Plus: Chicago Lighthouse's FLAIR "Eye on Style"; Eversight's Fantasea; Cindy on the red carpet; Chicago International Film Festival hosts a new kind of party; A hometown reunion;  Printer's Row Lit Fest brings out Bunnies; A birthday bash with Neal and Marko; Illinois Holocaust Museum's SOIREE; Andrew and Bethany sittin' in a tree; Runway LatinX's sizzling Fashion Show; Navy Pier is ready to "Light Up the Lake"!; ASLF's "A Sterling Event"'; The Joffrey Ballet's "Home"; Fab fall events and what to do for Halloween; Darling video and SOOO much more!


Long time, no see! I'm so sorry my blog is late! I had no idea of the amount of time and effort it takes to get a newspaper out! But, Chicago Star is a labor of love and I hope

Cover--Dressing the Town--Chicago Star Oct. 2021
Chicago Star's first fashion and beauty issue was a great success! Thanks to all who support it!

you're reading, subscribing and enjoying this paper

Steak 48 cover party (Photo by Erin Lyle)

filled with uplifting, fun and positive news. No "if it bleeds, it leads" sort of stuff for us! As a matter of fact, our October issue was our first Fashion & Beauty issue and I/we had a blast putting it together! From the outstanding cover photo of some of our town's most beloved designers (that I produced with the one and only Hilary Higgins and Erin Lyle Photography) to the "Secrets of Style from Industry Insiders" article to a very clever take on fashion from a completely different point of view, contributor Jon Cohn's, this issue had it ALL! Read it here and let me know what you think!


Depositphotos_61663845-stock-photo-infinite-gratitudeEven though this has been a trying summer, I think we still have so much to be grateful for. Hopefully, we're near the tail end of this seemingly never-ending pandemic. We've been separated from our loved ones, in fear of our health, zoomed away from our jobs and discombobulated in 100s of other ways and I can still feel it, can't you? I've always loved summer, reveled in it really, but this year, I've viewed every day with caution and some discomfort, not knowing how many shootings the day might bring or if I would hear of another friend or acquaintance who's come down with Covid (like dear Former Secretary of State Colin Powell), despite being fully vaccinated. It's fear of the unknown that we're all dealing with on a regular basis now and Istockphoto-1007339180-612x612 this anxiety can be felt throughout the city and in everyone I know. Summer is supposed to be the time of joyous abandon, but this year, it's been exactly the opposite. I pray this will end soon so we can get back to being the people we're supposed to be--kind, loving, giving, helpful--and move away from all of this negativity and fear. Fall brings change and I hope it brings us more happy days filled with corn mazes, apple cider donuts, glowing fireplaces, walks in the woods, bundling up in your favorite sweaters and roadtrips with friends and family. Here's to you dear readers and to a kinder, gentler season for us all.


Cindy Crawford and photographer David Yarrow at Hilton Asmus Contemporary gallery opening. (Photo by Justin Barbin)
Cindy Crawford and photographer David Yarrow at Hilton Asmus Contemporary gallery opening.

Picture perfect! It was the first and best red carpet experience to come back in Chicago since the pandemic so it was no wonder that the nearly 200 guests at the Hilton|Amus Contemporary art gallery opening didn't want to leave. The event, hosted by the gallery in its new Bridgeport location on October 9, celebrated the opening of its upcoming exhibition, "Changing Lanes," which featured the works of renowned photographer David Yarrow in collaboration with supermodel Cindy Crawford. The exhibition included Yarrow's stunning interpretation of Cindy's iconic Pepsi ad by Joe Pytka, simply titled "1992," which was the year the original commercial aired

David Yarrow  Arica Hilton  Cindy Crawford and Sven Asmus in front of the iconic recreation titled 1992. (Photo by Justin Barbin)
David Yarrow, Arica Hilton, Cindy Crawford and Sven Asmus in front of Yarrow's iconic recreation titled "1992."

during the Super Bowl. Both stars were in attendance, first chatting with the media and then, Cindy snapping photos with ALL of the guests before dinner. A Q&A followed led by

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Stan Wozniak (2nd from R) and friends.

Fox-32's Jake Hamilton. The event helped raise funds for the University of Wisconsin Kids Cancer Program, the same hospital that treated Cindy's late brother Jeff who passed away from leukemia as a child. The red carpet stretched all the way through the garage into the massive freight elevator and then up to the main gallery. Art enthusiasts stepped into the 5,000-square-foot

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Mancow Muller, Arica Hilton and friend.

space, done in chic shades of black, white and

Charles Miers  head of Rizzoli Publishing NY
Charles Miers, head of publishing Rizzoli NYC.

grey to coordinate with the oversized photographs that adorned the walls. On this night, David Yarrow's exquisite work was on full display, many featuring Cindy, while others focused on the Wild West and animals in the wild. Cindy arrived in a stunning, sequin-studded gun-metal grey jumpsuit to greet guests. She graciously chatted with media in front of her iconic image, along with Mr. Yarrow. They shared their joy over

Cindy 2
Thrill of a lifetime! Watch for interview on produced by Troy Mairs.

collaborating together again, how much it meant that the funds were going to the University of Madison Kids

Americana--David Yarrow
Americana, another great image by David Yarrow available at this gallery.

Cancer Program (together, they raised over $1 million over the weekend for the American Family Children's Hospital there) and more. Cindy spoke about the legendary Chicago photographer, Victor Skrebneski, who discovered and mentored her. She said he taught her professionalism and to remember that the photos were about selling the product and not the model. She also spoke about her daughter Kaia, also a supermodel, and how proud she was of her and the decisions she's

Changing Lanes--Cindy Crawford by david Yarrow
"1992", David Yarrow's recreation of the iconic Pepsi ad with Cindy, sold 3 times that night for charity.

made in the business. Dinner from Inspired Catering (Karen Stefani), consisted of a choice of filet, sea bass, ravioli or a vegetarian option. Every detail was attended to, right down to the flowers on the table

Loretta Wilger, who modeled with Cindy, Dennis Minkel, Cindy and Jack Perno.(Photo by Perno)

which included yarrow, as a nod to the photographer. A red Cadillac Eldorado, a duplicate of the one used in the photo recreation, was displayed in the gallery as well. During dinner, Arica Hilton addressed the attentive crowd and shared the mission of her gallery. "The artwork and artists we

A very attentive crowd.

represent are all about making the world a better place. We're not just selling art. We choose who we represent for a reason. David, over the last couple of years, has raised over $5 million for various charities--from cancer research to animal protection and conversation to ocean conservation. That's what we are about." She

Expertly catered by An Inspired Event (Karen Stefani)

acknowledged celebs in the crowd, radio personality Mancow Muller, head of Rizzoli Publishing in NY Charles Miers and stars of Showtime's "The Chi," Yolonda Ross and Tai Davis.

The image that started Cindy's career.

Yarrow also addressed the crowd, "Yesterday, we had an event in Madison, Wisconsin. Visiting the hospital there was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I was meeting people who were changing and saving children's lives and it put everything into perspective for me. The UW is a trailblazer. The iconic picture we recreated of Cindy has been shown

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Even more beautiful in person.

across Europe. And everyone wants this photo! Last night, they sold $400,000 worth of that picture and every penny is going to the UW. I know the Chicago Bears can't beat the Green Bay Packers (ha, ha) but, tonight's your chance to give Wisconsin a run for its money.

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David and Cindy with Charles Miers and friend.

Cindy, who's a national treasure, will sign the photograph for you. There's only about 12 of these left."  (Three of the pieces were sold during the evening)  Dr. Paul Sondel, head of the pediatric cancer

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Karen Konyer and her cute hubby.

research program at UW, was in attendance as well. He's recognized around the world as an expert in his field. He said, "In 1950, children diagnosed with cancer had no treatment available. Almost all of those children died within a few months of their diagnose. But now, in 2021, here

Cindy appearing in a Chicago International Film Festival poster shot by the late, great Victor Skrebneski.

in the U.S., 85% of children with cancer are cured and the cancer won't come back. That's because of research, both in the lab and in the clinic. But, in many cases, because of the cure, they

American Beauty
"American Beauty", another spectacular photo by David Yarrow available at Hilton-Asmus Contemporary.

will have lasting medical problems because of the toxicity of the treatments. Our vision is to have kinder, gentler, more intelligent and more effective treatments to eliminate the cancer without harming normal tissue. And the approach we're using to help get there is the use of immunotherapy, trying to get the immune system to attack the cancer so we can use less radiation and chemo. We also know these advances will help treat

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Photo bombed by Stan Wozniak.

cancer in adults. We're convinced we can get there because we see it happening every day. Since 1992, Cindy has made childhood cancer and the UW her special focus,

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Arica's great friends, Karin Carlson and Ann-Marie Streibich.

providing major financial support, visiting the hospital and being an ambassador. And David has turned his work into protecting our earth and supporting all of its species and people to protect its future. He lives his commitment every day. Together, they are raising awareness worldwide for children and their families who are facing cancer."(Yarrow's images at the gallery run from $35,000 to $55,000. "1992", signed by both Crawford and Yarrow and measuring 47" X 63" including frame, is for sale at $35,000.)  Hilton|Asmus Contemporary, 3622 S. Morgan St. (; David Yarrow, ( (Photos by Justin Barbin and Mila Samokhina)


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Justine Fedak, Woman of Vision 2021, and Sherry Lea Fox, Woman of Vision 2020.

Eversight was FINALLY able to host its popular Gift of Sight Mystery Masquerade on September 8 at the Peninsula. It was great to see nearly 300 attendees who were anxious and

Gift of Sight honoree Dr. Parag Majmudar and his proud family.

excited to return to in-person events! The theme for this year's party was Fantasea, which was a fun-filled, under-the-sea theme that guests were happy to embrace. I loved seeing all of the SEE-worthy outfits including outstanding looks from Sugar & Spice, Giovanna Krozel and Almira Yllana, Susan Gohl and Jonathan Grabill (Jonathan was wearing an adorable shark hat), Patty Brand Nalepa (pretty in blue), Eversight president/CEO Diane Hollingsworth (also pretty in blue) and especially our Woman of

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Proud to return as co-chair, with the always adorable Michael Caputo.

Vision, Justine Fedak, who was truly a vision enveloped

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Diane Hollingsworth, looking glam in Fantasea blue. (Eversight pres/CEO)

in a sparkly sea-blue design created by Sylwia Designs. The weather couldn't have been more perfect on this night which was a godsend since we had planned a large part of our event to be held on the patio. Beautiful lighting, magnificent sea-themed decor (by Tamar Productions with bar and support from Kehoe Designs), coral mixed with florals for the tabletops and dramatic video-mapping of a beautiful undersea world that was brought to life by last year's Woman of Vision and longtime supporter, Sherry Lea Holson. It created the perfect ambiance.

Greg Hyder and Jim Smith.
Greg Hyder and Jim Smith.

Tamar Productions' Mary Ann Rose even donated beautiful

Tom Dreesen with mermaid Caroline Koch.
Tom Dreesen with a beautiful mermaid, courtesy of ZZAZZ Productions, Caroline Koch.

rhinestone crowns for every guest. A "mermaid," courtesy of ZZAZZ Productions (Tracey Tarantino DiBuono), charmingly posed for photos with guests. A surprise guest, comedian Tom Dreesen (in from Hollywood), wowed the crowd as he shared a funny sketch before joining "G-Man" Greg Dellinger to conduct the live auction and a fund-a-need. Before dinner, which was Chilean sea bass (another nod to our theme!), an awards presentation and an inspiring impact story was presented. My co-chair, Michael Caputo, and I were honored to share the stage

Magnificent decor by Tamar Productions with elements by Kehoe Designs.

again to welcome guests and thank our sponsors---Cornea Consultants (Visionary Sponsor), Leadership Sponsors Cheryl Coleman and Ron Katz, Sherry Lea Holson, Tony and Moira Saliba, Mamie J. Walton, Warby Parker, Gift of Hope, Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary and MyEyeDr. Eversight pres/CEO Diane

Tamar Productions' Mary Ann Rose donated darling crowns for each guest in a nod to our theme.

Hollingsworth spoke about the nonprofit's mission to preserve and restore sight through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research. "We honor our doctors and donor families that make the miracle of transplantation happen. We celebrate our surgeons that give people their

Sugar & Spice (Almira Yllana and Giovanna Krozel) light up every party they attend!

lives back through transplantation. We use diseased eye tissue to help find cures for all blinding eye conditions. We exist to serve and support this amazing community, drive toward new innovations and strive to have donor families, surgeons, our Organ Procurement, and hospital partners trust in our relationship to serve this community together," Diane said. Marta Garczarczyk, Eversight Philanthropy Director, shared a special letter from one of

Beautiful (CHAMPION!) Chicago Sky basketball players Diamond DeShields and Lexie Brown.

Dr. Parag Majmudar's recipients. The recipient has corneal dystrophy which runs in his family. Dr. Majmudar has successfully treated 3 generations of his family members. Dr. David Lubeck, 2019 Gift of Sight honoree, introduced this year's honoree, Dr. Parag Majmudar.

Playful Susan Gohl and Jonathan Grabill get into the spirit of the party.

Lubeck ceremoniously draped a sparkly cape around Dr. Majmudar before he delivered his acceptance speech. Sherry Holson and I introduced Justine Fedak, this year's Woman of Vision. Justine lived with MS for over 20 years and miraculously regained her mobility and health. She was also a BMO C-Suite marketing exec for 20 years and left January 2020 to live out her work life as a Corporate

Justine Fedak, honoree, Sylwia Wilczynska, Kathy Piccone and Mark Olley.

Hippie, consulting, doing motivational speaking and writing a children's book. She is committed to motivating and inspiring people to "see" their best and true selves. In short, she is a perfect WOV! Both of the honorees' speeches brought the crowd to their feet,

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Dr. Parag Majmuder, Gift of Sight honoree 2021, and Dr. David Lubeck, 2020 honoree.

as they were so moving, inspiring and thoughtful.  DJ Akib, played throughout the night and, in the end, people didn't want to leave. I think we were just all so grateful to be reunited that we didn't want the night to end. Thank you to all who attended, donated and supported this event which raised over $150,000. 


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With the Eversight Team: Michael Caputo, Teresa Clark, Justine Fedak (honoree), Dr. Parag Madmudar (honoree), Diane Hollingsoworth, Mary Ann Rose, Greg Hyder and Marta Garczarczyk.


Susan Griffiths Gohl, The Chicago Lighthouse's Hood/Swift Woman with Flair honoree, with Monsignor Ken Velo and Jonathan Grabill.

The Chicago Lighthouse presented its popular FLAIR "Eye on Style" fashion show fundraiser on October 1 at the Drake. Nearly 300 supporters were thrilled to return to a live, in-person event and this one didn't miss a beat. From the deserving Hood/Swift Woman with FLAIR honoree, Susan Griffiths Gohl, to the glamorous runway models to the exciting designers and retailers, everything in the spectacular Gold Coast Room was perfect. Sherrill Bodine and Sheree Schimmer returned for their 5th year as the pro co-chairs that they are to rally support for this nonprofit that provides programming for the blind and visually

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Cheryl Bollinger, Shauna Montgomery and Sally Jo Morris.

impaired. I had the honor of returning as co-host with Tracey Tarantino DiBuono. This year's event supported the Lighthouse's children's

Caroline Grossinger and Dr. Janet Szlyk  Chicago Lighthouse president-CEO
Caroline Grossinger and Dr. Janet Szlyk, Chicago Lighthouse president-CEO

programming. The luncheon kicked off with a video showcasing highlights from last year's virtual show, produced by ZZAZZ Productions as was this year's presentation. Dr. Janet Szlyk spoke eloquently about the organization and I had the pleasure of introducing Susan, who couldn't have been a more perfect honoree. She's an

Front L to R  Theresa Strnad (correct spelling)  Vonita Reescer  top L to R  Melinda Jakovich-LaGrange and event co-host Tracey Tarantino DiBuono.
Front L to R, Theresa Strnad, Vonita Reescer, top L to R, Melinda Jakovich-LaGrange and event co-host Tracey Tarantino DiBuono.

ardent philanthropist who supports so many charities, including the Service Club of Chicago as well as many animal and equestrian nonprofits both here and in Naples. She enlisted her friend Monsignor Ken Velo to deliver the blessing before lunch. During the program, models strutted looks from Mira

Sherrill Bodine and Sheree Schimmer, fab returning co-chairs.

Couture, Anne Fontaine, redE Mas, Frances Heffernan, Al Menotti Couture, Lauren Lein Ltd., St. John, Contessa Bottega, and the finale, Macy's MyStylist. An inspiring musical performance by Nina Vargas, who was discovered in the Lighthouse's Youth Transition Program talent show, brought the house down. She sang a hit from The Greatest Showman, "A Million

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Kevin Sullivan, who makes all things possible.

Dreams." (Watch it here!) Special thanks to all who supported this wonderful cause and a big shout-out to Kevin Sullivan, who along with his team Adrienne Squires and Francisco Perez, makes all things possible. DJ Akib, as always, kept the runway rockin'! (Chicago Star was the proud media sponsor)


CIFF artistic director Mimi Plauche delivers remarks after receiving her honor.

The Chicago International Film Festival hosted its first in-person fundraiser since the beginning of the pandemic themed, Lights, Camera, Chicago" at event space Bridge410

CIFF founder Michael Kutza.

on September 13. This unique space at 410 N. Paulina, was the perfect spot for people still a bit cautious about venturing back into the events scene with an outdoor space that looked like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Food trucks dotted the space with yummy Eli's Cheesecake Dippers passed around on silver trays. Guests enjoyed 'tastes of Chicago,' live music, a silent auction, films and an award presentation-- the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres award presentation to Artistic Director, Mimi Plauché. Proceeds from the event will benefit the year-round programs of the Chicago International Film Festival.


Not many showed up from my year but we still had fun!

I don't agree with Thomas Wolfe, I think you can go home again and should. It was life-affirming to return to my hometown of Dupo, Illinois recently for my "No Class Reunion, " that was filled with all the faces of my childhood. Sadly, with each passing year, we lose friends and the

Matt Jones
Drone view by Matt Jones of the idyllic Dupo American Legion Park where the reunions are always held.

memories turn bittersweet but we are still there to commemorate them and carry on. The event is always expertly planned by Marsha Bieber English and Rose Freppon Falana and held in the American Legion Park. We usually have food vendors

Took a side trip to Eckert's Fun Farm in Columbia, Ill. Here, Chuck pretends like he's never seen a pumpkin before.

but, this year, due to that damn Covid, we had to change plans so everyone brought their own snacks and drinks. It was no hardship--we were just all happy to see each other. Each class, going all the way back to 1946, had a group picture class of 1972 was small but mighty (next year I'm hoping to see more classmates)

Reunion organizers Marsha Bieber English and Rose Freppon Falana.

but every class was represented and proudly stood by the little Dupo No Class Reunion sign firmly planted in the ground outside the pavilion. We chatted, laughed, shared gossip and cherished every moment since, for some of us, it might be

Thoughtful friend Debra Nichols Mikel had this purse designed with my Playboy cover! 

our last. Dear friend and fellow classmate Debra Nichols Mikel even had a beautiful purse created for me using one of my Playboy covers! You could've blown me over with a feather! And thank goodness Chuck always enjoys these road trips to my hometown. We both agree, this lifestyle could probably lengthen our lives--the air is fresh and there's no stress. My Aunt Lora Stott is proof positive at 90 years young! She could still be an Ivory Soap model. Not a wrinkle on her pretty face. When we were there, we made the most of our time and packed a lot

Dear friend Tommy Hundley with Chuck and the Chicago Star!

of sightseeing into a couple of days. One day, we had dinner in Waterloo at a cute Italian spot called Frederico's. The next night, we missed the reunion kick-off party and had a quiet dinner at

Mike Sager, and friends, celebrate part of his 1968 class.

Reifschneider's in Columbia, surrounded by Cardinal fans as they trounced the Cubs. A license plate in the parking lot said "No Cub"....okay, we get it! LOL!! One afternoon, we drove to Millstadt, an old German town where my mom, my stepfather Donald and I would always go for Friday night fish frys--and the place is still there, Ott's! We also visited Eckert's Fun Farm, that features camel rides, pig races, farm stand food (including succotash cooked in a ginormous cast iron skillet) and a packed local food store with canned

Sign seen in Dupo American Legion Post 485.

goods made from the farm's produce. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and we never once

A small part of the Class of 1969.

had to put the top up on our convertible (we even drove the 5 hours home with it down!)..... I drove Chuck to the edge of the Mississippi River where we could see the barges packing the waterway. From there, into East Carondelet where Mama Mary Johnson lived. She was like a second mother to me and I miss her still. Her house is torn down but I could visualize it and her sitting proudly on her porch in front of her prized forsythia bush as

Mindy Mernick (far right) and her cute class.

husband Jim worked in their huge garden behind the house. He pulled the plow himself, that's how strong he was. Jim also worked on the railroad, where an uncle of mine also worked. My

Fun with good friends.

uncle would tell stories of Jim's strength and how he could, single-handedly, lift an entire engine wheel. He was the original Paul Bunyon. We passed the bingo hall where Mary used to play (and always win), the community center where I hosted her 90th birthday party and the Flat Creek Baptist Church where I proudly went with her and Jim on the Sundays

We always love stopping in at the Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, Il.

when I was in town. So many memories.  Even my childhood home in Dupo, at 325 Louisa Avenue, is still standing and looks much better than I remember it. We visited

Chuck beside the Big Muddy, the Mississippi River.

the American Legion Post 485 where I honed my pool skills--they later become very, very useful when I became a Playboy Bunny and beat anyone who played me on the bumper pool table. LOL! Those were the days. It was such a rewarding trip and I always come back revitalized and more hopeful about mankind. My friends are the salt of the earth and I'm so proud to be from a small town. I can't wait to go back next year to celebrate our 50th class reunion! I'm already planning my wardrobe.

Dupo No Class Reunion 2021


Talented, charming and a great sport--author Christina Clancy, holding her latest book "Shoulder Season" set in and near the Lake Geneva Playboy Club. 

The 36th annual Printers Row Lit Fest, presented by the Near South Planning Board, returned Sept. 11-12 to the South Loop. Headlining the festival was National Book

Panel discussion with author Christina Clancy (R) and moderator/author Christine Sneed.

Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates ("The Water Dancer," Between the World and Me", "The Beautiful Struggle") but my favorite was the charming author of "Shoulder Season", Christina Clancy. Her latest book is one of the first books of fiction to feature the world of Playboy, in particular, the life of a small town girl (Sherri Taylor) who became a Bunny at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club. Christina invited me to discuss my experiences and compare them to the title character IMG_1531during a panel discussion on the Main Stage. There was an inquisitive audience who asked intriguing questions--it was a

Christina Clancy with her proud agent.

joyous walk down memory lane and, thankfully, Christina had portrayed Hefner and the organization in a wonderful light, as it should be. Surprisingly, after I read the book, I thought Christina had captured my own story almost down to the names of my hometown friends. It was a bit eerie but I was very flattered and devoured the book. It was named a Best Book of Summer by Good Morning America, CNN, Parade, Travel & Leisure and others. (Order it here, you will thank me later!)


Neal Zucker and partner Marko Iglendza celebrated double birthdays with a grand Gatsby-esque bash at the Peninsula. (Photo by Linda Alpert)

Neal Zucker and his partner Marko Iglendza hosted a double birthday celebration at the Peninsula on September 17. Neal was celebrating his 55th and Marko his 50th with nearly 300 of their closest friends. The

Darling bookends--Eric Kicherer and Paul Iacono with ZZAZZ Productions' model.

blow-out affair had everything, exotic showgirls (from ZZAZZ Productions) dressed in "Shanghai chic" attire, guests dressed to impress, cocktails flowing in every area of the Peninsula, music and then, of course, the rain. What had been forecast for a week was clear skies but what

Dramatic event decor by VH Designs (Vince Hart)

actually transpired was a completely different story. On the patio, beautiful decor by VH Designs (Vince Hart) was drenched but the crack team at the Pen, led by Maria Zec with support from Greg Hyder, magically and quickly transformed what could've become a mess into an evening no one will soon forget! The tables were

Birthday fun at the Pen!

repositioned in the hotel's lobby, which was the first time this had been done. And even though guests were a bit discombobulated for a while, party

After-party in the ballroom.

faces returned and dancing continued into the wee hours in the ballroom. No one wanted to leave. Kudos to the Pen for pulling off this difficult feat with such aplomb and, of course, to the generous birthday boys. It was a night like none other and just what we all needed. Thanks Neal and Marko!


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Arabel Alva Rosales, founder of Runway LatinX and Pivoting in Heels, welcomes the SRO crowd.

The Runway LatinX We Flourish fashion show on October 16 was SRO at Cine City Studios. The space was perfect for this spectacular fashion show that featured sizzling looks from

One of the many beautiful designs in the show, this one by Adolfo Sanchez.

designers Delvin McCray, Andrea Salazar, Adolfo Sanchez and Fernanda Flores. The 3-day long series of events was hosted by Arabel Alva Rosales, the founder of the event's nonprofit beneficiary Pivoting in Heels, which strives to empower women in a variety of ways by hosting panel discussions, tutorials, events like this one, and more. I was proud to co-emcee alongside Univision's David Miranda, who charmed the crowd at every turn! The event was also live-streamed to Mexico and Columbia as well as several states in the U.S. DJ Raddick played throughout the evening. Special thanks to Arabel for all she does to promote women and her community. (For details on Pivoting in Heels, click here!)


The dynamic Women's Leadership Committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

It was such an honor for me to return to host the Illinois Holocaust Museum's SOIREE event at the Botanic Garden. The event, hosted by the Women's

The beautiful setting at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Leadership Committee, was held "under the stars" in a tent near a beautiful lake to help fund the museum's important programming. SOIREE, co-hosted by WB members Juliet Gray and Caroline Pfeffer, featured a video presentation hosted

Fritzie Fritzshall honored in a video tribute.

by Melissa Forman of a virtual tour of the Museum and a video tribute to the late Fritzie Fritzshall, who was integral to the Museum's success. A lavish buffet, dancing, a signature donut wall, and raffle prizes followed. The Museum's next exhibition, "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Right Movement," will open October 17 and will explore the June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn that ignited the modern gay rights movement in the U.S. (Click here for all the info!)


Bethany Florek  and Andrew Kitick
Engaged! Bethany Florek and Andrew Kitick!

This n' That: Congrats to Bethany Florek and her love, Andrew Kitick, who recently became engaged! Sugar & Spice (Almira Yllana and Giovanna Krozel) recently

Giovanna Krozel and Almira Yllana.
Giovanna and Ken Krozel and Almira Yllana (Sugar & Spice) hosted a watch party for the Adler Planetarium's Celestial Ball at LondonHouse.

hosted a bash at LondonHouse Chicago to celebrate Adler Planetarium's virtual Celestial Ball. They always bring it! Their enthusiasm makes every party they attend so much better! And more kudos are in order for PAWS Chicago, which recently hosted a grand re-opening celebration for its state-of-the-art medical center at 3516 W. 26th St.


I'm thrilled to report the event scene is still heading in the right direction! Here's a few of note and some events/experiences you might be interested in!

IiiNavy Pier will be full of fun and fright each Saturday through Oct. 30, during Slightly Spooky Saturdays, a series of themed immersive pop-up events for families in the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion. Each Saturday will feature interactive performances from costumed actors, acrobatic feats courtesy of the Actors Gymnasium, free Axe Throwing for guests from Axeplosion, a professional photographer with custom backgrounds and Professional VFX Make-Up Demonstrations from Faces in Focus. In addition, each themed Saturday will have their own special one-time only activities. (Details here!)


Navy Pier Light Up the LakeAnd more big news from the People's Pier with "Light Up the Lake"--Navy Pier will brighten the winter season with Light Up the Lake, an indoor, temperature-controlled experience, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays comprising more than 600,000 twinkling lights; a regulation-size Alpine ice rink, authentic holiday beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa’s Village and gift market and other family-friendly events. Offering something for everyone, Light Up the Lake will run from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2, in Festival Hall at Navy Pier. Special themed events, including date nights, are also planned. Transforming more than 100,000 square feet of Navy Pier’s expansive Festival Hall, Light Up the Lake will also offer sit-down dining with holiday-themed eats, signature cocktails, and seasonal brews. Grab-and-go meals and snacks will be available throughout the event space. (All the exciting deets here!)


Dr. Sandy Goldberg and Mr. Greg Hines
Dr. Sandy Goldberg and her Greg Hines hosted another successful gala for A Silver Lining Foundation.

A Silver Lining Foundation’s 17th Annual A Sterling Event took place on Saturday, October 2 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Over 200 people were in attendance celebrating being together again and in full

Pam and Al Capitinini Dinner Co-Chairs
Philanthropists/ restaurateurs, Al and Pam Capitinini served as dinner co-chairs.

compliance with all COVID related guidelines and mandates. There were lively bidding wars for both the silent and live auctions – resulting in significant fundraising efforts to cover the costs of programs and services for A Silver Lining Foundation. Dr. Sandy Goldberg and Greg Hines, A Silver Lining Foundation Co-Founders, are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the 18th Annual A Sterling Event scheduled to take place on October 8, 2022.  The event promises to be fun and exciting as A Silver Lining Foundation prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its founding!   


Swing Low_Hyuma Kiyosawa_Stefan Goncalvez_Fernando Duarte_Edson Barbosa_Evan Boersma__Photo by Todd Rosenberg
The Joffrey Ballet's triumphant return to the stage.

The Joffrey Ballet's opening night, October 13, was a triumph, both in performance and its new venue at the Lyric Opera House. "Home: A Celebration" is an appropriate name for this night that brought together old and new Joffrey friends. The Lyric's renovations had everyone smiling and the dancers onstage received too many standing ovations to count. Now through Oct. 24! (Details here)

Arts in the Dark, a family-friendly annual event on October 30, will celebrate the artistic side of Halloween along State Street. This enchanted nighttime parade features large-scale puppets,

Arts in the Dark
Arts in the Dark, an enchanted nighttime parade coming to State St. October 30. 

costumed performers, elaborate floats, luminous lanterns, music and more. The city’s creative community, including cultural institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago and Lookingglass Theatre Company, will combine forces to create this surreal evening in downtown Chicago. The parade is not only a salute to Chicago’s cultural community, it has become a showcase for the creativity and diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods. This must-see event is the only parade that features performers from every one of Chicago's 50 Wards! Family-friendly and free and open to the public.

Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up returns to Goose Island now

Jacks pumpkin popup
Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up going on now in Goose Island.

through Oct. 31 for an unforgettable 2-acre, 100% outdoor fall experience with Chicago’s largest corn maze, a hidden boozy bar, axe throwing, carnival games, music, fortune telling, pumpkin patch, three full-service bars, food trucks, one-of a-kind Instagram photo opps and MORE!

The Northalsted Halloween Parade, ranked one of the 10 Best Halloween Celebrations in the U.S. by Fodor’s Travel, will be held in the heart of the Northalsted

Northalsted Haunted Parade
Northalsted Halloween Parade coming Oct. 31.

(also known as Boystown) neighborhood. The procession kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 7:00 p.m. on Halsted at Belmont with the Chicago Thriller flash mob, a troupe of ghoulish zombies performing and so much more! Join in the dancing or follow the parade route north, where a panel of drag queens will award prizes for the best costumes.

Streeterville Doggie Halloween Party, will be held in the MCA's garden on October 31. Alderman Brian Hopkins and Maureen Schulman will begin judging doggie costumes beginning at 9:15 am. with treats from Eli's Cheesecake and coffee. Free to the public.

Ice cream musem
A rendering of the Museum of Ice Cream coming to Chicago in the summer.

Museum of Ice Cream--Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) is bringing its experiential museum to Chicago this coming summer 2022. Located at The Shops at Tribune Tower, 435 N Michigan, the one-of-its-kind space will span 13,544 square feet and encompass retail, entertainment, and a cafe and bar. The whimsical installations, imaginative tours, themed retail and more are designed under the premise that ice cream is a symbol of joy, a universal connector and a transportive vehicle for anyone’s imagination.

Howard Brown  will host its 6th annual Big Orange Ball (virtually) on Saturday, October 23 from 8-9 pm and then for one week only On Demand through Sunday, Big Orange BallOctober 31, at midnight. Kick off the 2021 Halloween season from the comfort of your couch or coffin, as this party-turned-premiere has you venture into a fright-filled night with ghostly treats, a dead-silent auction, and other spooky surprises! Prepare for a scare with spine-chilling stories that are sure to DRAG you straight to hell! The spooktacular show will be hosted by Lucy Stoole and feature ghost stories told by Wanda Screw, Coco Sho-Nell, Tenderoni, and Irregular Girl.  Your tickets and donations will benefit Howard Brown Health, making healthcare less scary for LGBTQ community. (Details here

HCRF's Wings to Cure Gala coming Nov. 6.

Hippocratic Cancer Research Foundation will host its "Wings to Cure" gala on Saturday, November 6, at the Hilton Chicago. Established in 2015, HCRF's mission is to discover, develop and implement effective new cancer therapies by supporting groundbreaking research. (Gala details here)

The Apparel Industry Foundation will host REV UP!, a fashion show fundraiser on Thursday, October 21, to support our local design community. Models will strut

Apparel Industry Board free media sponsor ad
AIBI presents Rev UP! 2021, Oct. 21. 

their stuff in virtual segments showcasing local designers' looks for fall. A VIP viewing party of the fashion video will be held at Bentley Gold Coast. The AIBI nurtures and supports the sewn products industry, including designers, through programming that includes all facets of the industry--merchandising, retail, sales, marketing, etc.  (I'm emcee) Details here!

PAWS Chicago will host its annual Fur Ball on Friday, November 12 at the Drake Hotel. This year will celebrate the nonprofit's 20th anniversary. So, if you love seeing dogs in tuxes and supporting animal welfare, this event is for you! (Details here!) 

Service Club Gala coming Nov.5 with celeb emcee John O'Hurley.

The Service Club of Chicago's annual gala is shaping

SC gala co-chairs! 

up to be a sellout so be sure to get your tickets NOW! The black-tie event,"Our Kind of Town Chicago...And All That Jazz",  will be held on Friday, November 5, with actor John O'Hurley (Seinfeld's J. Peterman), as the event emcee. The event will be held at the Four Seasons to benefit the nonprofit's Philanthropic Grant Program. Co-chaired by Melinda Jakovich-LaGrange, Heather Spyra and Lyn McKeaney. Music will be provided by the Gold Coast All Stars. (Raffle, silent and live auctions) (Details here)

Chicago Police Foundation's True Blue event will be

The Chicago Police Foundation's True Blue event will honor John Robak on Nov. 6.

Sat., Nov. 6. The nonprofit will honor beloved philanthropist John Robak, at the Four Seasons. Proceeds will support and fund programs that provide supplemental resources in the areas of safety equipment, advanced technology, enhanced training and officer wellness for the Chicago Police Dept. Details here!

Sylvia Perez
Fox-32's Sylvia Perez.

Special thanks to Sylvia Perez for having me back on her fabulous Fox-32 Chicago show! We always have fun and had so much to discuss! (See video below) Thanks also to Anna Davlantes for having me back to chat on her cool WGN-Radio show, always a great time with both of these iconic media personalities!



Welcome back CHICAGO! Thanks for reading and supporting, I hope you're having a great fall! We have been having a wonderful time, especially now that we have a recurring visitor, a female Cardinal, who comes when I call! Ahhh, the thrill of nature!

Love, as always,


P.S. And, of course, something to leave you with a smile!

December 30, 2021

August 16, 2021

June 29, 2021

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