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Candid Candace: Books



Susanna Wickham, Alexis and Paula Fasseas and Suzanne LeMignot.

It was a night of tail-wagging fun for the nearly 700 guests at PAWS Chicago's 17th annual Animal Magnetism party at Morgan Manufacturing. Partygoers, many with pups in tow, arrived at this popular venue in the West Loop to raise

Sylvia Perez and daughter Magali Blasdell.

funds for PAWS Chicago, the Midwest's largest no-kill shelter. Held on April 28, the event was hosted by PAWS Chicago's Professional Board and presented by Becker’s Healthcare. Co-chairs were Sarah Atkinson, Brittany Keegan and Paige Krueger. Many guests arrived with their dogs dressed in full party mode wearing frilly dresses, sunglasses,

Susanna Wickham, PAWS Chicago CEO, with adoptable dog.

tuxes and more to enjoy an evening that included a VIP dinner sponsored by Avli (Chef Nikolaos Kapernaros), dancing, a silent auction and raffle, and an award presentation. A lavish buffet was served by some of the city’s top chefs, including Cristiano Bassani (Gene & Georgetti), and so many others. Partygoers could have some fun posing on the

Avli (VIP dinner sponsor) Chef Nikolaos Kapernaros.

“glambot pup-parazzi” pedestal (hosted by PetCon and The Dog Agency) and get an illustration of their pets from well-known artists onsite. Canine guests relaxed in doggie daycare and the “pampered pooch” station and enjoyed custom buffets. Jake Hamilton (of Fox-32) and Fred (Kiss-FM) served as the evening’s emcees. CEO Susanna Wickham welcomed guests and announced the presentation of the adoptable dogs showcase and

Chuck Jordan, Chris Wickham and Gus!

the Animal Welfare Leadership Awards, a special recognition for members of the community who have gone above and beyond for animals in need. Susanna, along with co-founders Paula and Alexis Fasseas, presented the awards as the emcees shared the recipients’ remarkable stories. Suzanne LeMignot (CBS-2

Phil Brooks (aka CM Punk) was an honoree.

weekend morning anchor) was the first award recipient. She has been involved with PAWS Chicago since the very beginning, going door-to-door with Paula helping start the first humane education program in the Chicago Public School system. She would take her pit bull mix, Pixie, to school assemblies to show kids that dogs are not violent, as they might have previously learned from experiencing dog fights in their neighborhood. She now sits on PAWS Chicago’s Board of Directors

Emcees Jake Hamilton and Fred (KISS-FM).

and continues to help homeless dogs and cats each week through the PAWS Pet of the Week segment, which started in the 1990s, and still airs on CBS 2 to this day. The next award recipient, Phil Brooks, aka CM Punk (professional wrestler, actor, and author), adopted his first PAWS dog in 2015 with his

Co-chairs Paige Krueger and Sarah Atkinson
Co-chairs Paige Krueger and Sarah Atkinson.

wife AJ Mendez. Larry was a misfit dog with a scruffy look, tough underbite and a personality that required a special adopter willing to work through his challenges. In 2017, Phil brought national attention to the cause by choosing PAWS Chicago as his charity when he was a contestant on MTV’s “The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros, “ and in 2021, he partnered

Co-chair Brittany Keegan
Co-chair Brittany Keegan.

with PAWS to tell his story about the transformation possible once a misunderstood dog finds the right home. He and Larry became the face of the “Underdog to Wonderdog” campaign to bring much-needed awareness to forgotten dogs and inspire people to consider adopting an overlooked pet. Dr. Aaron Jackson, a

Dr. Aaron Johnson  Dr. Paula Zdziarski-West  Phil Brooks (CM Punk)  Suzanne Le Mignot  Eileen Johnson
Honorees Dr. Aaron Johnson, Dr. Paula Zdziarski-West, Phil Brooks (CM Punk), Suzanne Le Mignot, and Eileen Johnson.

veterinarian surgeon who focuses on orthopedic cases, was the next honoree. He was the very first Medical Director of MedVet and has performed more than 15,000 surgeries over the course of his career. He volunteers his time to perform these types of surgeries at the PAWS Medical Center, providing care for some of the most difficult cases that come through their doors.  Dr. Jackson has also established an orthopedic program at PAWS, while mentoring future generations of surgeons to continue this important work. He  advanced

Judy and Howard Tullman, longtime supporters/board members.

surgical care to animals that would never have had the

PAWS dog anyone?

opportunity to recover. The next award recipient was Dr. Paula Zdziarski-West, also a veterinary surgeon who has helped so many PAWS pets get their second chance at life. She finds surgery to be a rewarding specialty because she can literally fix problems, returning function to animals who would otherwise be disabled, or save an animal with a life-threatening illness or injury. Since starting her volunteer work in 2022, providing orthopedic surgeries to PAWS Chicago, Dr. West has performed and saved PAWS more than $60,000. Last, but not least, the final award recipient was

Cute partygoers.

Eileen Johnson, a PAWS volunteer since 2015.  To date, she has put in nearly 3,800 hours. As a volunteer, Eileen has washed

Gene & Georgetti executive chef Cristiano Bassani.

thousands of dishes, done hundreds of loads of laundry, and of course, given love and enrichment to the dogs and cats. Over the last three years, she has driven over 36,000 miles traveling with the PAWS Chicago intake team, driving multiple trips to disaster areas to clear shelters, allowing lost animals an opportunity to be found by their owners, and saving thousands of those lives who were already up from adoption. Following the program, guests enjoyed dancing, dessert tasting stations, a glow bar and a photo booth. Since PAWS Chicago’s founding in 1998, over 76,000 pets have found forever homes. (

Stephanie Andre  Melissa Canning  Helan Kalantzis  Lori Paris  Shanna Nikolic
Glam partygoers Stephanie Andre, Melissa Canning (PAWS Board Development Board Chair), Helan Kalantzis, Lori Paris and Shanna Nikolic.


Game show fun with Chicago White Sox players at the Beyond the Diamond fundraiser.

The Chicago White Sox hosted its signature fundraiser, Beyond the Diamond, presented by Peoples Gas and Wintrust, in Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom on April 19. Fans and friends of the organization came together for a gala evening of entertainment benefiting Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC). White Sox players, coaches,

White Sox Charities ED Christine O'Reilly.

broadcasters and alumni attended the evening celebration to raise funds for youth baseball initiatives supported by CWSC. The evening began with an hour-long First Pitch Reception, presented by Modelo, followed by remarks from White Sox manager Pedro Grifol and White Sox Charities executive director Christine O’Reilly. Attendees enjoyed guest

ACE athlete Sir Jamison Jones.

appearances from fan-favorite White Sox stars and a Family Feud-style game show with players from the 2023 roster hosted by play-by-play broadcaster Jason Benetti. The game included the “Cease Family” – Dylan Cease, Andrew Vaughn, Andrew Benintendi, Gavin Sheets and Romy Gonzalez. And the “Giolito Family” – Lucas Giolito, Seby Zavala, Jimmy Lambert, Eloy

041923_DG_BTD 0021
Young athletes in White Sox ACE initiatives.

Jimenez and Jake Burger. Additional highlights included a Q&A with athletes from the CWSC-supported White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program and Team Teflon, a Black-owned travel youth softball program, and a conversation with White Sox ACE athlete Raised in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, catcher Sir Jamison Jones has been a member of the 041923_DG_BTD 0282White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program since 2017. The St. Rita High School junior is committed to Illinois State and has attended top MLB events, including the Breakthrough and Dream Series, Hank Aaron Invitational, 041923_DG_BTD 0298MLB States Play and Area Code Team, where he was selected to compete by the White Sox scouting department. Jones had breakout performances at both the “A Dream Fulfilled” game at the MLB at Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, as well as the RBI Junior World Series, where he helped the organization win its fifth championship in Vero Beach, Fla. The gala concluded with attendees enjoying an Extra Inning Celebration, presented by NBC Sports Chicago. (


Nick Pullia  Candace Jordan  Greg Cameron (The Joffrey Ballet president- CEO- and Chuck Jordan. (Photo by
With Nick Pullia, Greg Cameron (The Joffrey Ballet president- CEO) and Chuck Jordan. (Photo by [email protected])

Stormy skies and traffic jams didn’t keep The Joffrey Ballet’s supporters away from opening night of “The Little Mermaid.” In fact, it was a full house, filled with anticipation before the 2.5 hour performance of

10_The Little Mermaid_Victoria Jaiani_Anais Bueno_Dylan Gutierrez_Stefan Goncalvez_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Victoria Jaiani  as The Little Mermaid, Anais Bueno, Dylan Gutierrez and Stefan Goncalvez. (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

this hauntingly beautiful ballet that combined breathtaking dance with the heart-breaking story by Hans Christian Anderson. John Neumeier, longtime director and choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, brought this story

Ken Norgan with choreographer John Neumeier.

to life through exuberant contemporary choreography, stark but effective scenery and unique costuming. And, although “The Little Mermaid” is probably better known from Disney’s 1989 animated version, do not expect any similarities. Neumeier’s production is more in keeping with the original dark fairytale from 1837. The ballet is

Young ballerina/fans before the performance.

the story of a mermaid who longs for love and desires to be human but, just as in life, we don't always get what we want. The Mermaid's story is one of pain and loss superbly performed by Victoria Jaiani, dancing the role of a lifetime. Her moves,

Artistic Director Ashley Wheater with Nichelle and William Mayberry.

mostly done while trailing voluminous material behind her as fins, was riveting to watch. She is as much a great actor as she is a superb dancer. This difficult performance calls on skills we’ve not seen before and that seem appropriately, almost inhuman. She completely inhabits the role of the Little Mermaid and

The Joffrey Ballet's Brian Smith with Pam Crutchfield and Dawn Stanislaw.

loses herself in the character before our very eyes. She’s onstage for nearly the entire ballet, demonstrating yet again, her extraordinary endurance and other-worldly capabilities. The musical

03_The Little Mermaid_Victoria Jaiani_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Victoria Jaiani, in the role of a lifetime. (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

score, composed by Lera Auerbach and performed live by the Lyric Opera Orchestra, brought the production and the audience to another level, perfectly matching the intensity of what we see onstage. The addition of the theremin, an electronic instrument invented in 1928, depicts the Mermaid’s voice and her ethereal, mystical side. People may recognize the eerie sound of this

SSWC2984 (1)
The Joffrey Ballet president/CEO Greg Cameron with Jean de St. Aubin.

instrument from sci-fi films of the 1950s. It is controlled without physical contact- the musician (thereminist) waves their hands near two antennas to create sounds associated with ominous situations, of which there were many throughout the performance. The SSWC3095entire cast was outstanding. Yoshihisa Arai, retiring at the end of the 2022-23 season, played the menacing Sea Witch and Dylan Guiterrez expertly performed the role of the Prince, also requiring as much acting skills as dance and succeeding wildly at both. A heart-warming tender moment occurred when the dancers were taking their many curtain calls. Jaiani’s 9-year-old son and husband, former Joffrey dancer Temur Suluashvili, both presented their shining star with flowers. The production was entrancing, unsettling and danced with skills beyond imagining. During intermission, VIP guests enjoyed mixing and mingling in the Graham Room. If you missed this production this time around, make sure to see it when it returns!

The Joffrey Ballet and Company.


IMG_0363And in more The Joffrey  News ! Join this amazing dance company for a weekend of surrealism and dance, celebrating President and CEO Greg Cameron on the occasion of his 10th anniversary with the organization. Unleash your imagination and unlock your subconscious at the Ultrawide-xlrg-joint-page-imageJoffrey’s fantastical bash, "Sir Real." Expect to be mesmerized into an all-consuming surreal dreamland for the senses. With bizarre surprises and dazzling curiosities around every corner, dare to dress in your most avant-garde fashions and join the party, taking place in the Old Post Office on Friday, June 23. This event will 6a00e554550884883301a3fb60ce90970b-800wisupport Joffrey for All initiatives.The Friday night gala will be followed by a free performance in Millennium Park on Sunday, June 25. The free public performances will take place in the heart of downtown Chicago in Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Created as a gift to all Chicagoans, and the first event of its kind, The Joffrey Ballet’s Joffrey for All Celebration will feature dance workshops on the lawn and performances by Joffrey Company Artists, the Joffrey Academy of Dance, and students from the Joffrey Community Engagement programs.


Service Club Day on the Terrace co-chairs Tracey Tarantino DiBuono, Sharyl Mackey and Jean Antoniou.

Now that the Service Club of Chicago has its successful Spring (Hat) Luncheon under its belt (watch for complete coverage in next post), I want to share their next exciting event coming up Monday, August 7, at the Peninsula. Co-chaired by Jean Antoniou, Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and SC DOT 2023 Sharyl Mackey, the event will feature a spectacular fashion show and luncheon. Top retailers and designers from around town will showcase their most eye-catching looks, that will be available for purchase, on the catwalk. This event always sells out so be sure to get your tickets when they become available here! (Returning exclusive hair stylist is the Charles Ifergan Salon- thank you Philippe!)


Houndstooth ball host Elliott Bambrough with Heather Owen, One Tail at a Time executive director.

The 15th annual Houndstooth Ball attracted more than 500 animal-loving supporters, many with their pups, to Morgan Manufacturing on March 18. Benefiting One Tail at a Time (OTAT), a no-kill animal rescue organization, the event celebrated 15 years of supporting ongoing and new

Partygoers and pup.

initiatives such as its ISO House, a quarantine location in Logan Square that creates a safe, transitional space for sick or injured dogs from Chicago shelters. During the lively evening, that celebrated a decade of lifesaving, partygoers enjoyed a whiskey tasting presented by Green Briar and made JLPA134462memories in a variety of animal-related photo ops. Professional doodlers created hand-drawn portraits of pets and an onsite SPAW helped them relax. The silent and live auctions featured over 100 items, including a unique OTAT “patchwork” quilt. The program was emceed by Elliott Bambrough (of Chicago’s Best), who was joined by Heather Owen, OTAT executive director. Bambrough spoke about being inspired by the  JLPE134895 dedication of the organization's volunteers and how well it functioned as a family. Owen thanked the crowd and sponsors JLPA134479and shared the nonprofit's ongoing success story. An all-vegan buffet was served and, on every table, were photos with short stories of OTAT's adoption successes. The event raised over $300,000 which will fund the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of dogs, kittens, and bunnies in need. The funds will also help support adopters and grow community outreach, including humane education and assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families. Rescued animals are housed in both foster homes and at OTAT's Bucktown adoption center location. (Photos by Jeremy Lawson,


Pooped-out pup at Houndstooth Ball (those lil' shoes tho').


The 2023 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago recipient Rick Boynton (R) and  Dominic Missimi, the 2015 recipient.  

Porchlight Music Theatre’s annual signature fundraising event, Chicago Sings, returned with Chicago Sings Broadway Pop, at the House of Blues Chicago recently. The production was directed by Porchlight’s Artistic

Porchlight Executive Director Jeannie Lukow, honoree Rick Boynton and Artistic Director Michael Weber. 

Director Michael Weber and Producing Artistic Associate Frankie Leo Bennett with music direction by David Fiorello and choreography by Laura Savage. The concert, chaired by Michelle and Steve Cucchiaro, included a reception, the presentation of the 2023 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago to Rick Boynton. A Chicago cast of Porchlight favorites and students from Porchlight’s summer

Co-chairs Michelle and Steve Cucchiaro. 

camps and classes delighting the audience with songs that have appeared on Broadway. The evening began with Artistic Director Michael Weber welcoming the crowd to Porchlight’s debut at the House of Blues. He then introduced the first of many unforgettable moments at

Devin DeSantis, Sawyer Smith, Eric Lewis, A.D. Weaver, Matthew Hunter, Ricky Harris and Andrew Mueller.

Chicago Sings Broadway Pop - Juwon Tyrel Perry and the entire company of more than 20 artists performed “Man in the Mirror'' from MJ: The Musical. The night continued with a melody of Broadway songs that have crossed over to the pop charts spanning more than 60 years of musicals including Ricky Harris singing “Promise, Promises” from the musical of the same name,

Executive Director Jeannie Lukow with Auctioneer Greg Dellinger. 

followed by “Superstar” from Jesus Christ Superstar performed by Eric Lewis, Sawyer Smith, Elisa Carlson and Laura Savage. The crossovers section concluded with “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music performed by Angela Ingersoll. Popular songs from radio have also been performed on the Broadway

Eric Lewis at Chicago Sings Broadway Pop gala for Porchlight Music Theatre.

stage and the next number included some of the most popular Broadway pop that were originally heard on the radio including “Your Song” from Moulin Rouge performed by Devin DeSantis; “Run to You” from The Bodyguard by Aeriel Williams; “Let’s Hear it for the Boys” from Footloose sung by Neala Barron with Laura Savage, Ivory Leonard, Julia

The Chicago Sings Broadway Pop company.

Fleckenstein and Shaun White. Weber welcomed Dominic Missimi, the 2015 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago recipient, to present this year’s award to Rick Boynton.After the presentation, the music continued with “She’s Got a Way/Uptown Girl” from Moving Out

Choreographer Laura Savage and Shaun White.   

sung by Billy Rude with Sawyer Smith, Devin DeSantis and Andrew Mueller with Laura Savage and Shaun

Molly Callinan jamming with Gary Sinise at one of their many concerts together to support veterans.

White. Executive Director Jeannie Lukow was then joined by auctioneer Greg Dellinger for the paddle raise to support Porchlight’s mission. Molly Callinan continued the audience participation as she encouraged the audience to get up and join her for “The Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The finale brought the house down as Sawyer Smith and Molly Callinan with Matthew Hunter and Alexis J Roston were joined by the entire company to perform “Can’t Stop The Feeling/Time Of My Life” from & Juliet and Dirty Dancing. The event had more than 300 people in attendance and raised funds to support Porchlight’s educational and artistic programs.  


Chicago Lights Executive Director Stacy Jackson (l) and Fourth Presbyterian Church Pastor Shannon Kershner greeted 350 guests.
Chicago Lights Executive Director Stacy Jackson (l) and Fourth Presbyterian Church Pastor Shannon Kershner.

Chicago Lights held its annual Gala of Hope benefit at the Ritz-Carlton recently. The event attracted over 350 guests and is the organization’s biggest fundraiser. The night included an evening of dinner, dancing, live and silent

Gala Co-Chairs Pete Shannon (l) and Bill Patterson
Gala Co-Chairs Pete Shannon (l) and Bill Patterson.


auctions, and so much more. Chicago Lights Executive Director Stacy Jackson welcomed guests before Shannon Kershner, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church, offered a blessing. The nonprofit was founded by the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, launching its tutoring program in 1964. Since its inception, the nonprofit has served more than 60,000 people. _______________________________________________________________________

DJ Casper and ABC7 Samantha Chatman
DJ Casper and ABC-7 Samantha Chatman.

After School Matters celebrated its 3rd annual Sneaker Ball April 29 at the Chicago Sports Museum. More than

Sneaker Ball guests
Adorable Sneaker Ball guests.

230 guests enjoyed performances and exhibitions by After School Matters teens, a live performance by DJ Casper—the creator of the famed Cha-Cha slide—as well as live music, food and drink, and more. The event raised over $175,000 for After School Matters fund which pays teens for their participation in their programs.


Ina by george burns"Chicago Chefs Cook" did it again! This time they came together to celebrate the much loved  Ina Pinkney, "The Breakfast Queen of Chicago," on the occasion of her 80th birthday! The party was held at The Geraghty on April 26. The event featured tasting stations from more than 60 of the city’s most celebrated chefs and benefited the nonprofits Green City Market and Pilot Light. (Photo by George Burns)


Rick Kogan (3)Big thanks to Rick Kogan for having me back on WGN Radio!  We chatted for a whole hour about everything you can imagine! Please listen to the show, “The candid life of Candid Candace,” (LOL) here. 

Speaking of shows, we are now on “Candid Candace: The Podcast” number TWO! As always, a big, big thanks to my steadfast co-host and producer, the one and only John St. Augustine! I’m so lucky to have this ultimate pro on my team as well as the amazing intro by Jenniffer Weigel, another a media legend. In this latest episode, I take you behind the scenes to all the best parties, share the events you need to put on your calendars and talk with one of my besties, August of 1982 Playboy Playmate, the fabulous Cathy St. George. We chat about our shared experiences, what we loved about Hugh Hefner, celebs we’ve met along the way, what life was really like at the Playboy Mansion and what Frank Sinatra shared with Cathy in confidence! John couldn’t help slipping in a little "Harry Caray" tribute on the side! Holy Cow! (Listen here!)

Pod cathy______________________________________________________________________

2023 Annual Gala - Rob & Lara Kozak  Adeline Kozak
Rob and Lara Kozak with Adeline Kozak.

The Ronald McDonald House Gala, we held at the Geraghty recently with over 650 guests. This year’s event featured the Kozak family whose lives were forever changed when their daughter Adeline, now three-years-old, was diagnosed with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome

RMHC-CNI 2023 Annual Gala - Molly Gilbride  Jane & Scott Billish  Holly & Kraig Buckendahl
Molly Gilbride, Jane and Scott Billish and Holly and Kraig Buckendahl.

at birth. The Gala offered a look into the Kozak family’s journey and how the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital allowed Adeline’s parents to stay just moments away from their daughter for over 200 nights while she recovered in the hospital. More than 650 guests were in attendance raising $1.3 million in critical funds to help connect thousands of families with sick children with high-quality medical care and resources. (Photos by Hilary Higgins/Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana)


Norman and Shirley Baugher.

On April 23, we celebrated the beautiful life of Shirley Baugher, also known as the Mayor of Old Town, at the Old Town Triangle Center. Chuck and I were lucky to know her and her artist husband Norman during the years that we

The late, great Shirley Baugher.

lived there. She was a force of nature and involved in all good deeds in the neighborhood. She was also a source for advice and inspiration if you were feeling low. She knew

this part of Chicago better than anyone else and was its biggest cheerleader. Her book, “Hidden History of Old Town” was/is a must-have in every home. She was an incredible cook, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and upon her passing, had amassed over 2000 cookbooks. I loved her for her honesty, among many other reasons. You could always expect the truth from Shirley. She had a heart as big as all outdoors and she never knew a stranger. She was welcoming, funny, kind and wickedly smart. Chuck and I will always treasure our memories of her and Norman. But then, no one ever really dies. She will always live in our hearts.


Image (10) amdurAmdur Productions gives artists, young and young-at-heart, the opportunity to showcase their original work Lincoln roscoe amdur art fest may 13-14across multiple platforms. This summer, they are inviting creative kids and teens this opportunity at the following festivals: Port Clinton Art Festival (Aug. 26-27); Deerfield Art Festival (June 3-4) and Bayshore Spring Makers Market (May 20-21). For only a $50 entry fee, kids can show and sell their works. Scholarships are also available on a need basis. (They are also looking for interns!) To enter and for more information, call 847-926-4300 or email [email protected] 


Chicago Lighthouse 2023 FLAIR co-chairs Sheree Schimmer, Sherry Lea Fox and Sherrill Bodine.

It’s never too early to mark your calendars for a big event! On Friday, September 22, The Chicago Lighthouse will present FLAIR: An Eye on Fashion, its annual fashion show fundraiser at

Tracey Tarantino DiBuono--2023 FLAIR honoree.

the Ritz-Carlton. The afternoon event, celebrating a decade on the runway, will honor Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and feature fall looks from Chicago’s top designers and retailers. Returning co-chairs are Sherrill Bodine, Sherry Lea Holson and Sheree Schimmer. I will return as event host along with Tracey. I hope you can join us to help support the Lighthouse’s many programs for the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities. (For info, click here!)

BEST- Flair Fortnightly
The Chicago Lighthouse 2023 FLAIR Planning Committee.


CPLF Associate Board 2
CPLF Associate Board members.

After a three year-hiatus, the Chicago Public Library Foundation Associate Board brought back Night in the Stacks, a special party for library supporters, in Harold Washington Library Center’s iconic Winter Garden. The

The B Sisters, Adiat Baker and Iya Bakare.

event, which was held April 14, celebrated the Library’s 150th birthday and raised more than $125,000 for its programs. In celebration of this historic milestone, the Library transformed after dark with neon bright décor, dance floor, live music from DJ Rex Balcita, and an open bar. Nearly 400 attendees saw the Maker Lab’s 21st-century technologies in action, took a spin in a 360-photo booth, and joined the raffle for chances to win amazing prizes.

Night in the Stacks
CPLF's Night in the Stacks 2023

“What a comeback for Night in the Stacks! We are so grateful to our dedicated Associate Board for creating an event that is unique, memorable and brings our community of Library supporters together,” says Brenda Langstraat Bui, President & CEO of the Chicago Public Library Foundation. Since 2014, Night in the Stacks has raised funds for free library programs such as homework help with Teacher in the Library, one-on-one digital literacy support lessons for adults, creative spaces for teens, preservation of Chicago’s history through archival collections, among many others. The evening’s Platinum Sponsors were BMO, For Good Advisory and In Memory of Barbara Lewis.


Fleurs de Villes VOYAGE 2023 at The 900 Shops.

Fleurs de Villes, the exhibit featuring custom, floral couture made of thousands of fresh blooms (thanks the floral donations from Kennicott Brothers), returned to 900 North Michigan Shops. This year's theme, "Voyage,” took guests on a fragrant and visually arresting journey to

The 900 Shops' Alicia Skruba and Taylor Stucker.

some of the world's most iconic travel destinations. Floral exhibit standouts spotlighted the Honduras (from Bloome Floral Design, which won for Best in Show); Marrakech (created by Lucalessa Floral Design); London Guard Mannequin (also a winner, by The Roof Crop); Peru (by Vision in Bloom); Egypt Mannequin (by Dilly Lily) and many others. The preview party, held May 3, featured signature cocktails, light bites and DJ Megan Taylor. Dancers from ZZAZZ Productions entertained guests before the judging results were announced. The Honduras, Best in Show exhibit/mannequin by Bloome, was created in honor of exchange student Christi Carol Garcia Orellana, who studied here for her college degree before heading back to her home in Honduras. In addition to the exhibit, there were daily, floral workshops and a pop-up, fresh flower market.


Artwork by Thomas O'Gorman.

Skyline columnist extraordinaire Thomas O'Gorman will be hosting an exhibit of his colorful artwork on May 13-15. The exhibit will take place at 1059 N. Winchester (corner house at Winchester and Thomas) from 11 to 3 pm. (See his Instagram page for full collection, @thomasogormanart)

Another packed edition of Candid Candace and I hope you've enjoyed every bit of it. I want to share with you how this whole concept actually

IMG (4)
With my much loved Mom, Elsa Mae Stott.

came about. I'm an only child, as some of you know, and my mom was as much my sister as she was my mother. We were thick as thieves and did everything together--traveled, shopped, talked into the wee hours- no one knew me better than my mom Elsa Stott. When I moved to Chicago, I wanted her to see everything I saw through my eyes so I began writing very detailed letters about any event, party, dinner, etc. that I attended so she would feel like she was there. I think this style, and the reason for it, has served me well. Now, I get to take all of you around town with me --so basically, you're family too. :-)

Have a happy Spring, until next time,

Love Candace

[email protected]

P.S. For animal lovers only.


August 29, 2023

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June 12, 2023

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