune's Op-Ed page!!! Omgoodness, I fainted. Since that time, it's been picked up in several papers across the country including the Charlotte Observer (thanks to my eagle-eyed nephew, Todd Burkitt, for sharing the page with me!)
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation will host "A Magical Evening Chicago" tomorrow, Thursday, October 22, at The Peninsula Chicago. The evening will be hosted by ABC-7's Kathy Brock and honor Chicago-based non profit leader Geoff Kent (founder, Spinal Cord Injury Sucks) with the Jon O'Connor Visionary Leader Award and former Chicago Bear Jim McMahon with the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award. Mike Ditka is also scheduled to make an appearance. For tickets and more info, click here.
Don't forget to mark your calendars for PAWS Chicago's 14th annual Fur Ball, a black-tie event filled with fun and fur, at the Drake Hotel on Friday, November 13th! Co-chaired by Melissa and Michael Canning and Corey and JP Marchetti (with honorary co-chairs Nancy and Michael Timmers) and presented by A. Marek Fine Jewelry, this event raises funds to
support the organization's ongoing efforts to alleviate our city's tragic pet overpopulation problem. For tickets and more details, click here!
Chuck and I returned home to Dupo, Illinois, last weekend to say goodbye to my beloved Uncle Marvin Stott at age 84. He had
suffered from Alzheimer's for several years and his gentle spirit will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him. He was laid to rest in the beautiful Jefferson
Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis where he will overlook his beloved town for all eternity. His wry humor,
encyclopedic knowledge of the town's history and his love for his kids and grandkids will always be remembered. I was happy to see that my little town and the surrounding towns of Waterloo and Columbia are thriving. In fact, I don't think they've ever looked more inviting. We were
able to sneak in a visit to Waterloo's charming annual Pumpkin Fest where I met up with longtime friends Mike Sager, Mike Simmons, Natalie and Billy Steppig (and their darling Hadley), Brad and Jessie Sager (and
their darling Amelia), my cousins Cindy, Greg, Trevor, Alexander, Dillon and Ethan Groce and Steve Lowry, Carrie and Richard, Conan my Aunt Lora Stott and Aunt and Uncle Ruth and Larry Lowry. There's no place like
On another sad note, I lost my sweet mother-in-law, Jean
Jordan, on October 9. Chuck's dear mom passed away peacefully in her home in Lake Hinsdale Village on her 95th birthday. She was a 1941 graduate of Notre Dame College
and an ardent bridge player, crossword puzzle solver, knitter and baker. To all who loved her, she was one helluva great woman. We were so lucky to have her in our lives for so long. RIP dear Jeannie Jordan. I knew after I met you and Grandma Nora, that Chuck Jordan was the man for me.
This week's blog is proof that life has many ups and downs. The trick is making sure you focus on all things positive. And, on that note, I hope this darling video leaves you smiling. I know I can't stop watching it! :-)
That's all for now! I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy bringing it to you! And remember, if you would like to subscribe, please click here! (My list is completely spam free and never sold.)
Love, as always,
P.S. I hope you're enjoying Candid Candace in the Sunday Chicago Tribune! Here's a link to my latest column in case you missed it. Even sleepy Chihuahuas like Rooney are big fans!