PLUS RITA HAYWORTH GALA; SERVICE CLUB HAT LUNCHEON; AMFAR AT DU CAP; LOOKINGGLASS THEATRE GALA; HIGH JUMP SPRING BENEFIT; OCEAN CUT'S BIG LAUNCH; SOPHIA BUSH SHARES WITH EDROP-OFF; RANDOLPH STREET MARKET AMBASSADORS; N'DIGO FOUNDATION GALA; ART INSTITUTE'S "NIGHT HEIST"; DON'T GO MELLODY AND GEORGE; DIFFA'S ILLUMINATION GALA; IZZY HONORS ROBBIE; CAROL LOVES GENE'S; MICH AVE MAG'S "WOMEN WE LOVE"; "YOU & ME" WITH HEIDI; LUMINARY GALA; CHEF'S PLAYGROUND; DESIGNS FOR DIGNITY; BRITTNEY'S INSPIRING MAKE-A-WISH STORY; FUN VIDEOS; THIS & THAT AND SO MUCH MORE!
Chicago's own Michael Kutza, founder of the Chicago International Film Festival, spent two weeks on the French Riviera at the 69th annual Festival de Cannes reviewing films for his Fest along with his programming director Mimi Plauche. Besides screening movies, he also had a chance to take in a "Tiffany" fashion show. Here's his hilarious account: "The Festival de Cannes, as they call it over here, is a big business occasion, with sponsors eager
to attach their names to most everything. "Gorilla Marketing" runs rampant in Cannes. Renault may be the Festival's Official car, but Mercedes-Benz makes sure their latest 2017 giant luxury black sedans are ready to run you over at all events. That's what Gorilla
Marketing is all about. Push your product in the face of the audience, without paying the sponsorship price to the Festival. So, when I received the invite to the glamorous and historic Carlton Intercontinental (the second most expensive hotel in Cannes) for a TIFFANY event, I figured here was another legendary company trying to upstage the Official jeweler of the Festival - which is CHOPARD. I skipped a few films that day just to see this
elaborate fashion show at The Carlton. The set-up was like any typical runway show anywhere in the world, except it was in this glitzy ballroom of this world famous hotel. I saw Hip-Hop singer/songwriter "Usher" walk through the room, so assumed it was really a big deal
(turns-out he was just staying in the hotel). My first clue should have been when I saw that the giant champagne bar on my left was prominently labeled "Cash Bar" Not the usual Tiffany style? Took a seat on the runway and waited for the show to begin. The announcements started with booming hip-hop/disco music mixes, flashing lights, 50 camera men, and TV crews witnessing fashions from: Dubai, Lebanon, Cyprus and Paris, the voice said. The models
were Beautiful. The gowns were stunning, with distinctive Arab inspirations... But no Tiffany jewels to set them off? After a while I began to wonder what was going on. Then the producer-star of the show made her
appearance: a glamorous. vivacious young lady, whose first name, it seemed, happened to be TIFFANY! Cash-bar, Breakfast at Tiffany's? CONNED IN CANNES!"
(The big winner at the Festival was director Ken Loach, who took home the coveted Palme D'Or, his second, for his film "I, Daniel Blake." The Cannes jury said this was the longest deliberation process in the history of the Festival!)
In other Riviera news, the annual AmfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala took place at the elegant Hotel du Cap in Antibes with Kevin Spacey serving as emcee. During the
program he remarked, "Cannes is the place we go to kiss Harvey Weinstein's ass." (Weinstein was the event chair) During the live auction, which garners fabulously unique auction prizes, a week-long stay for 12 guests in the former Dinah Shore house in Palm Springs, now owned by Leonardo DiCaprio, sold for $336,000. (Two packages were sold!) Spacey joked that the DiCaprio most
house was "something very special, only a few hundred Victoria's Secret models have seen it." A walk-on role on "House of Cards" sold for $560,000 and a camouflage Ferrari sold for $1.2 million. A Damien Hirst
sculpture went for "a steal" at $3.47 million and a painting of a fish by actor/artist Adrien Brody sold for $504,000. A disco-themed fashion show followed with models including Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dun wearing designs by Roberto Cavalli among others. Sigh......
The Service Club of Chicago's annual Spring Hat Luncheon, "Les Chapeaux pour les Femme" was held on May 10 at the elegant Drake. The event started off with a Champagne reception in the Gold Coast room followed by a luncheon. Ladies and
gents donned their finest chapeaux and helped kick off SC's annual year of giving. This sold out affair attracted 350 guests to benefit Chicago’s oldest women’s charity. The theme was French and florals (with decor by Fleurtatious
Designs) and evoked an afternoon in a French garden. Local notables Kathy Brock, Shaun Rajah and Andrea Schwartz served as judges. Winners included Jody DeFord
(Tres Jolie Award), Lisa Kraus (Tres Chic Award) and Greg Hyder (Best Men's Hat). Raffle prizes included a one night stay in the Princess Diana Suite and 2 tickets to the Service Club Gala
won by Heleni Tozotzolis, dining certificates to 12 Chicago restaurants was won by Catherine Grochowski, and a Hugo Boss handbag (valued at $1000) was won by Kathy Brown. The event raised over $75,000 for the Service Club, an all woman non-profit founded in 1890 and celebrating 125 years of giving.
(Photos by John Reilly Photography)
The Alzheimer’s Association 29th Annual Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala returned this year on May 7th to the Hilton as one of the
national organization’s biggest fundraisers. This annual spring black-tie event attracted more than 800 guests and included a cocktail reception with the high-energy Cover
Girls violin show, a three-course dinner, program, auctions and live music by Orchestra 33. Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Rita Hayworth’s daughter, once again served as general chair of the event. This year, the Alzheimer's Association presented the coveted Rita Hayworth Award to Dr. Lisa
Genova, New York Times Bestselling Author of Still Alice for her contribution to Alzheimer’s disease awareness through her book as well as the feature film that Still Alice inspired last year. In addition, the Alzheimer's Association presented awards to two notable honorees. Joseph Cantore III accepted the 2016 Alzheimer's Association Family Philanthropy Award on behalf of his family.
The Alzheimer’s Association Corporate Award was presented to Silverado CEO Loren Shook, who accepted on behalf of the company. The theme “Time Is Of The Essence” paid tribute to the more than 210,000 residents from Illinois and the 5 million Americans who are living with the disease, and the future generations that will be affected unless
treatment, prevention and ultimately a cure is found. Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of the legendary film star, established the Rita Hayworth Galas to
pay tribute to her mother who lived with Alzheimer’s for many years before succumbing to the disease in 1987. Under Princess Yasmin Aga Khan's leadership, over $68 million has been raised through the Chicago, Palm Beach and New York Rita Hayworth Galas. These funds, combined with other donations, have helped the Alzheimer's Association work toward their vision of a world without Alzheimer's
disease. The Chicago gala committee was led by co-chairs June D. Barnard and Maggie Murzanski. Jon Harris, senior vice president/CCO at ConAgra Foods, emceed the event with Fox Chicago’s Dawn Hasbrouck. To date, the gala has raised more than $1 million dollars.
Lookingglass Theatre Company’s Board of Trustees and Gala Committee welcomed 370 guests for an evening of “Vaudeville” fun at gglassquerade 2016, held at Revel Fulton Market on April 2. This year’s celebration, co-hosted by
Monica Raymund (NBC’s Chicago Fire/Lookingglass ensemble member) and Phil Smith (producing director), raised more than $825,000 to support the company's education and community engagement
programs and marked 28 years of creating professional, ensemble-based theater in Chicago. The Lookingglass Civic Engagement Awards were presented to president of strategic giving
Shawn M. Donnelley and Ira Glass, "This American Life" radio program host. Funds raised through gglassquerade advance Lookingglass’ commitment to creating new theatrical works and sharing them through innovative education and community programs
and engaging the public with community conversations and panel discussions designed to deepen the impact of Lookingglass' productions. Co-Chairs were Gerry Barad, Les Coney and Thomas O’Neill with Jon Harris serving as honorary chair. (Photos by Robert Carl)
High Jump, a nonprofit that provides tuition-free academic enrichment to promising seventh and eighth-grade students with limited financial resources, hosted its annual Spring Benefit, A Spring of
Opportunity, on April 30 at the Ritz-Carlton. Nearly 450 guests celebrated High Jump’s impact on Chicago students and families and included Judy Hsu, ABC-7 News anchor who also served as event emcee, and Dr. Ian Smith, TV personality and avid High Jump supporter. Benefit co-chairs Katie Barber, Vince Cozzi
and Peggy Lim along with High Jump board chair Tim Friedman served as co-hosts. “This year we will graduate our first cohort from our third campus at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools,” said Lee Hart, High
Jump’s executive director. Keynote speaker and High Jump alumna, Heidi Ortolaza-Alvear, now director of the Child and Adolescent Health Initiative at EverThrive Illinois, spoke movingly about her experience
growing up in Chicago and how High Jump gave her the strength and belief to realize her dreams and goals. “High Jump showed me a different learning experience. For the first time, it allowed me
to feel academically challenged. It gave me the courage to challenge the status quo,” Ortolaza-Alvear said. “We need High Jump to give more young people permission to lose themselves in their curiosity and desire to learn. We need High Jump to create safe spaces and
build learning environments where young people realize they are valued and worthy.” (Photos by Jasmin Shah)
Congrats to David and Meggan Flom and Matt Moore on the cool unveiling of Ocean Cut! This new
restaurant concept replaces C Chicago, 20 W. Kinzie. The new menu by Executive Chef Dirk Flanigan still has the original favorites but with a more bistro feel and a lot more choices. In a Chicago Mag interview, Chef Dirk talked about some changes he wanted to make,
"I will have three steak offerings on the menu. And I want to get lunch hopping in here. I’m working on a lobster burger as well as fish and chips. I think those are obvious fits. There will also be a raw bar and grilled items for those who want to eat lighter during the day. I want to provide people the option of enjoying a power lunch without needing a nap afterward." I love this space and these much loved restaurateurs and wish them an "ocean" of success and happiness! For more info, click here!
Randolph Street Market, my favorite, returns on May 28/29. Recently, its new creative director Graham Kostic put
together a new Ambassador campaign. RSM Ambassadors 2016 include Josephine Lee, Rosie Clayton, drag queen Natasha Douglas, Barri Leiner Grant, Petra Slinkard, Philip and Mickie Tadros and moi. Check out the fun-filled video below!
Actress Sophia Bush has joined forces with eDrop-Off luxury consignment to auction off a number of items (over 1500!) from her personal closets in Los Angeles and
Chicago. The auction launches through eDrop-Off on Monday, June 6, and will end June 16, with proceeds benefiting Sophia's charity of choice, The Girl Project! What a great idea Corri McFadden!
Over 350 community leaders, professionals and philanthropists joined Chicago Children’s
Advocacy Center for its 2nd annual Luminary Award Dinner held at the Union League Club of Chicago on May 12. The event raised funds for the center and honored First Lady of Chicago Amy Rule, a tireless advocate on behalf of children’s safety and welfare causes. Guests enjoyed cocktails and a silent auction
while mixing and mingling with the honoree and her husband, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, sponsors, ChicagoCAC’s executive staff and board members. The reception was followed by a dinner and program. The event was co-chaired by Sheila
McGinn Dorman, COO of Northern Trust Securities, and Mara Walsh. Justice Anne M. Burke, one of last year’s award recipients (2015 recipients: Alderman Edward Burke and Justice Anne M. Burke) presented ChicagoCAC’s 2016 Luminary Award to Ms. Rule
for her dedication to the kids of Chicago. Ms. Rule is involved in a number of programs in support the city’s youth, including reading engagement programs, violence prevention efforts and internship and employment opportunities. “Through her leadership in our community, her
support of the center and her compassion for children, Amy Rule is a true luminary,” said ChicagoCAC Executive Director Char Rivette. “In recognition of her efforts to light the path to hope and healing for children, it is our very great pleasure to honor her with Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center’s 2016 Luminary Award.” “I am heartened that all of you here tonight have joined the city in embracing the important work of the Chicago Children’s Advocacy
Center,” said Ms. Rule. “Rahm and I thank you for your past support and we thank you for continuing to help the staff with the critical work they do to heal some of our neediest residents.” As part of a special paddle raise, guests contributed more than $94,000 for the organization's Growing & Giving campaign. “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate child sexual abuse,” said Rivette. The event raised $424,000. (Photos by Mila Samokhina)
The N'DIGO Foundation will present a jazzy evening at Logan Center for the Arts on Sunday, June 12. The evening will feature hot jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, and Chicago's own Zemrah, whose uplifting music is reminiscent of classic jazz singers with a modern musical twist. The gala will honor Karen Lewis, Pastor John Hannah, Alex Pissios and Brandon Smith. The event will support the Foundation's mission to provide merit-based scholarships to Chicago area students. For tickets and more info, click here!
Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS/Chicago (DIFFA/Chicago) is gearing up for its 28th annual black-tie fete – The 2016 DIFFA/Chicago Illumination Gala-- set for Saturday, June 11, at the Marriott Downtown. As the organization’s largest fundraiser, Gala '16 will feature an evening dedicated to eradicating HIV/AIDS. Dr. Rob Garofalo, who practices with a focus on pediatrics and adolescent care at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine,
will be the keynote speaker. Gala co-chairs are Mary Jo Fasan, Jeremy T. Davis and Brigg Klein. For tix and more info, click here!
The Art Institute of Chicago's Evening Associates will hosts its annual "Night Heist" gala on Friday, June 24, at the Museum's Modern Wing. The evening will also offer a "first look" at the exhibition, "America after
the Fall: Painting in the 1930's". For tickets and more info, click here.
National Louis University hosted its annual Reach Gala at the Sofitel Hotel on May 17. The event honored former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with the Pioneer
Award. Matthew King, M.Ed., a change leader in education, was presented with the National College of Education's Reach Award. King served as director and principal at EPIC Academy College Prep Charter High School since 2009. Jacqueline Samuel, Ph.D., a
community psychologist and champion of affordable housing, human services and safe conditions for the South Chicago neighborhood, won the College of Professional Studies and Advancement's Reach Award. She directs CPS' Safe Passage program. NLU alum Amanda Leftwich was also honored with a 2016 Distinguished Reach Award for her work
in early childhood education. Founded in 1886, National Louis is a non-profit, non-denominational University offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy and others concerned with human and community development.
I had the best time returning to WCIU's "You & Me" to discuss HOT topics with fellow Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens ("A Balancing Act"). I love her work and was thrilled to finally meet her! We joined hosts Jeanne Sparrow and Jon Hansen (Melissa Forman was out sick) for a chat that
ranged from Gwyneth Paltrow's $15,000 sex toy, to the poor L.A. weather girl who was berated over her on-air attire to why Chicago's population is declining. To see part of the segment, click here! And to check out Heidi's cute take on the morning in her column, click here!
Chicago Bear, Robbie Gould, will be honored with the 2016 Humanitarian Award by the Israel Idonije Foundation on Thursday, July 14, at the Thompson Hotel, 21 E. Bellevue Place. He is being recognized for his many contributions to Chicago and its youth. The Israel Idonije Foundation is a 501c3 charity committed to impacting under-served communities by providing programs focused on social and emotional life skills. #ALLGOOD For tickets and more info, click here.
A big congrats goes out to Michigan Avenue Magazine's "Women We Love"--they include Tracey Tarantino, Mindy Segal, Melissa Benham, Jennie Bishop, Lana Condor, Kristen
Ekeland, Rose Afriyie, Ikram Goldman, Mindy Mackenzie, Lauren McGrady, Christen Press, Amanda Lannert, Eve Rogers, Irika Sargent and Genevieve Nielsen! Congrats to all these visionaries and community supporters who have influenced Chicago's past and are shaping its future!
I don't know how you feel about the Lucas Museum, but I
for one, am very sad that Chicago will be losing this opportunity. I think the parking lot location would have been ideal, taking away an eyesore and providing eye candy, culture and fun on the museum campus. Bill Kurtis wrote a great article in the Chicago Tribune in support of the
museum. He said, "I consider myself an environmentalist dedicated to preserving and creating open space. In fact, I've put much of the land I own in conservation easement to protect it from ever being developed. But I've learned that the great joy of Chicago's lakefront is the integration
of nature with museums. Applied to the controversy over the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, it seems to me that the benefits of building the museum on the parking lot site continue that tradition." Amen, Bill, amen. It also doesn't seem very smart to drive out the great support that Mellody Hobson and George Lucas provide for Chicago, amounting in the millions for local non-profits including After School Matters. But then, that's just me....
I recently covered the Make-A-Wish Illinois Ball (which will be in my column next Sunday) and met a few of its "Wish Ambassadors." All their stories moved me, but none more than
Brittney Wolff's, a SEVEN-time cancer survivor. Please read her inspiring story here:
"In November of 1992, at the age of just 2 years old I was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). I had chemotherapy for a year and a half only to relapse in March of '94 at only 3 1/2 years old with ALL with CNS and Mild Bone Marrow. I then had to undergo more chemotherapy
treatments, along with full body radiation and a bone marrow transplant, which were my own that had been taken from my own stem cells then given back to me when I was strong enough. But the doctors warned that if the bone marrow didn't take, and I got diagnosed with another cancer
that there would not be much hope of me living. I was just shy of being cancer free for ten years when in March of 2004, at 13 years old only to have my life torn apart again when I was diagnosed with my secondary cancer, Synovial Sarcoma, cancer of the joint lining. I had several surgeries that removed the tumor, restructure the wrist so I was
able to use it and also had 2 skin grafts. While in one of theses surgeries I remember having a outer body experience where I was floating over myself in surgery for a minute or so then felt myself being pulled back into my body. I again had to have more chemotherapy treatments. Then in 2007 I was diagnosed with Micropapilary Thyroid cancer and had
my whole thyroid removed along with two of my lymph nodes. No other treatment was needed and I take medicine every day. In 2008 my secondary cancer, synovial sarcoma resurfaced and local radiation was the only form of
treatment need. In November of 2013 and March of 2016 I had moles removed that were basil cell skin cancer. I may only be 25 years old but I am always happy to tell others about my life battles in hope that it will touch them in a way, and inspire them to always have hope and faith in anything they do, and that nothing is impossible if you just believe. I am doing great, loving life and living it to the fullest. I ove my family and my job and feel truly blessed to still be here and be able to now give back to Make-A-Wish and help others make their wishes come true." God Bless You Brittney and thank you for being such an inspiring
The 4th annual Chefs' Playground Gala, hosted by Chef Tony Mantuano and Bon Appetit Management Company, featured childhood inspired bites and a Studio Gang campus reveal at Terzo Piano on May 19. Over
500 guests and 28 celebrity chefs, including Rick Bayless and Chris Pandel, joined forces raising over $300,000 for the Academy for Global Citizenship. Guests enjoyed a live auction
featuring exciting chef dinners, a whale watching trip with actor Adrian Grenier, and childhood-inspired dishes and drinks, including a re-imagined BLT from Chris Pandel (Swift and Sons, Cold Storage) and a tiki “juice box” from Paul McGee (Lost Lake). Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), an innovative Chicago Public Charter School
located on the southwest side, has partnered with MacArthur Genius Grant Award winner Jeanne Gang to create a replicable new model for public school construction. AGC revealed the conceptual design for their visionary new campus, which will be on Chicago’s Southwest side, at the
gala. AGC is targeting $35 million in private funds to build the estimated 65,000-square-feet campus. Designed by Studio Gang, the new AGC campus will serve as a replicable model for sustainable education, embodying the school’s vision to empower a system of learning that respects the innate
curiosity of children and the relationship between people and nature, instilling in generations of students a holistic approach to education and wellness. “This ambitious vision will completely re-imagine school, incorporating our hopes for what schools can be. We have selected an equally ambitious design team led
by Jeanne Gang that shares our vision for sustainable education,” said AGC Founder Sarah Elizabeth Ippel. “We believe this school will inspire students, the district, and the entire community.” The architecture is situated within a 3-acre urban farm where students, teachers, and members of the community grow and harvest a significant amount of the produce used to prepare students’ breakfast and lunch. “Designed to be replicable by other districts and schools across the
globe, this campus will be a model for the next generation of public education,” said Studio Gang Founder Jeanne Gang. “We are confident that this educational innovation has the potential to ignite a global movement for change.” (Galdones Photography)
Designs for Dignity (D4D) celebrated its work in helping transform non-profit environments through pro bono design services and in-kind donations at its annual spring fundraiser Spirit of Design. The evening raised more than
$165,000, the largest amount in D4D’s 16-year history of hosting the event. More than 500 Chicago designers, industry professionals and guests gathered for the yearly party to celebrate the immense impact D4D has had as the only organization and resource in the Chicago area that provides pro bono design and materials to qualifying nonprofits with the goal of helping them to better serve their immediate populations by renovating and
updating their key program spaces. International home furnishings designer Holly Hunt and national event planner Tom Kehoe co-hosted the event held at The Geraghty in Chicago. The event space was donated and designed by Kehoe Designs. The monies raised -- through ticket sales, raffle purchases and a live action painting from Cathy Bruni Norris -- go directly
to benefit D4D’s mission. Since 2000, D4D has worked with Chicago’s design community and all of its resources to annually partner with approximately 15 nonprofits throughout the area, which has totaled more than 200 organizations during the past 16 years. Over that time, D4D has impacted the lives of more than 604,000 individuals, provided more than 17,000 hours of service and donated more than $7.7 million in design services and material
donations to projects across the Midwest.
We love Gene & Georgetti's Restaurant at 500 N. Franklin and a lot of celebs do too! Here's a pic of owners Marion and Tony Durpetti rubbing shoulders with their most recent guest, Carol Burnett!
I hope you've enjoyed this latest edition of Candid Candace! Thank you for reading and, if you're not yet a subscriber, please sign up here! My list is never shared or sold, only treasured.
P. S. And just to make you smile....Just like any Disney movie, it was love at first sight for little Jack Coley when he first laid eyes on Snow White. The two-year-old was diagnosed with non-verbal autism last year, but that didn’t stop him from snuggling up with a Disney princess. "I must have cried 1000 tears watching his interaction with her. He was in love," said mom Amanda.