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Candid Candace: Television



Veteran dancers Katie Rafferty and Ashley Downes took their final bows at Giordano Dance Chicago's 60th anniversary celebration.

Giordano Dance Chicago hosted a power-packed performance and gala to celebrate its 60th anniversary April 1. The event was a sellout and a huge success in every way- from the dynamic VIP committee who lent

Marc Giordano  Keenan Casey  Mort Kessler and Ben Hodge and Nan Giordano.
Marc Giordano (Nan's brother), Keenan Casey (Nan's son) with honorees Mort Kessler and Ben Hodge and Nan Giordano.

their support, to the 380+ gala attendees to the over 1200 audience members who came out for the performance - in every respect it was a blow-out. The evening began for VIP ticket holders with an exclusive backstage peek into the dancers’ pre-performance preparation as they rehearsed and warmed-

Legendary choreographers/dancers Pierre Lockett and Homer Hans Bryant.

up with the great choreographer and dance legend Homer Hans Bryant. A champagne toast and dinner in the Green Room were also included for the 40 or so VIPs. Artistic Director Nan Giordano and Executive Director Michael McStraw delivered

With Chuck Jordan and Nick Pullia behind the scenes at the gala pre-party.

warm welcome remarks and took questions from the rapt crowd as they watched the dancers doing their warm-up routines, jumping and twirling mere feet from the guests. The two-hour Harris performance (with intermission) had guests on the edge of their seats from start to finish, opening with a performance set to “Unforgettable” (with music by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole). The dancers were elegant in

Leslie Logsdon, Melissa Babcock, Kathy Mondelli and Mark Olley.

tuxes and flowing gowns with the stage draped in white. Up next, one of my favorites, “Sing, Sing, Sing (music by Alan Silvestri and Louis Prima). Here the dancers showed

Sarah and Will Harris (Darvin)

the reason why they are known as “America’s original jazz dance company” and their trademark high energy. Choreographer Kia Smith presented a world premiere of her “Luminescence.” (with music by Coldplay and U2). Twenty-five dancers commanded the stage, including members of her South Chicago Dance Theatre. The piece was created in honor of Homer Hans Bryant. The return of choreographer (to

Kellie O'Connell and John Robak.

the stars, including Jennifer Lopez) Liz Imperio’s spirited “La Belleza de Cuba” and Randy Duncan’s “Can’t Take This Away,” that featured the amazing vocals of the Bourne Family, closed out the performance part of the evening. For the finale, the dancers came out into the audience dancing exuberantly and drawing wild, appreciative applause. A

Kip Helverson, GDC Board Chair, and Trey Gonzalez.

beautiful, yet bittersweet, moment occurred when two of the company’s veteran dancers, Ashley Downs and Katie Rafferty, took their final bows after a combined 24 years with GDC. They were honored in both a video presentation and with bouquets lovingly presented by Nan Giordano and Michael McStraw at the end of their last performance. Original company members, Mort

Ken Norgan at gala on Pritzker Pavilion stage.

Kessler, and longtime former Executive Director, Ben Hodge, were the evening's honorees. Following the show, 380 gala guests walked through the Harris Theater, and onto a freight elevator, to reach the Pritzker Pavilion Stage for the celebration. The views of the Chicago skyline and Millennium Park through the glass walls of the stage were spectacular! An open bar and buffet created by Inspired Catering (Karen Stefani) added to the exciting experience. Governor J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot 

With GDC dancer Adam Houston at gala on Pritzker Stage.

declared April 1, “Giordano Dance Chicago Day.”  What a night to celebrate 60 amazing years of Giordano Dance Chicago! The gala committee consisted of: Joshua Blake Carter,

Greg Thompson and Greg Cameron (Joffrey Ballet president/CEO).

Gorman Cook, Tara Cope, Pamela Crutchfield, Chris D’Hondt, Tracey Tarantino DiBuono, Melissa and Brian Babcock, Kyle Barrettsmith, Israel and Jatnna Idonije, Jennifer Sutton Brieva and Dr. Joaquin Brieva, Bethany Florek, Ann Ford, Paula Friedman, Dina Gallay, Marilynn Gardner, Nick Pullia, Sandy Golub, Jon Harris, Will Harris, Todd Hatoff, Kip Helverson, Paul Iacono, Ryan Jacobson, Kevin Janes, Makenzie Kaiser, Jennifer Kastenholz, Stewart Kerr, Kristine Kinder, Rachel Kohl, Molly Manus, Pat Manus, Kevin McGirr, Michael McStraw, Audi Melsbakas, Tina Monaghan, Molly Newell, Diana Nielander, Ken Norgan, Mark Olley, John Robak, Dan Sabol, Cesar G. Salinas, Tom Sinkovic and Diane and Richard Weinberg. I was the proud event chair.( (Photos by me and the good ones are by Beth Ann Anderson) (To see more photos, click here!)

Giordano Dance Chicago at 60!


Ron Kittle, Ryan Dempster, Ryne Sandberg and Grant DePorter at Harry Caray Tribute at Navy Pier. (5 a.m.!)

Harry Caray’s Tavern was packed at Navy Pier on March 29. From 5 a.m. on into the evening hours, sports legends, celebs, super fans, press and more

Blackhawks' anthem singer Jim Cornelison, former Governor Pat Quinn and Grant DePorter.

crowded into the restaurant to join in for the Worldwide Toast to Harry Caray honoring the 25th anniversary of his passing. This year’s theme, Re-Elect Harry Mayor of Rush Street, intended to “reaffirm forever that Harry is the one and only Mayor of Rush Street and that there will never be another.” Harry was “elected” Mayor of Rush Street on August 24, 1980.

Ryan Dempster as Harry Caray.

Numerous establishments around Rush Street campaigned for him and he won the election in a landslide. Mayor Jane Byrne acknowledged his victory by declaring that Harry was the Mayor of Rush Street and that she was the Mayor of the rest of Chicago. Twenty-five years later, fans came out in force to “vote” to ensure that Harry maintains his “crown.”  Comedian Jeff Garlin showed up claiming to be

Navy Pier's Marilynn Gardner and Joanna DePorter.

Harry’s “campaign manager.” Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster appeared as Harry. (Ryan is known almost as much for his illustrious baseball career as he is for his amazing impersonation of Harry!) As guests filed in, they were gifted with a souvenir pair of

Dutchie Caray, Harry's beautiful widow. 

Harry’s oversized glasses and white T-shirts emblazoned with “Vote Harry Caray Mayor of Rush Street.” You could hardly squeeze into the dining room as there was so much press setting up cameras, all trained on the podium where the The Score’s Parkins & Spiegel team were positioned and where the toast would take place. Everyone in the room was handed a bright red and white can of

With Cubs' great Ryne Sandberg.

Budweiser for the toast. The program opened with Chicago Cubs’ legend Ryne Sandberg asking the crowd to raise their “cans” and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Then, Chicago Board of Elections Commissioner William Kresse and Bill Kurtis (The Voice) announced the voting results. In 4th place, William “Big Bill” Thompson, in 3rd place, John “Bathhouse”

Jeff Garlin chats with The Score.

Coughlin , in 2nd place George “Cap” Streeter and, of course, the winner in a landslide was Harry Caray! After the announcement, wild applause broke out as a rain of colorful confetti poured down on the crowd followed by Chicago Blackhawks’ anthem singer Jim Cornelison singing “Harry Caray is back again,” rhyming to the tune of “Happy

Alderman Brian Hopkins

Days are Here Again” song. Ryan Dempster, as Harry, accepted on his behalf and thanked Dutchie Caray (Harry’s widow) who was in the crowd. Seen on the scene were former Governor Pat Quinn, former Chicago Bear Richard Dent, Chicago Cubs’ Ron Kittle, Richard Roeper, the Landan Twins (Jon and Andrew), Joanna DePorter, Betsy Shepherd, Jimmy Rittenberg, Navy Pier’s Marilynn Gardener,

Chicago Board of Elections Commissioner William Kresse and wife Erin.

Gail Spreen and Dennis Downes, Joanne Grace, Linda Hynes, NASCAR’s Brent Gambill and Kurt Busch, Alderman Brian Hopkins, Beth Heller and so many others. As is tradition every year, fans around the world raise a drink to the memory of legendary Hall of Fame baseball announcer Harry Caray. Over the years, more than five million fans

from all 50 states and over 150 countries have joined in the annual tribute to the legendary baseball broadcaster.(Congrats to Grant Deporter and his team, who did a great job building the excitement and honoring Harry. Grant already has the theme for next year! Of course, he does!) (Harry Caray’s Tavern, Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., (312) 527-9700,


Crowd scene at Harry Caray's.
Celebrating Harry!



The street where we pretended to live. :-)

A two-peat for PALM BEACH - Happiness is found under a palm tree. It's where you can keep "palm" and carry on. We were so lucky to be able to return to Palm Beach in March. Just seeing the highway sign, "This way to

Leslie Hindman at Swifty's.
Will Schauble, Jason Spohn and Paula Fasseas at Taverna Opa in Delray Beach.

the beaches," made us feel warm (literally) and fuzzy inside. When we left Chicago, it was cold, dark, gloomy and raining. It was exactly the same weather when we returned two weeks later. The older I get, the harder this weather is to take. I know when Spring arrives, I will feel so different but for now.....eeks. Nowadays, the Palm Beach area seems to attract a lot of Chicagoans. On this recent trip, we enjoyed a great dinner with Paula Fasseas (PAWS Chicago founder), Suzie

Candace and Chuck Jordan with  Pepe Conforme and Ken Norgan.
With Jose "Pepe" Conforme, Ken Norgan and Chuck for after-dinner drinks at Swifty's.

(PAWS Chicago) and Ross Glickman (Urban Retail Properties), Jason Spohn (noted floral artist) and Will

Monika Dixon and fiance in PB.

Schauble (@Properties) at Taverna Opa in Delray Beach. We spent a great night with Leslie Hindman (Hindman Auctioneers), who is splitting her time between beautiful homes in Chicago and PB, at Swifty's. And we had another fun-filled day-into-night visit with Ken Norgan (former McDonald’s franchise owner) and Jose “Pepe” Conforme (VP Sales & Product Management Triangle Home Fashions) at La Goulue. Noted interior designer Nancy

Glen and Nancy Traylor with Leslie Hindman.

Traylor and husband Glen had us all over for cocktails in her fabulous, antique-filled home on South Ocean Blvd. By a lucky chance, in front of Bricktop's, we hooked up with Monika Dixon (Monika Dixon PR) and her darling fiancé, who were fresh off a whirlwind trip to Miami Beach, after dining at hotspot Queen. Helen Melchior was recently in town too for some R&R. Peggy Martay, was there for

Our favorite PB boutique, Kim Renk, at 219 Worth Ave. in the Via Amore behind Lily Pulitzer.

several days and Marci Holzer (founder of “A Way With Words,”a new memoir writing company), was also in the area, even appearing in a full page photo in Chart Magazine, a local

Had a chance to revisit fellow Playboy Playmate Cathy St. George (with Maybelline) at Pizza al Fresco.

publication for nonprofit news. And, last but not least, Bill Zwecker and Tom Gorman were in Palm Beach to co-host a big soiree with Leslie Hindman at her home. Party guests included Jocelyn Stoller, Kim and Greg Dryer, Robin and Mark Tebbe, Nancy and Glen Traylor and a slew of other well-heeled friends. If you’re planning a trip to this area, here are a few of our recommendations: La Goulue (288 S. County Rd.); Shrimper’s Grill & Raw Bar (4903 SE Dixie Hwy); (1901 S. Dixie Hwy); Sushi Jo (319 Belvedere Rd., WPB); Pizza al

William and Laura Hindman.

Fresco (14 Via Mizner, PB); Bice (313 Worth Ave., PB, sit on the patio in the back, not the side); Elisabetta’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria (185 Banyan Blvd, WPB); Malakor Thai Cafe 425 25th St., WPB); Taverna Opa Delray (270 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach); Avocado Grill, 125 Datura St., WPB). Also, if you love rare books, there is none better (or more expensive!) than Raptis Rare Books, 329 Worth Ave., PB. And, our favorite boutique? Kim Renk, hands down, at 219 Worth Ave. She has such great taste so the store has an amazing selection of jewelry, gifts, and chic fashions.

Avocado Grill, 125 Datura St., West Palm Beach.
Bice, 313 Worth Ave., Palm Beach (back patio, the best!)
Elisabetta's Ristorante, 185 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach.



Chefs Jose Andres, Tony Priolo and Sarah Stegner.

Chicago’s hospitality community mobilized once again to organize “Chicago Chefs Cook for Earthquake Relief,’ raising over $100,000 for World Central Kitchens relief

Lou Canellis, Chef Tony Priolo and Louie Alexakis.

efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. The benefit featured tasting stations from more than 47 chefs (see list below), and took place March 20 at Avli on the Park under the leadership of executive chef Niko Kapernaros, Chef Tony Priolo, Chef Sarah Stegner and others. Notable

Chef Andres with Alexi Giannoulias (IL Secretary of State).

among the more than 400 guests were chef Jose Andres (founder WCK), Emmanuel Koubarakis (Consulate General of Greece), Engin Turesin (Consulate General of Türkiye), Alexi Giannoulias (IL Secretary of State), Sylvia Perez (FOX News), Lisa Fielding (WBBM- AM News Radio, Chef

Sylvia Perez (2nd from L) and friends.

Art Smith, among many others. Funds raised from “Chicago Chefs Cook for Earthquake Relief” will be sent directly to World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that arrives first to the front-lines, providing communities with fresh, nourishing meals in response to

Avli on the Park Executive Chef Niko Kapernaros surrounded with love from friends and family.

humanitarian, climate, and community crises. The event was made possible by the Chicago Chefs Cook leadership team including Chef Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Cafe), Chef Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno), Darren Gest (Deloitte Consulting), Eda Davidman  Erickleinberg-HIGH--61 (Chicago Chefs Cook) and Jodi Fyfe (The Paramount Group), and generous sponsors of the event included the Illinois Restaurant Association, Green City Market, Audacy Radio + Affiliate Stations, Outfront Media, Mariano’s, Chef Tog and others. In less than a year, they

Eda Davidman (R), Chef Tony Priolo, Chef Sarah Stegner and friends.

have raised more than $850,000 to feed those in need after natural disasters. They are already planning their next event.

Participating restaurants and chefs included:

Adalina: Soo Ahn; Adorn: Richie Farina; Avli on the Park: Nikolaos Kapernaros; ; Avli River North: Panos Chalikiopoulos; Bacino's: Linda Bacin; BAR GOA: Bobby Geetha; Bayan Ko: Lawrence Letrero; Big Jones: Paul Fehribach; Bistronomic: Martial Noguier; Chef Erickleinberg-HIGH--29 Art Smith's Reunion: Art Smith; Cherry Circle Room: Heraclio Belmontes; Cornerstone Restaurant Group: Bill Kim, Cedric Harden; Demera Ethiopian Restaurant: Tigist Reda; Eden: Devon Quinn; Fire Cakes: Jonathan Fox; Frontier: Brian Jupiter; Galit Restaurant: Zachary Engel; Gene & Georgetti: Cristiano Bassani; Gibsons Italia: Jose

Lisa Fielding (R) and friends.

Sosa; Greek Islands: Angelos Petratos; GT Prime: Casey Doody; Honey Butter Fried Chicken: Christine Cikowski; Imee's Mediterranean Kitchen: Nicole Nassif; Lula Café: Jason Hammel; LÝRA: Joe Rizza; Nonnina: John  Erickleinberg-HIGH--109Boudouvas; North Pond Restaurant: César Murillo; One Off Hospitality: Paul Kahan; Piccolo Sogno: Tony Priolo; Plateia Mediterranean Kitchen: Marios Kalampogias; Prairie Grass Cafe: Sarah Stegner; Rose Mary: Joseph Flamm; Saigon Sisters: Mary Aregoni; Sanaa's Gourmet Mediterranean: Sanaa Abourezk;  Sapori Trattoria: Ramos Saul; Soul & Smoke: D’Andre Carter; Stetson Steakhouse: Isidro Arroyo; Tabu Restaurant: Saul Roman; Tao: Amanda Barnes; The Evolved Network: Sebastian White;The Goddess and Grocer: Debbie Sharpe; The Purple Pig: Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr.; Verzênay: Arshiya Farheen. ( (Photos by Eric Kleinberg)


Entrance of the 2023 Lake Forest Showhouse  Image Courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
Entrance to 2023 Lake Forest Show House & Gardens.

The Lake Forest Chapter of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago will transform a red brick Georgian-style Lake Forest home designed in the late 1960s by architect William Frazier for the 2023 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens. Featured in the redesign are a handsome 16-room main house, a seven-room coach house and a

Honorary Chair Ashley Whittaker Living Room Portrait - Melanie Acevedo
Honorary Chair Ashley Whittaker (Photo by Melanie Acevedo).

gentleman’s outbuilding with vaulted ceilings.Entrance to the 2023 Lake Forest Showhouse (Photo Courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty). The home is located near one of Lake Forest Open Lands’

Honorary Chair Timothy Whealon Photo Credit William Waldron
Honorary Chair Timothy Whealon (Photo by William Waldron).

largest and oldest nature preserves. The estate is situated on more than 9 acres with elevated vistas ideal for taking in the surrounding native savanna and prairie. Over 35 leading landscape and interior designers are in the process of reimagining the estate, inside and out, which will open for viewing May 6, and remain open daily through June 4. 

Moderator of May 8 Lecture and Luncheon Emma Bazilian  author of Charm School
Moderator of May 8 Lecture and Luncheon Emma Bazilian, author of Charm School.

Nationally known NYC-based designers Ashley Whittaker and  Timothy Whealon will serve as the honorary chairs of the 2023 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens and participate in the keynote

Honorary Chair Timothy Whealon (more outside) by Bill Waldron
Honorary chair Timothy Whealan. (Photo by Bill Waldron)

lecture, luncheon and book signing on May 8. Emma Bazilian, author of Schumacher’s new book Charm School, will serve as moderator. Ashley Whittaker is an Elle Décor A-List interior decorator who has run her design business in New York City since 2006. All proceeds from sponsorships, tickets, and designer sales, including from a volunteer-run boutique, will benefit the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, a non-profit celebrating more than 110 years of providing healthcare to Chicago's medically underserved. Initially established in 1911 to provide fresh milk from health stations in response to high infant mortality, the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago has evolved to meet the changing health needs of vulnerable families in the Chicagoland area.

2023 Designers of the Lake forest Showhouse & Gardens  shot taken on site by Katrina Wittkamp
The 2023 Designers of the Lake forest Showhouse & Gardens, shot taken on site by Katrina Wittkamp.


Jimmy John Liautaud (R) with his beloved late dad, Jim P. Liautaud. 

Every restaurant dreams of having satisfied customers but Gibsons Chicago Steakhouse could never have expected the level of gratitude shown by one loyal customer on a recent cold, windy night. Jimmy John Liautaud, founder  of Jimmy John’s sandwich shops, wanted to honor his late father with a tribute dinner for friends. He had called

Kathy Piccone kindly included Jimmy John's dad's photo on the famous Gibsons' wall.

ahead and asked Kathy Piccone if it would be possible to put up a photo of his dad on the wall before the dinner which she, of course, did. When the group arrived, tears flowed after seeing the photo of this much-loved man. So

Jimmy John's, a familiar sight across the country.

on this night, in honor of his dad, Jimmy and son Freddy decided to give something back to the people who had been so kind to his father throughout the years. He left a tip of $100,000 to be divided among the staff. Jimmy John Liautaud founded Jimmy John’s in 1983 at age 19, with the first shop in Charleston, Illinois. He had graduated at the bottom of his class so, after high school, he had two

Jimmy John Liautaud, founder Jimmy John's Sandwich Shops.

options- join the military or open a business. He opted for sandwiches. “I’m living the American Dream, but my life didn’t start out that way. Up until my teenage years, family life was very stressful due to serious financial losses,” Liautaud said. Well, he has since corrected this situation in a big way. Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shops now has 2,634 franchises across 45 states. Jimmy, your dad taught you well. Having business smarts is well and good, but having a big heart is even better.


The Guinness Open Gate Brewery will open this summer at 901 W. Kinzie.

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery announced plans to open in Chicago this summer with a preview party at City Hall in Fulton Market on March 10 . The Dublin-based brewery chose Chicago for its latest U.S. location which

WSHE radio's Lisa Kosty, Michelle Mekky (Mekky Media) and WBBM-AM's Lisa Fielding.

will be at 901 W. Kinzie. This Open Gate Brewery will be the second American-based facility owned by Guinness, with another location in Baltimore, Maryland, which opened in recent years. The brewery will be housed in a former railroad depot, with 15,000-sq.-ft. of space. It will include a taproom and a full-service restaurant with

Rodney Williams  president of Diageo Beer Company  and Ryan Wagner  head of marketing and community  partnerships and Guinness National Brand Ambassador.
Rodney Williams, president of Diageo Beer Company, and Ryan Wagner, head of marketing and community partnerships and Guinness National Brand Ambassador.

indoor and outdoor seating. A full-service bakery will also be included in the plans, with the company partnering with the Chicago Food Depository to help fight hunger in the community. During the preview party, guests enjoyed a first look at the food and beverage menu as well as a “tour” of the tap room space through a virtual reality

The brewery will offer more than a dozen rotating beers as well as beers from local brewers.

experience. DJ Charles Protégé kept the beats going strong while the Guinness team were on hand to

Corey McPherrin  Brook Jay  Michelle Mekky and David Viggiano.
Corey McPherrin, Brook Jay, Michelle Mekky and David Viggiano.

answer any questions. It’s been the buzz of the brewery scene since Guinness first announced it would be building an Open Gate Brewery right here in Chicago a year and a half ago. It seems like we won’t have to wait much longer! (Guinness Open Gate Brewery, 901 W. Kinzie)


IMG_9635The Joffrey Ballet closes its 67th season with the long-awaited Chicago premiere of John Neumeier’s beautifully haunting interpretation of The Little

The Little Mermaid 8 © Kiran West
The Joffrey Ballet's "The Little Mermaid" (photo by Kiran West)

Mermaid. A gripping tableau of shadows and colors, Neumeier’s world-renowned production of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 tragic folktale follows the tormented mermaid heroine on a journey between the divergent worlds of land and sea—one utterly complex, the other magnificently serene. With sets and costumes of the grandest scale, this heartbreaking tragedy, based on Andersen’s original and complex themes, will mark the largest production ever mounted by The Joffrey Ballet. (Little Mermaid will be presented at the historic Lyric Opera House, 20 North Upper Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, in ten performances only, from April 19–April 30)



TheFloraBuds- Kyoto Cherry Blossom Makoto

Fleurs de Villes returns to Chicago’s 900 North Michigan Shops with VOYAGE, a floral journey of discovery and iconic global storytelling, May 3-7! Building on the incredible success of Fleurs de Villes FEMMES in 2022, this beautiful event is returning to the Windy City with over 15 floral mannequins and doorways at 900 North Michigan Shops, taking visitors on a journey of discovery to iconic global destinations. Inspired by timeless monuments and diverse traditions, festivals, and fashion from cities around the world, Fleurs de Villes VOYAGE will be a feast of cultural storytelling, connecting the world through flowers like never before. This stunning showcase of floral talent will be free and open to the public with other highlights including a pop-up flower market with local florists, plus daily workshops led by floral artists and brand partners taking place in the Fleurs de Villes JARDIN. (All details here)


339457234_727757442331764_4495737565630901219_nDesigns for Dignity (D4D), a nonprofit organization that aims to transform existing nonprofit environments through pro bono design services and in-kind donations, announces its 23rd annual fundraising event — Spirit of Design

Michael Abrahams
Co-chairs Michael Abrams and Nicholas Moriarty.

Wednesday, May 17. Supporters are invited to attend this highly-anticipated affair which will take place from 6-9 p.m. at Theater on the Lake, featuring delicious fare, craft cocktails, live auction, raffle prizes, lively entertainment, and more. This year’s event will be co-chaired by Michael Abrams of Michael Abrams Interiors and Nicholas Moriarty of Nicholas Moriarty Interiors. Jennifer Sobecki, CEO of Designs for Dignity says, “Since D4D’s’s inception, we have positively impacted the lives of more than 700,000 individuals by transforming 260+ nonprofit spaces and leveraging $18+ million in pro bono design services and donated materials, thanks to the power of design and the community’s support.”Spirit of Design tickets are $200 and can be purchased online here. ______________________________________________________________________

Mariano's Bloom Haus floral bouquet.

If you're a fan of Mariano's, like we are, then you're gonna love this! The much loved chain has just launched on-

Delicious Mariano's Oki Sushi.

demand Oki Sushi and Floral delivery at all 44 Mariano’s throughout the Chicagoland area. The new delivery option, through DoorDash, will allow you to order beautiful, custom-wrapped Bloom Haus by Mariano’s floral bouquets and freshly prepared Oki Sushi, including rolls and combos, dumplings, poke bowls and more. AND the best part, these items can be delivered in under an hour! (Inquire here:,


Michelle and Marion Durpetti celebrating Marion's 75th BD in Wellington, Florida, in STYLE!

The much loved Marion Durpetti, of Chicago's Gene & Georgetti, celebrated her 75th birthday in style on the family's private equestrian property in Wellington, Florida. Michelle Durpetti, Marion's accomplished

The elegant party was held in the barn, everyone participated!

daughter and global wedding planner and event producer, designed the fabulous fete for her mom, with decadent details being a top priority. "We worked with an incredibly talented team down here in Wellington to really bring an intimate dinner party to life. These are some of my favorite kinds of events to produce, says Durpetti, "because the opportunity for details

Marion and Tony Durpetti.

with a more intimate group are just endless!" From the antique prosecco bar cart to the espresso martini bike there was no shortage of delicious food for guests. "Creative Edge Parties is one of the premiere companies to work with in Palm Beach for catering (they recently worked on legendary Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan's 60th), and we knew we wanted really bespoke food and nobody does it better!" From the caviar first

Big love right here. Michelle and her mom savoring the moment.

course to the lemon birthday cake guests were treated to some really fabulous eats! Chicago's very own mega talented DJ Megan Taylor worked with Michelle to curate a custom list of Marion's favorite songs ranging from Frankie Valli and the four seasons to Lionel Ritchie and that really personal playlist was yet another layer of detail woven into the evening. Marion's son in law, Collin PIerson is a top wedding and fashion editorial photographer and was, of course, the go-to for all of the photos! The best part? Guests and the birthday girl alike were able to celebrate this milestone with the family's beloved horses as the entire evening was brought to life in the barn! (Gene & Georgetti's, 500 N. Franklin, 312-527-3718,, Michelle Durpetti Events, 312-988-9900)

Such an elegant birthday celebration!
Tony and Marion Durpetti, 54 years strong.


Dr. Lyn Hughes and Hosea Sanders.

The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (NAPRPPM) marked its 28th anniversary by hosting the “Gentle Warrior Awards,” a black-tie gala, on February 25. The event took place at the IBEW Local 134 Complex with ABC 7 Chicago personality Hosea Sanders returning as celebrity emcee. "Tonight, was everything I dreamed of and more," said museum’s founder Dr. Lyn Hughes. "The support we received from the labor community and corporate partners is helping us move in the right direction toward the creation of the first-ever Black labor tourism district in Pullman." The museum is the only one in the world that bears the name A. Philip Randolph,

Judge Arnette Hubbard delivers an acceptance speech for her Change Agent Award.

founder of the first Black labor union in the nation -- The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The Porter’s union was the first Black union to be chartered under the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the first Black union to win a collective bargaining agreement with a major

The night concluded with Pullman Porter Museum President David Peterson, Jr. unveiling this latest Wintrust 3-panel mural which pays tribute to BSCP. Seen from the expressway at 1735 North Ashland Ave.

U.S. corporation -- the powerful Pullman company. Randolph’s unwavering courage, sacrifice and intuitive leadership opened doors for Blacks in organized labor and enabled the Porters to create the foundation for the Black middle class. As one of America's foremost labor and civil rights leaders, Randolph became known as the "Gentle Warrior." This year’s Gentle Warrior Awardees were Elizabeth Shuler, the first female President of the National AFL-CIO, and Fred Redmond, Secretary/Treasurer, of the AFL-CIO. This year’s Change Agent Awardees were the Honorable Arnette Hubbard, Retired Illinois Supreme Court Judge; Stacy Davis Gates, President of the Chicago Teachers Union; and Tina Sanders, CEO of Phalanx Family Services. Funds generated by the awards gala will support the museum's expansion project which will include the creation of Randolph’s Way, the first Black Labor Tourism district in America. The project is scheduled to break ground this spring.

Museum President David Peterson, Jr., Judge Arnette Hubbard, Museum Founder Dr. Lyn Hughes, Tina Sanders, CEO of Phalanx Family Services and Stacy David-Gates, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, pose on the red carpet.


IMG_8910 (002)
With David Yurman's Jose Hernandez and Hernan Rivera.

So much thanks to David Yurman Michigan Avenue, especially manager Jose Hernandez and Hernan Rivera, for honoring me on International Women's Day March 9, at the store. I was so thrilled to see so many friends turn

Todd Hatoff and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.

out on a blisteringly cold and windy night! The store was beautiful with all the glittering jewels and flutes of champagne. A gorgeous necklace was raffled off and won by Rhonda Sanderson. In Jose's speech, he also paid tribute to all of the store's female clients on their careers and endeavors. In the crowd were Bonnie and Jim Spurlock, Chris and Susie Malayon, Jimmy Place, Kathy Mondelli,

Julia Jacobs, Sheree Valukas, Bethany Florek and Lauren Lein Cavanaugh.

Sherrill Bodine, Debi Catenacci, Sheree Valukas, John Robak, Jermikko, Todd Hatoff and Frank Jeffery, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Peter Kambreros, Marie Mancuso and Marcos Cruz, Eddie Howlett, Lauren Lein, Bethany Florek, Felicia Winiecki, Galina Petrova, Chilli Pepper, Kathy Piccone, Mark Olley, Almira Yllana and friends, Elizabeth Bertucci, Julia Jacobs, Paula Borg, Jay Kopp and others. The David Yurman company was founded in 1980 by David and Sybil Yurman. Their ability to fuse fashion, art, and jewelry into signature design concepts revolutionized the industry. (David Yurman, 919 N. Michigan)


Lincoln roscoe amdur art fest may 13-14Mark your calendars NOW for Spring Lincoln Roscoe Art & Craft Fair! It will be held May 13/14 (on Lincoln, from School to Roscoe) on Sat. from noon to 7 pm and Sunday from noon- 5 pm. For a complete list of Amdur Productions Festivals, click here!  The award-winning event and art festival production company, Amdur Productions, Inc. annually produces more than 25 events including food, music and juried art festivals in the greater Chicago and Milwaukee area.  Founded by Amy Amdur more than 40 years ago and known nation-wide for producing many of the Midwest’s most respected and popular juried art festivals. Full schedule HERE!


RMHC Gala will be at The Geraghty on April 29.

Ronald McDonald House Charities will host its annual gala on Saturday, April 29, at The Geraghty. The invite asks guests to wear their favorite red shoes--anything from sneakers to stilettos. The gala will be emceed by Ryan Baker (CBS-2 anchor). Complimentary valet parking. More details here!

Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemorary & Modern Art, will return April 13- 16 to Navy Pier's Festival Hall. Over 170 leading, international dealers will be participating. All details here!

The Chinese American Service League will host its 45th CASLannual Spring Social on Wednesday, May 3. This chic networking event will feature cuisine from local restaurants, a live DJ, and a performance of dueling pianos! Judy Hsu will return as the evening's MC. The event will be held at the Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St. (All details here!)

Haute couturier James Galanos,

Join The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum at The Casino on Thursday, May 4, for an evening of cocktails and conversation as they welcome journalist and fashion collector David Nash and designer and author Steven Stolman to celebrate the work of America’s beloved haute couturier James Galanos. This

642736ec38f40.imageAuthor Steven Stolman.

presentation will showcase the work of Galanos through archival images, fashion-historic references, a display of vintage garments from Nash’s personal archive, and anecdotes from his

Journalist and fashion collector David Nash.
Journalist and fashion collector David Nash.

decade-long friendship with the celebrated fashion designer. Journey from Hollywood’s golden age to the Windy City’s stylish social scene, into the wardrobe of a First Lady and the collections at the Chicago History Museum, as you explore The Glory of Galanos: America’s Haute Couturier. Co-Chairs are Tanner C. Branson, Stuart Dyer, and Aaron J. Shirley.  All info and tickets ($175) here.

The Big Shoulders Fund will host the next Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award Dinner on Wednesday, May 24. Click here for more details, honorees and location.


SC DOT 2023On Monday, August 7, prepare for sensory overload as The Service Club of Chicago returns with its annual "Day

Co-chairs Jean Antoniou, Sharyl Mackey and Tracey Tarantino DiBuono.

on the Terrace" fashion show and luncheon. The event will be held in the grand ballroom of The Peninsula Chicago and will feature some of Chicago's top retailers on the runway, with fashions worn by celebs, media stars and SC members. This event is always a sellout so grab your tickets now! Returning co-chairs are Jean Antoniou, Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and Sharyl Mackey. (All info here!)


Image (3)The Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute's  "Minds Matter" benefit will be held on Friday, May 5. The event will benefit the Institute of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and be held at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Emcee will be Micah Materre (WGN-TV). For tickets and more info, click here!


The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation will present its Image17th annual Medical Briefing Luncheon "Bipolar Disorder Innovation - The Way Ahead" on Wednesday, May 10 at the Casino Chicago. Chaired by Marla London and Amy Morro, the event will feature panelists Dr. Andrew Nierenberg and Dr. Robin Nusslock. The Shining Star Award will be presented to Liz and Kent Dauten. (For event details, click here). ______________________________________________________________________

Janie Gobeli presents the Hope Through Caring Award to First Bank Chicago CEO and President Eric Ephraim.

The Les Turner ALS Foundation hosted its 35th annual Hope Through Caring Gala on Feb.18, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. More than 400 guests attended along with

US Congressman Mike Quigley (5th District) presents Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Award to Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya.

honoree Brian Wallach, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2017. He and his wife Sandra Abrevaya received the Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Advancements in ALS Award for their sustained advocacy and for securing FDA approval for Relyvrio, a new drug for the treatment of people living with ALS. Eric Ephraim, CEO and president of First Bank Chicago, accepted the Hope Through Caring Award on behalf of all at his bank who have, over many years, supported the Foundation and continue to do so. MC Paul Lisnek introduced Andrea Pauls Backman, CEO of the Foundation, and Erin Reardon Cohn, Board chair. The evening included a paddle raise and live auction. After dinner, guests danced to the music of Rush Street Rhythm. (Photos by


Randolph marketThe beloved Randolph Street Market will return to Plumbers Hall on May 27/28 (Memorial Day Weekend) so mark your calendars now! You know Sally Schwartz will not only serve up loads of vintage treasures but also a FUN PARTEEE!!! Details here!



We will be taping my 2nd podcast this week but, in the meantime, if you missed the inaugural edition, check it out here! I hope you enjoy this front row seat to what’s happening in the Windy City! (Produced by John St. Augustine, who is also a part-time co-host, with opening by Jenniffer Weigel) LISTEN HERE


Love and Happy Easter to my favorite Peeps!

That's all for this week! I hope you're enjoyed this jam-packed edition of Candid Candace and I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Easter weekend. For my closing video this week,I couldn't resist sharing an adorable German Netto ad that explores the origins of the Easter Bunny.

The original idea of the Easter Bunny, or Osterhase in German (literally Easter Hare), was in fact a very German creation dating back to the Middle Ages. By the 17th century, the Easter Bunny would bring eggs for children to discover on Easter. And the creature bringing treats wasn’t always a hare: there was also an Easter Fox, Stork and Crane in various regions before the hare became mainstream. But why a bunny? A big reason for this is that given their reputation for frequent reproduction, bunnies represent fertility and new life, just like eggs do, which are big themes of springtime and the Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection.

We have much to be grateful for. Enjoy!

Love, as always,


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