Current Affairs


Plus: Haute hats for the Service Club; Sable hotel's GRAND opening at Offshore; Chicago Star/Mariano's Streeterville Week kick-off party; Digestive Health Foundation's "Together on the Terrace"; "Random Acts of Kindness" with Maria and Fresh Farms; Steppenwolf's exciting plans, and a new live show; Good and bad news for Randolph Street Market; Ronald McDonald House Charities Gala; Pride done right; Gone too soon, Holocaust Survivor Fritzie Fritzshall; Adalina, chic, sexy and delish; Safety tips and tricks from a cop who knows; Chicago Children's Choir's "Red Jacket Optional"; Auditorium Theatre's devilish "Devil's Ball; Hef and the History Channel; The Chicago Lighthouse FLAIR event will honor ? (see who below!); Black Tie and Sneaker Ball;  Apparel Industry Foundation's REV UP! is BACK!; Ravinia Festival Gala debuts a real winner; Navy Seal Foundation's "Evening of Tribute" with a surprise keynote speaker; Publicity Club of Chicago celebrates the best of the best; Cute videos and SOOOO much more!


Barry Butler (2)
Barry Butler photo.

It's thrilling to watch Chicago's return, which I'm gauging on the strength of my events calendar. There are an enormous number of events and activities coming back bigger and better than ever and I couldn't be happier! Our streets are full, restaurants are busy, the boat tours have all returned and things are getting really exciting around here. I think after all the "you can't do thats", that people are rejoicing like it's Mardi Gras now just because they CAN! I feel like a great weight has been lifted off our shoulders. It's an honor to share some of these parties, activities and more below. I hope you have wonderful plans for summer....maybe you'll get some ideas here!


Spring Luncheon co-chairs Cathy Bartholomay, Michelle Baker and Annette Findling.

First up, the irrepressible Service Club of Chicago hasn't missed a beat during the pandemic. In fact, most of their events have raised even more money than before. That's because their members put their money where their hearts are and it's a joy to see. Their latest

SC members Bethany Florek, SC pres Sherrill Bodine and Lauren Lein Cavanaugh.

big fundraiser was the Spring Luncheon, lovingly referred to as the Hat Luncheon. Co-chairs Cathy Bartholomay, Michelle Baker and Annette Findling, put together an exciting event that was spread across two rooms at the venerable Woman's Athletic Club (WAC).

Myra Reilly and Cheryl Coleman.

Over 200 ladies donned their finest millinery attire to attend. SC president Sherrill Bodine said, "We have all walked through a dark storm together and now here we are with our heads held high, and wearing beautiful hats, ready to take on the world again. And what a new beginning!" The guest speaker, Sandy Schreier, is the famed fashion curator and historian whose designer collections have been exhibited around the world. Sandy discussed her collection, design career, TV appearances,  SC2021_1246books and famous friendships to a rapt audience. (A VIP reception was hosted the night before at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue). Auctioneer Andy Baker and I conducted an open call for donations and a live auction that featured a

Peg Lombardo, Tracey DiBuono and Vonita Reescer.

package donated by Brunello Cucinelli that included a trip to Casa Cucinelli in New York, hotel and airfare, lunch and dinner, a tour and fashion presentation. At the end of the day, the event raised over $190,000 which will support the organization's Philanthropic Fund. The SC is an all-volunteer woman's organization that was founded in 1890. All proceeds raised are distributed to Chicago's worthiest nonprofits. This year that amount was over $500K! (To learn more about the SC, click here!)


With Mariano's Amanda Puck (love the background subject!) (Cool photo prop by Kehoe Designs).

A pat on the back to Chicago Star, who hosted its first big event at Mariano's Lakeshore East (May 21) on their beautiful rooftop patio. Special thanks to Amanda Puck,

Jim Smith  Chille Pepper  and names coming.
Jim Smith, Chilli Pepper, Jay Frankovich and Jeremy Plummer.

Mariano's Director of Strategic Brand Development, who helped coordinate this fun effort that celebrated the kick-off of Streeterville Week, a Chicago Star initiative supporting local business. The night couldn't have been more perfect for this outdoor party--a gentle breeze, warm temps--and those jaw-droppingly beautiful views of Lake Shore East Park. The

Supporters Judy and Howard Tullman (board member), with Bonnie (board member) and Jim Spurlock.

party was for Chicago Star's supporters, friends, sponsors, board members and advertisers and, at 60+ guests, we were at capacity since the city hadn't fully opened yet. The

Giovanna Krozel and Almira Yllana with Doorstep Divas  Molly Callinan and Caitlin Simone.
Giovanna Krozel and Almira Yllana (Sugar & Spice) with Doorstep Divas (Molly Callinan and Caitlin Simone).

fun-filled night featured entertainment provided by The Doorstep Divas (Molly Callinan and Caitlin Simone) and DJ World; delicious desserts from Eli's Cheesecake; cool photo props from Kehoe Designs; the awe-inspiring Magic by Keelan Wendorf; custom florals from Luxe Bloom and even a cool Marilyn Monroe impersonator courtesy of ZZAZZ Productions,

The Landan Twins (Jonathan and Andrew) with Billy Rairigh, Paul Iacono, Amanda Puck and friend.

who added a lot of pizzazz to this party. Delicious bites

Michael Kutza, Maggie Baczkowski and Curt Rose.

from Mariano's included mini fried chicken sandwiches, Oki sushi, Oki veggie rolls, individual shrimp cocktails, smoked salmon on toast and crackers, mini cheeseboards, Murray's Lemon Cheese Bites, plus wine and beer. Friends, this WAS a PARTEE UNTIL....We had decided earlier to try to shoot a cover shot for the paper and include everyone in attendance. Kristan

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas with Chuck.

Lieb was our photog and she had clambered onto a ladder for an overview shot. The guests were grabbing copies of the paper to

Fabulous Eli's Cheesecakes and floral design by Luxe Bloom.

hold and moving into position near the railing with the park as our backdrop. Everything looked so perfect except for one annoying cast-iron garbage receptacle. Soooooo, as always, I wanted to get the perfect photo so I tried moving it (VERY BAD IDEA) I grabbed it, a very heavy piece pulled away and slammed directly onto my foot. Well, it swelled up as big as a football but I still gamely limped into the photo (LOL!)...Afterwards, I sat down and watched it get bigger. So many wonderful people brought ice, including Chicago Star

Elaine Hyde, Chicago Star founder, with the Landan Twins.

founder Elaine Hyde's sweet husband Joey. I was so

With Chicago Star Team: Nuria Mathog, Elaine Hyde, Angela Gagnon and Jay Kopp.

disgusted with myself. We had been planning this party for weeks and weeks and now to have this happen. Anyway, I thought I could stay and just sit in a chair but I wasn't sure if I'd broken anything so a trip to the emergency room was in order. Thank goodness I went to Thorek, at the suggestion of a friend, because they took care of me like no one before. (Special shout-out here to staff and especially Dr. Rachel Goldstein, who was a saint!) Anyway, thanks to all our friends who came and know that I was so very sorry to have to leave half-way through! Streeterville Week was

Doorstep Diva Molly Callinan and DJ World.
Doorstep Diva Molly Callinan and DJ World.

created by Chicago Star in November 2020 as an initiative designed to lift community spirits, boost morale and encourage residents and visitors to shop locally during the pandemic. More

Lisa Fielding
WBBM's Lisa Fielding, she's a fan.

than two dozen local businesses took part in the inaugural event, with some participants, such as Pinstripes, seeing over 40% increases in revenue. Guests in attendance included Manolis Alpogianis, Bonnie and Jim Spurlock, Howard and Judy Tullman, Jim Sharp, Sarah Tuohy, Curt Rose, Maggie Baczkowski, Greg Hyder, Jim Smith, Chilli Pepper and friends Jeremy Plummer and Jay Frankovich, Cee and Vince Reyes, Michael Caputo, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Peter

Jim Smith  Marilyn  Michael Caputo and Tom Kehoe.
Jim Smith, Marilyn, Michael Caputo and Tom Kehoe.
Cee Reyes  Greg Hyder  Vince Reyes and Jay Kopp.
Cee Reyes, Greg Hyder, Vince Reyes and CSM's Jay Kopp.

Kambreros, Andrew and Jon Landan, Giovanna Krozel and Almira Yllana, Tom Kehoe, Shelley Rosen, Tina Koegel, Paul Iacono, Tracey Tarantino, Michael Kutza, Richard Ward, Marc Schulman, Will Nifong, Sherren Leigh, Mario Hollemans, Dr. Valerie Mayuga, Geno Suarez, Lisa Fielding, Joyce Winnecke and George Houlihan, Kathleen Jenkins, Lindsay Forman, Tom Claxton and so many more! Can't wait to plan another fun event, this time at FULL CAPACITY! (Love you so much Amanda Puck!) (Video below by Kairos & Co. Film) (First published in Chicago Star)


Photo 5
Rachel Holl, Phoebe Sacks and Jodi Block

The Digestive Health Foundation at Northwestern Medicine hosted its first live event in over a year at the MCA on June 5. With in-person attendance of 220 and additional supporters participating virtually via livestream, the DHF’s

Photo 8
Tom Swimmermaker, Nancy Payne, Karen Mandel, Zack Karmin

Together on the Terrace: An Evening of Art, Appetizers and Spirits, Al Fresco raised a whopping $1.3 million, bringing the total sum raised by DHF since its inception in 2015 to nearly $15 million!  Held outdoors in the museum’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden, the event featured mixology demonstrations, wine tasting, light bites, live music by the TVK Orchestra, museum tours, silent and live auctions and raffle prizes. Auction highlights included Ryder Cup tickets, a trip to New York City with VIP tickets to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and dinner prepared by

Photo 1
Michael Baum (Digestive Health Foundation Board Member and Ambassador Board Champion)
Photo 3
Jake Dockser and Olivia Kleinman

Michelin-starred chef Soo Ahn, who helms the kitchen at the fabulous Italian restaurant Adalina in the Gold Coast. FOX 32 Chicago’s Sylvia Perez kicked off the event as well as the livestream. Event proceeds will benefit digestive disease research as well as supporting the DHF Ambassador Board’s commitment to promoting greater equity in access to medical care and education through two projects that include the new Digestive Health Foundation MCAT Prep Program created in partnership with the I Am Abel Foundation to provide funding, resources and mentoring to help under-

Photo 7
Dr. Leila Kia, MD

represented students prepare for medical school, and the Elizabeth Blackwell Fund for

Photo 4
Eric Corwin and Julie Kaviar (DHF Ambassador Board and MCA Overall Event Lead)

independent female GI researchers in honor of the first U.S. woman to earn a medical degree. Since inception six years ago, DHF has funded 67 crucial annual grants as well as ongoing research studies including the DHF BioRepository, a blood and tissue bank used for digestive disease research that is one of the few databases of its kind in the world. (For more info on DHF, click here)


Opening party host Israel Idonije and da' Mayor.

Sable at Navy Pier hosted a grand opening party June 9. The by-invite-only affair was held on Offshore's magnificent rooftop and included notables such as American Idol's Grace

Offshore, supposedly the world's largest rooftop bar.

Kinstler and the Mayor, who delivered a powerful, inspiring speech about the city's return. The program was hosted by the much loved Israel Idonije. Another fan favorite, David Rothstein Music, performed throughout the night  against a backdrop of heart-stopping skyline views. Greeters dressed in nautical attire directed guests to the party from the check-in in Sable's lobby. Enroute, partygoers could partake of popcorn and champagne carts. Magnificent, over-sized floral

American Idol's Grace Kinstler.

arrangements and candles were scattered throughout the space. Owners of the Sable had flown in from Switzerland and Sable's dapper GM, Laurent Boisdron, was on hand to present the hotel's very first

Sable GM Laurent Boisdron presents bouquet to the hotel's first guest.

guest with a beautiful bouquet. The Mayor introduced Izzy as the "personification of what a good public servant is all about." She continued, "We have the lowest unemployment rate of any city in the

Darling, nautically attired greeters.

country, our buying power is second to none and our economy is already roaring back." The Sable is the only hotel in Chicago where every room has a breathtaking lake view. The hotel also features Lirica restaurant (with Latin and Iberian-inspired cuisine) and a beautiful outdoor patio. It's a perfect spot for a staycation or out-of-town visitors--friendly staff, beautiful, sleekly designed rooms and, of course, those views. (Details here)


Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood star in the Tracy Letts play "Bug" at Steppenwolf Theatre. (Michael Brosilow Photo)

Steppenwolf Theater Company will come roaring back on November 11 when its first live show will be the remount of BUG by Tracy Letts, starring ensemble members Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood. Previews will begin November 11 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater where you will see a whole new lobby plus a new wine bar on the second floor in the existing theater building! Steppenwolf will welcome back theater-goers to a brand new, 50,000-sq.-ft. building and education center at 1650 N. Halsted. As the world came to a pause in 2020, the walls of the state-of-the-art arts facility continued to rise, symbolizing hope for

Shakespeare Thearter Company
Rendering of the new Shakespeare Theatre Company.

the entire Chicago arts community. Designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) with theater design and acoustics

Rendering of Steppenwolf's wine bar/lobby area.

by Charcoalblue, the transformed Steppenwolf Theatre Company campus will change the way Chicagoans and visitors experience the company’s cutting-edge theater. In Fall 2021, Steppenwolf builds on the global reach and acclaim of its virtual stage (currently streaming in all 50 states and more than 20 countries) with a lineup of new virtual works by ensemble members Tina Landau, Tracy Letts and Tarell Alvin McCraney. (See full schedules and more details here).


IMG_8396The Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) celebrated the 62nd anniversary of the Golden Trumpet Awards, the most prestigious awards program in the Midwest, honoring distinguished individual achievement in public relations, marketing and communications. The awards ceremony took place on Thursday, June 17 and was PCC’s second virtual Golden Trumpet Awards ceremony. I was honored to present Cramer-

Today the 2021 Publicity Club of Chicago Trumpet Awards took place and I was thrilled to be one of the hosts along with @CandidCandace & Payal Patal.
Presenters and hosts for the 2021 Golden Trumpet Awards

Krasselt with the event's top honors, the 'Best of Show' award, for their 'Navigating Coronavirus with the Brand Name Corona’ campaign as well as deliver a tribute to the

Delivering my tribute to the late Dori Wilson.

late, great Dori Wilson who passed away earlier this year in February. Over 200 guests joined an online platform that included virtual meeting rooms and a livestream presentation emceed by WGN-9’s Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte, Comcast’s Maria Castro, PCC Board Members Jim O’Reilly and Payal Patel and me. In partnership with the PCC, the production was put together by Video Parachute. Other winners included: Jasculca Terman Strategic

Navy Pier's Strategic Communications Leader Payal Patel was a host.

Communications, who won the 'Edwin J. Shaughnessy Quality of Life Award' for the ‘Lakeview Pantry COVID-19 Response’ campaign; L.C. Williams & Associates won the 'Buell Patterson Technology Award'

Maria Castro, Comcast Regional Affairs Manager, presented awards.

for the 'AASM - Student Sleep Health Week' and MWW, who won the 'Elynore Dolkart Meserow Creativity Award’ for the ‘Bridging Remote Learning During COVID-19’ campaign. PCC Board Member and Metropolitan Family Services’ Bridget Hatch (love her) received PCC’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Established in 1941, the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) is a network of inspired Chicago- area public relations professionals and counselors who work at every type of organization and, together, compose the nation's largest independent public relations membership organization.


Adalina, newly opened at 912 N. State.

Adalina hosted "Friends & Family" dining this week in advance of its opening at its Gold Coast location, 912 N. State. The restaurant was buzzing with activity as servers flew around the elegant space with dishes created by its talented 7131163D-E1E2-4532-8656-84A83CF5BD6BMichelin-starred Chef Soo Ahn. Against a backdrop of midnight blue walls, plush velvet banquettes, large scale artwork and a dramatic chandelier, diners enjoyed dishes that included handmade pastas such as rigatoni with Maine lobster, Red King crab and IMG_8115Calabrian chile and scallions; ravioli with summer truffles, corn, ricotta, pearl onions and aged balsamic and carved tableside porterhouses and Dover sole; salmon vesuvio; veal chop parmigiana, roasted chicken, a Wagyu strip steak and so much more. Starters included charred octopus, gnocco fritto, BD241615-FAE3-47D5-8B65-01DD00B6DDD3 truffled caesar (prepared tableside) and a delicious fried green tomato caprese, among others. Opening Monday, June 21, hours will be 3pm to 1 pm, IMG_8119Monday through Sunday, with lunch and brunch service coming soon. Partners Phil Siudak, Miles Muslin, Matt Deichl and Jonathan Gillespie, along with general manager Tee Efendija, must be very excited about their bright future here. Among the familiar faces seen on the scene were Peter and Cynthia Au, Kasia and Greg Kay, Jay and Albrey Kopp, Michael Kutza, Ryan Chiaverini and Pasquale Gianni, among others. Welcome to the 'hood Adalina! (First published in Chicago Star)


With Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Dino Svigo (Fresh Farms) passing out boxes of candy to Chicago's dads.

I've been so excited to partner with Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas dispensing "Random Acts of Kindness" around the city. It was the Treasurer's

Shelley Rosen (Luxe Bloom)--Mother's Day

idea to do this to help lift people's spirits following the pandemic and also to help beautify the city. Our first event was held in collaboration with Shelley Rosen (founder of Luxe Bloom). Shelley's company put together a partnership with JC Decaux North America to install, a two-sided fresh floral display on the NW corner of Michigan and Chicago for Mother's Day and throughout the month. On

With Jay Kopp, Maria Pappas, Dino Svigos and friend on Father's Day.

May 9, we gave away more than 500 Ecuadorian roses to honor the mothers and women of Chicago, promote the beautification of the Mag Mile and support local business. We

Paul Iacono, Chuck and Bonnie Spurlock on Mother's Day.

even handed out Luxe Bloom roses to bus drivers and one under-appreciated mom who broke down in tears. It's amazing (and heart-warming) to see how a small, random act of kindness can make such a difference. So proud to be a small part of this big community effort! Love and thanks to all who came out to support us like Paul Iacono, Maria Mancuso, Suzie Glickman, Joey Majumdar, Jonathan Tam, Humberto Jimenez (Consul General

With Real Men Charities founder Yvette Moyo and Maria Pappas at Real Men Cook event, 2425 E. 75th St.

of Ecuador), Kenichi Okada (Consul General of Japan), Yvette Moyo (Chairman/CEO Real Men Charities), Marco Polo Valladolid (President Mexican Civic Society of Illinoi), Sam Ma (Honorary Chair of the

Marta Farion.

American-Asian Association), Marta Farion (President Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America), Kina Bagovska, (Director Magura Bulgarian Cultural Center), Nanta Buranakanchana (Asian American Coalition of Chicago) and Vandana Jhingan (Midwest Bureau Chief TV Asia) and Marta Farion. We repeated these "Random Acts of Gifting" on Father's Day at another corner on Michigan Avenue giving out boxes of truffle candies, courtesy of Fresh Farms (Dino Svigos and his sons Niko, Dean and Alex. Following this event, Maria and I went to the 32nd Real Men Cook celebration benefiting Real Men Charities (founded by Yvette Moyo) and handed out more candy! (ALL of the good photos are by Barb Levant)


RSM debut market in Three Oaks with Sally Schwartz (R), D. Graham Kostic (2nd from R) and family.

First, the good news--Randolph Street Market's first day back after the pandemic was a slam dunk. Held for the first time in Three Oaks, Michigan, on Memorial Day Weekend (29/30), RSM founder Sally Schwartz and 40 dealers from across the country welcomed guests

Chuck congratulating Sally on her first market in Three Oaks.

back after a long, hard year. Shuttle buses were flying back and forth and police, with lights flashing, helped direct traffic. It was so good to see this award-winning and much loved market return. Sally welcomed guests who traveled from near and far to peruse the large selection of goods, socialize and

Randolph Street Market's first day in Three Oaks.

enjoy snacks from the Pigs by Pigs food truck stationed on the grounds. A portion of the ticket sales ($5 for adults with children under 12 free) supported Fernwood Botanical Garden in Niles-Buchanan. Now the bad news, Due to continuing adverse weather conditions, the Randolph Street Market in Three Oaks has canceled the rest of its summer

RSM is always an Aladdin's Cave of finds.

schedule. Here's a message from founder Sally Schwartz: "For the first time in Randolph Street Market’s 18-year history, we have to close the balance of our summer festival due to severe weather

I wish I would've bought these.

and venue conditions. Refunds will be promptly sent out this week. Most of you know our super huge antique market festival venue in Chicago’s West Loop is currently under construction, which prompted us to create a mini “taste” of Randolph with the original concept of bringing a select group of 40+ IMG_8400dealers on a road trip this summer. We landed in Three Oaks, Michigan, an artsy, cultural community with boutique-style retail that complemented our Antique and Vintage vibe. The show would be a fun day-trip for our Chicago IMG_8399customers and offer our clientele with homes up there a fun way to reconnect with us...With heavy rain happening now and predicted through next week, and our indoor venue space having size and A/C limitations, our inability to accommodate more dealers, sponsors, and entertainment make expansion and operations impossible. Unfortunately, these issues can’t be resolved for the balance of our summer program which now has forced us to shut down." We anxiously await your return dear RSM!


The late Fritzie Fritzshall in front of her hologram in Illinois Holocaust Museum's Survivor Stories exhibit.
The late Fritzie Fritzshall in front of her hologram in the Illinois Holocaust Museum's Survivor Stories exhibit.

The world has lost a hero. As a Survivor of the Holocaust and the President of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Fritzie Fritzshall devoted her life to combating hatred and prejudice, inspiring people to become Upstanders instead of bystanders, and speaking out to make our world a better place.  Everywhere she spoke, she changed people's lives and the way they see the world. I know because I am a witness. She passed away recently at age 91, and during her lifetime, she influenced all who met her or heard her words. During the Holocaust,

Fritzie revisits a concentration camp where she and her family were held.

Nazis occupied Fritzie's hometown of Klucharky, Czechoslovakia, and deported her, her mother and two brothers to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp when Fritzie was just a young teenager. Her ArchChicago_Maday_Lo_Res__K9A3979mother, two younger brothers and other family members were murdered. “There is no way to describe what it was like to be in the rail car hungry, cold, without food, without water, watching pregnant women begging for water, watching different people dying in front of you from lack of food, air, and water,” Fritzie said. “My own grandfather died in this car going to Auschwitz. In 1946, After surviving these atrocities, Fritzie came to Skokie, Illinois, and reunited with her father, who worked for Vienna Beef and had come to America before the Holocaust to provide his family with money from abroad. Fritzie, in a 2019 interview, said, “I want the world to remember and to know to never, ever, ever, ever forget about the Holocaust. We say ‘never again,’ but we don't often mean ‘never again.’ ‘Never again’ must be ‘never again.’ It must stop.”


Chase Garrett  (R) a retired 32-year vet of the Chicago PD with friend.
Chase Garret, a retired 32-year vet with the Chicago Police Dept. and friend.

With all the crime in the city now, I felt it would be helpful to share some tips from retired policemen, Chase Garrett. Actually, his tips are part of a larger feature article I wrote for Chicago Star's July issue called "What the Pros Know". (Read all pro tips here) In it, there are tips from famed interior

Interior designer  author and TV star Nate Berkus.
Interior designer Nate Berkus offers tips on designing for a small space in the next issue of Chicago Star.

designer Nate Berkus (how to decorate a small space); Chef Art Smith (how to cook the perfect fried chicken); Robert Garvey (Robert's Pizza, tips for creating the perfect pizza at home); Jason Kollar (my IT guy--KCS Computer Technology-- who knows EVERYTHING about computers, gives us tips for what we should

Chef Art Smith shares his secrets for the best fried chicken.
Chef Art Smith shares his secrets for the best fried chicken.

buy); Colin Collette (Mangels Florist), gives advice on creating the perfect floral arrangement; Debi Lilly (A Perfect Event) tells us how to plan a summer party; Sugar & Spice (aka Gio Krozel and Almira Yllana) are experts on all things Disney and they share secret tips and tricks for planning that perfect trip to Disney World; Jerry Torpy, our handyman and founder of Appliance Rescue Service, shares advice for keeping cool this summer; David Lampert (Lester Lampert Jewelers); Rob Morhaim (president Morhaim Media Consulting), offers expert advice on delivering slam-dunk business presentations; and Monika Dixon (Monika Dixon PR) offers great suggestions on social media and branding).

Here's Chase's tips for keeping safe in the city. I wanted to share them in their entirety because I feel they are so important. In the paper's article, they are edited but I'm happy to be able to share his complete, very thoughtful suggestions here, for keeping safe in these Untilltled difficult times. My Citizen's app is going off constantly now with reports of crime in every part of the city. Sort of feels like a war zone right now. Anyway, I hope these will be helpful for you. (And remember, to see the complete list of tips from the pros, click here!) (Published first in Chicago Star)

1)  DON'T BE AN EASY TARGET--Criminals usually target easy prey. They look for those that are not paying attention to their surroundings. They know you aren't paying attention when they see you on your phone. They know you are distracted by a conversation, or listening to music, Unootitledespecially with your earplugs in. They usually attack you from behind, take your possessions and disappear, before you even realize what happened. This is to their advantage, because if you never see them coming, even if the police caught them, you wouldn't be able to identify them. This is why being alert is so important! If you stay alert and aware of your surroundings, you can notice when people are watching you. You can notice the same car, possibly with tinted windows, circling the block as you walk down the street. Use your phone to call a friend, or loved one and tell them where you are and what's happening. Give them the license plate number of the car, or take a picture of it. Discreetly take a photo of someone you feel is suspicious and send it to a friend. If you can't take any pictures, remember as much about that person(s), as you can, in case you have to notify "911".

2) KNOW WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE A VICTIM OF A CRIME--If you get attacked, threatened, 911or robbed, you want to immediately contact "911". "911" is for emergencies and "311" is for making non emergency reports. When you call "911", you will speak with a Call Taker. That person will ask you several questions. The more of those questions that you can answer, the better. They will ask you for your name, location and what happened. They will ask when it happened, how many offenders were there, if any vehicles were involved and a description of the vehicle. They will ask you to describe your assailant. Their race, approximate age, height and weight. They will ask about the color of their eyes and hair and to describe any clothing. All of this information is then relayed to a Dispatcher, who 311-logonotifies the patrol cars in the area. Several cars will immediately begin looking for the offender(s) and other vehicles will come to you. If you were able to give out a relatively good description of the assailant(s), the police may locate someone near the address of occurrence and bring them back to the scene, for a "Show Up". If you identify the person(s), they will be arrested and taken to the district. If you do not identify them, they are released and the search continues.The police will search for witnesses and video surveillance to assist in locating any offenders. Remembering as much information as possible, is vital to the arrest and prosecution of any and all offenders. If your wallet or identification is taken, or stolen, immediately contact one of the major credit reporting agencies. Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian. Give them your police report number and ask for a 7 year Fraud Alert on your credit. This means that no one can open credit in your name, without contacting the phone number that you give them. All that is needed is a police report, stating that your personal information was taken.

3) WHAT TO DO, IF YOU GET PHYSICALLY ATTACKED--If someone physically attacks you, Depositphotos_126898556-stock-illustration-bike-robbers-trying-to-snatchyou have no choice but to defend yourself. I suggest always keeping a weapon, such as pepper spray, in your hand while walking in isolated areas. Pepper spray is legal and its easy to hold in your hand, discreetly. It does you no good, if it's in the bottom of your purse and someone takes your purse. If you have no weapons and you're being physically assaulted, try to scratch your assailant in the face. This makes them easily identifiable, when the police begin their search. Bloody scratch marks in one's face, is usually a good clue that they were involved in something nefarious! If you scratch them on the arms, or body, you can get their DNA under your nails.  Everything goes of course, if you're fighting for your life. Bite them, gouge them in the eyes, use your weapon, do whatever you can to get away and scream. Screaming will alert others, that you're being attacked and hopefully they will help you, or call the police. Don't scream fire, because you will only confuse people. Scream for help and scream to have someone call for the police!

CarjackingCHASE'S TIPS FOR AVOIDING A CAR JACKING: 1) Keep your doors locked at all times, when you're in or out of vehicle; 2) Remove the keys from the ignition, when pumping gas; 3) Don't leave your purse, or other valuables in plain view when exiting the vehicle; 4) Leave plenty of space in front of you when pulling up to stop signs, or red lights, in case you have to make an evasive action.; 5) If you pull up to an intersection and someone starts approaching your vehicle and you feel threatened, run the red light, after making sure no traffic is coming. It's better to risk getting a traffic ticket, than to stay in an unsafe position.; 6) Know that most car jackings occur when you're parking and exiting the vehicle. This can be in a gas station, garage, or on the street. Be extra alert at these times.; 7) If you're surrounded, or someone approaches with a weapon and demands your car, do not resist. Give them your car and immediately contact 911, as soon as possible. Your car is insured and can always be replaced. Your life can't. (First published in Chicago Star).


IMG_8353Chicago Pride Month is always filled with fun-filled celebrations to honor the LGBTQ community. One of my IMG_8326 favorites is hosted by Tom Kehoe is his Old Town neighborhood. You never know who will show up, last year Governor Pritzker and his First Lady MK, were guests. This year, his magical home showed off the design skills that he and his companies are known for. Spray painted, Pride-colored, over-sized palm fronds filled every container throughout the space. Colorful, oversized Pride banners out front directed party-goers to the main event. In the beautifully landscaped backyard, Pride banners were used as sun shields and were draped from the roof to the back fence. A DJ standing behind a Pride-colored table kept the beats alive as servers presented tasty treats on, you guessed it, Pride colored dishes and cups. It was such a colorful day spent with colorful friends. Love you Tom.


Red Jacket Optional _Oct. 16The Chicago Children's Choir's "Red Jacket Optional" event returns on Saturday, October 16. It hasn't been determined whether or not it will be in-person, virtual or a hybrid. Live music and exceptional dining are always hallmarks of this evening which celebrates 65 years of bringing youth and communities together for a stronger future. (Check here for details)

The Auditorium Theatre Auxiliary Board will host its Aud-devilsball-2021-eblastheader-800x400annual Devil’s Ball on Friday, August 27. It's the first public event at the theatre since its temporary closure in March of 2020.  All proceeds will benefit the restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. This year's event, themed Roaring Back, will be held on the theatre's stage and feature Gatsby-themed cocktails, fabulous nosh, live jazzy tunes, a photo booth, silent auction, wine raffle, behind-the-scenes tours, a surprise pop-up performance and dancing beneath the architectural brilliance of the theatre!  (Tickets/details here)

Ronald McDonald House Charities will host its annual gala Saturday, August 7. Presented Ronald McDonaldby HAVI and Wintrust, the nonprofit's premier fundraising event will feature gourmet cuisine, live entertainment, live and silent auctions and a one-of-a-kind experience, all to support programs that enable families with sick or injured children (worldwide) stay together and near leading hospitals and healthcare services. (More details will be announced here soon)

SC Day on the Terrace Fashion Show Fundraiser  Monday  Aug. 2  Geraghty.The Service Club of Chicago will present its annual "Day on the Terrace' fashion show/fundraiser, this year themed "Here Comes the Sun," Monday, Aug. 2, 11am at The Geraghty. The event will be chaired by SC vets Jean Antoniou, Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and Sharyl Mackey. The show, produced by ZZAZZ productions, will offer a first look at fall fashion from some of the city's top retailers and local designers. Funds raised will support its Philanthropic Grant Program, which recently donated over $500K worth of grants to deserving nonprofits. (Details/tickets here!) (Chicago Star is the proud media sponsor!)

I'm so excited the Apparel Industry Foundation will be hosting REV UP! this year on Thursday, October 21 at Joe Perillo's Bentley Gold Coast (834 N. Rush)! The event may 2021 REV UP Save the Date Updated be a combination of in-person and virtual but you can bet it will be as exciting as ever, with the in-person element at the dealership! The show will be produced by ZZAZZ Productions and will feature looks from some of Chicago's top local designers. All emerging designers, fashion students and high school hopefuls are encouraged to sign up here for the organization's Scholarship Competition! (I'm thrilled to return as host and excited that Chicago Star will be the media sponsor). (All details here!)

Flair-logo_HI-RES_thumbnail-e1507144889751-1024x606The Chicago Lighthouse will host its much loved FLAIR fashion show/fundraiser on Friday, October 1 at the Drake Hotel.

Jonathan Grabill and Susan Gohl at Derby.
Chicago Lighthouse FLAIR 2021 honoree Susan Gohl with Johnathan Grabill at this year's Derby.

The event will showcase the best in fall fashion produced by ZZAZZ Productions. AND, drum roll please.....This year's honoree is the much deserving SUSAN GOHL! I'm excited to return as a co-host for this event with the one and only Tracey Tarantino DiBuono. (Check here for all the details coming soon!)

Chicago-1The Navy Seal Foundation's 2021 Midwest Evening of Tribute will be held on Tuesday, September 14. Greg Brown, CEO Motorola Solutions) and Anna Brown will serve as co-chairs for this patriotic salute and support for our warriors. The Navy Seal Foundation provides a comprehensive set of programs specifically designed to reduce the stressors associated with life in Naval Special Warfare to both the special warfare operators and their families. This year's event will also honor David Herro (Chief Investment Officer International Equities at Harris Associates LP.) To discover who the keynote speaker is and for more details, click here).

Wine-Tasting-Flyer-2021-FINAL-N3-768x994Maryville Academy will host its second Wine Tasting and Garden Tour, to benefit Maryville's Jen School, on Saturday, August 7, at the Des Plaines campus on 1150 N. River Road. Each guest will pay $35 to sample wines, enjoy appetizers, tour the Jen School garden and more. Maryville Jen School, founded in 2007, was selected by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) as a NASET School of Excellence for eight years in a row. It is the only school in the country that offers vocational education for young children with special learning needs. It works with young people ages 10 to 21 with academic, emotional, behavioral or intellectual challenges. (Learn more here)

The American Writers Museum (AWM) is hosting its annual OnWord benefit dinner in-person Onword 2021 graphic for the first time since 2019 on August 31, from 6:00 pm to 9pm.The event will be hosted by award winning novelist and short story writer Rebecca Makkai at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The AWM Cultural and Civic Leadership Award will honor Dr. Malcolm O'Hagan. Since 2019, AWM has hosted the annual OnWord benefit dinner to provide important support, allowing the museum to continue to present educational exhibits and programming that celebrate freedom of thought, diversity, connection and understanding. (All details here)

Safe_image.phpThe Art of Giving Foundation will host its “BLACK TIE & SNEAKER BALL”  at Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood, on July 9.  The Foundation, founded by Autumn Pippenburg, is dedicated to funding local art programs and artists in need of seed funding to launch or maintain social initiative programs that benefit their communities. Included in the evening’s festivities will be a live auction, a sneaker and accessory fashion show, as well as a “Best Sneaker Design” competition. Chicago fashion designer Borris J Powell will be presenting a “Best Dressed” award for the most stylish guest. General admission tickets are $175 and there are four levels of VIP sponsorships available that include various amounts of VIP tickets, table reservations, champagne and private artist meet n’ greets. (Details here!)


History_Channel_Logo_black_backgroundRecently, I was contacted by the History Channel for a docu-series on Hugh Hefner, Playboy and other

With the Lucky 8 TV crew in NJ.

legendary visionaries filmed by Lucky 8 TV. Chuck and I were flown to New Jersey for a taping. You all know how much I love chatting about Hef and all-things Playboy so I just can't wait! I'll share the details when it happens.

That's it for this week! As you can see, a lot of our event's are coming back in full force and I couldn't be happier. It's tough being a "social scribe" when you have nothing to write about! But all that is changing now! Special thanks to Fox 32's Sylvia Perez for welcoming me back to talk about all of our reopening excitement, see video below for more fun events and things to do. And I will see you again soon! Thanks for checking in!

Love, as always,


P.S. Lil' Snafu's rags to riches story....


May 27, 2021

April 14, 2021

January 27, 2021

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