PLUS GOODMAN THEATRE GALA; EYE ON INDIA; DIFFA'S ILLUMINATION GALA; MARY & TINA'S BIG NIGHT; FERRARIS ON OAK; MAKING HISTORY AWARDS; KRISTINA'S CHIC SOIREE; CHE TOURS BUZZES THE CUP; POLO FOR FOC; PRIMO CLASSICO 2016; FACETS SCREEN GEMS GALA; PIERRE'S KIDS; CYNTHIA ROWLEY'S NEW GIG; MELISSA'S BIG HONOR; OMD'S FOOD & WINE TASTING; CELEBRATING 5 YEARS AT THE TRIB; HOPE IN ACTION GALA; PAWS BEACH PARTY; ON THE LEDGE WITH JOANNE; DARLING VIDEOS; PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW AND SO MUCH MORE!
To say that the 15th anniversary party for the Peninsula Chicago was a fun party is like saying the Art Institute has a couple of nice paintings. I'm not sure I really have the words to describe it. This magical night, envisioned by the Pen's Greg Hyder along with Kehoe Designs' Phil Cooper and staff and
GM Maria Zec, not only celebrated the Pen's 15th anniversary but also acknowledged the 150th anniversary of the company too. From the moment we stepped out of the cab to enter this award-winning hotel, we knew we were in for a thrill ride. A sleek, charcoal grey MINI Cooper was outfitted with flashing wheel lights and running board while DJ Wizz
feverishly played hot hits out of the trunk on his state-of-the-art mixing board in a playful nod to the Pen's own fleet of MINIS. Peninsula elevator pages whisked invite-only guests to the lobby level and, as soon as the doors opened, magic ensued. Servers were
standing at attention holding silver trays filled with champagne. Purple, green, fuschia and yellow lights backlit trees and shrubs "planted"
in the hall leading to the lobby. At the end of the walkway, a massive 7 foot-tall, white frosted cake bearing the words "150 Hong Kong, Shanghai Hotels" sat alongside jeroboams of Moet Champagne. A stilt-walker dressed as a huge blue-bird (of happiness no doubt!) fluttered his
"wings" and danced to the music as he greeted surprised guests. Delicious, decadent food stations that included the Pen's famous Peking duck, oysters, crab legs and more, were everywhere you looked and creatively attired performance artists (think a golden satyr, Goth ballerinias,
dancers, fairies, etc.) squeezed their way through the crowd happily singing, dancing and posing for photos along the way. The theme was "Midsummer Night's Dream/Garden Chic" so oversized colorful, fantasy flowers "sprouted" throughout the
venue. Real flowers, including allium and tropical florals like orchids, king protea, anthurium, hydrangea and sunflowers, were used in abundance too. If you looked up, a giant harp
with strings leading from one side of the room to the top of the ceiling played soft tunes with a trio of violins. Downstairs, a photo station allowed guests the opportunity to pose in front of a backdrop of green grass.
Outside on the Terrace, rock band Swett Bea and The Boys and String Theory kept the crowd swaying to the tunes as more food stations helped fuel the fun. In the Avenues Ballroom,
a red dance floor featured a custom graphic of a monkey riding on the back of a dragon in a nod to the company's 150th anniversary and its Chinese roots. Guests wore their most creative "garden" attire.
Standouts included Michael Caputo who wore a black and white floral dinner jacket. Tracey Tarantino (whose ZZAZZ Productions provided some of the performers) was dressed in a chic black and white floral jumpsuit. Bright colors and bright smiles were the order of the day as over 1000 guests enjoyed the famous Peninsula hospitality for this super special
occasion. Greg Hyder, Pen's fabulous catering director and so much more, summed it up this way. "I think this was my favorite party of all. With all the terror and hate in the world right now, I just
wanted to create a moment in time where guests could relax and feel joy again and I think we achieved that tonight." Partygoers seen on the
scene included Roe Conn, Maria Pappas, Mike McGrath Jr., Trevor Heffernan, Tom Carto, Jean, Andy, Andrea and Alex Antoniou, Sharyl and Mike Mackey, Beth Rosen and MJ Tam, Catie Keogh, Colleen Kelly, Hazel and Warren Barr, Cynthia Olson, Zarada Gowenlock, Mary Ann Rose and Heinz
Kern, Claire and Dr. David Donnersberger, Diane Hollingsworth, Carly Leviton, Tom Kehoe, Toni and Rick Canada, Amanda Puck and Billy Rairigh, Nina Mariano, Dede Lubeznik, Sherrill and John Bodine, Jim Smith, Jenny Berg, Michael Kutza, Vivian Teng, Susan
Gohl and Jonathan Grabill, Sherry Lea Holson, Quenten Schumacher, Maria and Bob Zec, Dori Wilson, Vonita Reescer, Bridgett McDermott, Vincent
Anzalone, Linda Johnson Rice, Julie Latsko, Neal Zucker, Debi Lilly and husband Mike, Ken Norgan, Matt Olaveson, Sherren Leigh, Beth Silverman, DC Crenshaw, Justin Jacobson,
Tiffani Kim and her sister, Elizabeth Bertucci, Marshall Erb, Mary Pat Burns, Amy Tara Koch, Rudy Segovia and Andy Sinclair, Mamie Walton, David Murga, JP Anderson, Dusty and Alex Stemer, George Jewell, Carly and Jason Bradford, Heather and Bruce Ingram, Grant DePorter, Dr. Sandy Goldberg and Gregory Hines, Sandy and Diane Whiteley and so many more! Happy birthday with love Peninsula Chicago! Nobody does it better! (To see ALL pics, click here!)
Stage and ABC-TV Scandal star Norm Lewis was Daring, Dazzling and Dynamic at the May 21 Goodman Theatre Gala, where more than 500 guests gathered at the Fairmont Chicago. Presented by the Women's Board and co-chaired by WB members Linda Krivkovich and
Susan Wislow and Board of Trustees member David Fox, the black-tie gala raised more than $850,000 to benefit the Goodman’s Education and Community Engagement programs housed in the
Goodman’s newly-established Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement, dubbed “the Alice.” The evening began in the Imperial Foyer for a
cocktail reception and then proceeded into the Ballroom. Draped in black and bedazzled with gold trimmings, the Ballroom decor featured tabletops topped with asymmetrical dramatic glass centerpieces. Lewis, a Florida native baritone, captured the audience's hearts from the moment he
walked onstage with a charming wide-ranging repertoire that included an encore performance of Rachelle Ferrell’s “Peace on Earth” and “Misty” from his debut studio album “This Is the Life!” In a nod to his role in the 2006
Broadway revival of Les Misérables, he performed a moving delivery of “Bring Him Home” and “Stars.” Lewis paid homage to Leslie Bricusse with his rendition of “If I Ruled the World”—a song made popular by notable artists James Brown, Tony Bennett, Stevie
Wonder and more—and continued with “Once in a Lifetime.” He also performed a selection of Broadway tunes including “I Got Plenty O’Nuttin’” from his Tony Award nominated appearance as “Porgy” in the 2012 production of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess; “Before the Parade Passes By” from Hello, Dolly! by Michael Stewart; and a R&B take on
Lerner and Loewe’s “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from My Fair Lady. He brought the house down with an encore performance of the aforementioned “Peace on Earth” and a tribute to Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell with “Fever.” The evening concluded with dancing to the sounds of The Gentleman of
Leisure. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and the winner received 200,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles within the contiguous 48 United States and Canada where American Airlines services (two trips awarded) as well as an opportunity to win a Nini Jewels Butterfly Brooch valued at $25K, courtesy of Nini Hale and Neiman Marcus Michigan
Avenue. The Goodman offers a variety of educational programming that impacts Chicagoland's youth of all ages allowing them to interact with working theater professionals and deepen their experience of the work on its stage. These efforts will grow exponentially in the recently opened Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement , a 10,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility of classrooms, a STEM learning lab, rehearsal
spaces and more.
Over 200 guests gathered at the Bridgeport Arts Center to support Eye on India. The evening was an exclusive preview of the fall festival and featured music, visual art, dance, film, fashion, food and more. Dr. Ralph and Marta Nicholas were honored as The Chicago-India Cultural Connection Award Recipients.
Funds raised, over $32,000, will help the newly created outreach efforts to connect visiting artists with Chicago nonprofits, schools and community centers. The 2016 Eye on India Festival runs September 15 to October 2 at various locations across the city. "The Festival
was founded to provide an opportunity to bring the best in Indian art, literature and culture to U.S. audiences while showcasing the work of local artists. "Our wonderful cross-cultural partnerships continue this year with acclaimed institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum
and Old Town School of Folk Music. This year we are pleased to partner for the first time with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Poetry Foundation, Chicago Public Library and the Chicago High School for the Arts," said EOI founder/president Anuradha Behari. The gala
featured an amazing musical performance by 15-year-old Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) pianist Rupa Elizabeth Sprecher. Born in Bengaluru, India, and blind from birth, Sprecher was adopted by a Chicago couple when she was 7-years-old.
She studied piano at DePaul's Community School of Music and has received many accolades and awards including the 2013-2015 DePaul Division Concerto Festival Winner and the Superior Honors Medal at Chicago Public School's Piano Festival (2016). Attendees were also treated to a performance
by Natya Dance Theater, a critically-acclaimed dance troupe rooted in the classical dance form of Bharata Natyam. Partygoers enjoyed a fashion show "Zero Waste Sari Project," a
collaboration between Eye on India and the fashion students and faculty from Columbia College Chicago. Four of the strongest pieces were selected by Eye on India Fashion Director Shruti Kirti and Visual Arts Director Tanya Gill to be modeled live at
the gala. Attendees were able to vote on the design they felt best captured the idea of what it means when the traditional and contemporary intersect. The winning student, Rachel Hentrich (Florida) received a cash prize for continued studies from the Chicago Indian boutique, Sahil.
Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS/Chicago (DIFFA/Chicago) hosted its 28th annual black-tie fete, The 2016
DIFFA/Chicago Illumination Gala. More than 500 attendees were informed about the progress in treatment and state of current research as well as the widespread critical need for funding for Chicagoland service agencies dedicated to assisting men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. “Tonight is
about shining a spotlight on the work that has been accomplished and the work that still needs to be done,” noted Mary Jo Fasan, who shared co-chair duties with Jeremy T. Davis and Brigg Klein. As the organization’s largest fundraiser, The
Illumination Gala featured a passionate and emotional appeal from Dr. Rob Garofalo, M.P.H., Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Lurie’s
Children’s Hospital, who received a standing ovation after sharing his own experiences living with the disease. An educational video that addressed DIFFA/Chicago’s key mission also premiered at the gala, featuring a number
of grantees and supporters who directly impact the thousands of people affected by HIV/AIDS in the city. Held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel – Magnificent Mile, the gala served to illuminate the many faces of HIV/AIDS and show how DIFFA/Chicago is instrumental in affecting lives
in a multitude of positive ways. “The service agencies that DIFFA /Chicago supports are the foot soldiers in the fight. They are on the front lines every day and -in some cases-every night - fighting HIV/AIDS and the related afflictions that come with the disease,” said Kim Winzeler, DIFFA/Chicago Board of Directors Chair. “These afflictions include homelessness, mental
illness, hunger, discrimination and more,” she added. Recognized as the social kickoff for NeoCon, the gathered industry leaders and design enthusiasts were treated to an evening of elegant dining, creative cocktails, dancing and
star-studded performances from The Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra. The Unsung Hero Award went to John Rouse, publisher of Contract Magazine for his unwavering commitment to DIFFA/Chicago. Proceeds from the Gala, over $400,000, will support service
agencies providing assistance, education and outreach to those living with HIV/AIDS.
The Apparel Industry Board, Inc. (AIBI) hosted Rev Up Chicago – Moving Fashion
Forward at the Perillo Rolls Royce Gold Coast Showroom on June 2 celebrating the vivacious duo of Mary Lasky and Tina Weller for their longtime dedication to philanthropy and fashion. The evening began with a reception where guests indulged in luxury cocktails from Toast Vodka and hors d’oeuvres from Jewell Catering. Erica Strama of
The Shops at Northbridge and an AIBI board member, served as the emcee for the night. She welcomed the guests and introduced the first portion of the fashion show which featured garments from five finalists for the Stanley Paul-Raelene
Mittleman Scholarship Fund $5,000 tuition scholarship. The 2016 recipient of the tuition scholarship, announced by Stanley Paul on behalf of the Stanley Paul Foundation, was Franshon Jackson from Dominican University. For the main event, guests were
captivated by a runway show featuring eight Chicago Designers all with Chicago-made merchandise: Azzeza, Borris Powell, Caroline Rose, Inc., Diego Rocha, Lauren Lein, Mira Couture, Ricorso and Takara. This celebration
of Chicago Fashion was produced by Susan Glick and styled by Blowtique and MAC Cosmetics. Following the fashion show, Jim Lasky and Jeff Weller presented the first Rev Up awards to their wives. Proceeds from the event will fund AIBI and its on-the-job training, mentoring, educational seminars, workshops, networking events and scholarships.
On Sunday, July 10, it will be a good day to be a vintage car buff. Over 70 rare and prize-winning Ferraris will be on display during the annual "Ferraris on Oak" event that will take place along
Oak Street between Rush and Michigan (entrance at Rush St.) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This ticketed event will benefit the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and will feature a 500 ft. red carpet where the curated collection of late-model and racing Ferraris
will be displayed. VIP ticket holders will enjoy up-close viewing of these celebrated Italian automobiles, as well as the opportunity to meet the cars' owners, ask questions and share their passion for the Ferrari brand. Participating Oak Street boutiques, salons and restaurants will offer ticket holders exclusive
in-store experiences and tastings, in keeping with the day's celebration of luxury and style. The sidewalks will be open to pedestrians who may still experience some of the excitement from outside the velvet ropes and visit the top shops, restaurants and salons along this chic street. (Photos by Sheri Whitko Photography)
For tickets and more info, click here! Vroom, vroom!
The Chicago History Museum (CHM) hosted the 22nd annual Making History Awards on June 8 with over 450 guests in attendance at the Four Seasons Hotel. The event paid tribute to the positive and enduring
impact of some of our city’s extraordinary leaders and raised a record $1 million to benefit the education programs of the Chicago History Museum. “Perhaps more than any previous Making History Awards, this year demonstrated the strong and diverse leadership that has made Chicago the world-class city that it is today. We are very grateful for the exceptional community-wide support we received in this record breaking year,” said CHM
President Gary Johnson. Hosted by Chicago Museum Trustee and news journalist, Ali Velshi, the night included award presentations and impassioned speeches from the 2016 recipients who included: Frank M. Clark – The Marshall Field Making History Award for Distinction in Corporate Leadership and Innovation,
presented by Anne Pramaggiore; Art Johnston – The Jane Addams Making History Award for Distinction in Social Service, presented by Laura Ricketts; Michael H. Moskow – The Harold Washington Making History Award for Distinction in Public Service, presented by Lester Crown; Shirley W. Ryan – The Bertha Honoré Palmer Making History Award for Distinction in Civic Leadership, presented by Andrew McKenna on behalf of Marca Bristo; JPMorgan Chase accepted by Melissa Bean, Chairman of the Midwest – The Cyrus
McCormick Making History Award for Historic Corporate Achievement, presented by Motorola Solutions. The Chicago History Museum inaugurated the Making History Awards in 1995 to provide vital financial support to the museum’s operations and programs. Since then the event has honored 100 Chicagoans and 10 Chicago companies whose enduring contributions to our community have made Chicago a better and more vibrant place to
We had such an exciting fly-over of the America's Cup race in a Chicago Helicopter Experience! Our pilot Dave also thrilled us buzzing Trump Tower, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field and even our condo building on the Gold Coast! In 2015, we took a thrilling ride in a
EC130 (a 6-seater) at Christmastime over the beautiful lights of the city. We saw Zoo Lights from above, houses lit up in the Gold Coast and buildings bathed in red and green along the skyline. It was such a
wonderful experience and we couldn't wait to go back. For the Cup ride, we took a smaller helicopter (EC135 that seats up to 5) and it was even more
exciting! Granted, I'm a nervous nellie when it comes to anything having to do with flying but CHE Tours pilots are so experienced and so good at putting you at ease that I settled in and enjoyed the show. If you've never been on a CHE Tour, I highly recommend it. It's so exciting to see Chicago this way! If you have friends coming to town, want to give a unique birthday/wedding/anniversary gift or treat yourself, then this is the way to go! For more info, click here!
The 5th annual Primo Classico will be held at Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, 1120 S. Milwaukee Ave. in Wheeling, on Saturday, October 22. This turbo celebration for enthusiasts of exquisite wines, culinary excellence, luxury jets and breathtaking cars will be co-chaired by Cassie Mancuso and Marc Jacobson. It will include live entertainment and a silent and live auction. I can tell you one of the live auction prizes is literally "out of this world"! For tickets and more info, click here! And to see the fun from last year, check out the video below!
Friends of Conservation will host an exciting afternoon of polo at Oak Brook Polo Club on Sunday, July 10. Co-chaired by FOC co-founder Reute Butler and Vonita Reescer, the afternoon will be a remake of the famed Commander's Cup and will feature Oak Brook Polo Club captained by Jim Drury versus The Black Horse Troop. The afternoon will also honor our U.S. Armed Forces and its veterans and include a display of vintage military vehicles and the Culver Academy's Mounted Color Guard. Space is limited, so reserve tickets ($150) here.
The Facets Screen Gems Gala honored Harriet Meyer, a pioneer in the field of early childhood education and the former president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, at the Arts Club of Chicago. Co-chairs were Lisa and Curt Bailey, Doris Conant, Mitchell Cobey and Michael McPherson. The event was emceed by Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan. During the
evening, guests enjoyed a screening of The Bear, a short feature from Chile that premiered at the 2015 Festival and went on to win an Oscar for best animated short in February. Funds raised will support scholarship programs for low-income children to attend summer film education programming as well as year-round screenings of films presented by Facets at its annual Chicago
International Children’s Film Festival, the 33rd production of which is scheduled for October 28 – November 6.
Congrats to Pierre Lockett on his first, uber-successful fundraiser for Forward Momentum Chicago, a non-profit that provides quality dance education programs to schools and communities with limited arts access. It was a sold-out event co-hosted
by Leslie Hindman and Rance Crain with co-chairs Cindy Burns, Rance and Melinda Jakovich at the Joffrey Tower on June 9. The event, Relevé Soirée, featured presentations by Mandrake Park Ballet Class,
Carl von Linné Elementary Latin Dance Class, James Wadsworth S.T.E.M. Elementary African Dance Class and After School Matters FMC Dance. Proceeds funded the organization's inaugural Summer Dance Camp. Congrats Pierre and keep up the wonderful work. To learn more about Forward Momentum Chicago, click here!
More than 200 guests joined fashion icon Cynthia Rowley for an event on June 2 at Walter E. Smithe's Lincoln Park showroom to celebrate the launch of her new line for Hooker Furniture. During the event, Rowley answered questions about the new line that features her signature bold prints and fun, spirited aesthetic. Pieces are now
exclusively available in Chicagoland at all 11 Walter E. Smithe showrooms.
The Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center (ZCenter), which offers free counseling, support groups and advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence and non-offending loved ones, held their annual fundraising luncheon at ZCenter’s Gurnee location with over 300 in attendance. The event honored Melissa Forman, host of You & Me on WCIU TV, Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office (LCSAO) and Michael Nerheim, with "Community Impact" awards for their work to end
sexual violence. The event raised over $190,000 for the ZCenter and its counseling and advocacy services. Congrats to ALL!
One Million Degrees hosted its 9th annual Food & Wine Tasting featuring some of Chicago’s leading chefs and sommeliers on June 3rd at Morgan Manufacturing. Co-chaired by Deb Gross and Rose Lizarraga, the event
raised over $650,000 with nearly 500 in attendance. A surprise grant announcement of up to $1.5 million came from the Caerus Foundation. The evening included an emotional keynote address by OMD alumnus Jarrett Adams who was introduced by OMD co-founder Michael Golden. Jarrett was wrongfully convicted at the age of 17, exonerated after 10 years, attended South
Suburban College (where he was an OMD Scholar), Roosevelt University and Loyola University Chicago Law School. And…he has just passed the New York State Bar Exam. “I am the return on your investment,” Jarrett, now an attorney, told the crowd to thunderous applause. Paige Ponder, OMD/CEO, shared, “One Million Degrees is the only organization in Chicago and one of very few across the country that exclusively serves community college students – 400 incredible scholars this year, growing to 700
this fall at 11 community colleges. We understand the vital role that community colleges play for low-income students – life-changing pathways to jobs, economic mobility, and opportunity for generations to come.” The Civic Leadership Award was presented to Deb and John Gross and the Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Grainger. OMD is halfway to a $10 million goal for its Degrees of
Impact Fund. (Photos by Chicago PhotoPress)
One Hope United hosted its 2nd annual Hope In Action Gala. More than 230 guests filled the iconic Burnham Ballroom at the JW Marriott to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect. Emceed by Ryan Chiaverini, Windy City LIVE
co-host, the event featured special guest, three-time Pro-Bowler and Chicago Bears Kyle Long! Presentations included The Ermit Finch Impact Award to Dianna Klockenga and the Leadership in Giving Award to Paul Earle. The night raised a total of $215,000 to support OHU's programs that further its mission of protecting children and strengthening families. (Photos by Timmy Samuel)
PAWS Chicago will host its annual Beach Party on Thursday, July 14, at North Avenue Beach's Castaways beginning at 6 pm. Cabana hosts Pam and Ed Carey, Paula and Peter Fasseas, Magnus Charitable Trust and Heather and Mark Yeager, along with lots of expectant homeless pets, hope you can join them! For more party details, click here!
So thrilled summer is finally here! We've had quite a bit of fits and starts but now it's arrived. I loved having Joanne Greene back to collaborate on terrace
garden ideas! She is terrific and I highly recommend her and her green thumb! Click here for details for On the Ledge Landscaping!
Sunday, June 19, marked the five-year anniversary of my Candid Candace column in
the Chicago Tribune! I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it! See current article here!
Don't laugh, but I've still been celebrating my May 26 birthday through the kindness of
friends! LOL! Recently, Kristina McGrath hosted a chic soiree at her posh Gold Coast condo for my Gemini Twin, Nina Mariano, and me. I loved seeing so many sweet faces and thank everyone for attending! Patty Nalepa created cool posters for us, Korinna Isselhardt DIY'd
custom wineglasses and Karen Stefani's Inspired Catering served up delicious food! Seen on the scene were Jan Melk, Jan Flanagan, Dede Lubeznik, Jasper Nowell, Shaun Rajah, Pam Sage, Susan Ifergan, Sharyl Mackey, Jean Antoniou, Gale Gottlieb, Dusty Stemer, Toni Canada and more! Happy birthday to all Geminis out there and thanks to all!
Hope you've enjoyed this week's edition and, as always, I will leave you with a smile.....
In honor of Father's Day and all the hero/dads out there!
Love, as always,