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CHICAGO'S SOCIAL SCENE COMES ROARING BACK, BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER!

Just when you start thinking that the two years we had to take off due to Covid would change everything (and not in a good way), something wonderful has happened. Chicago's biggest nonprofit fundraisers have returned bigger and better than ever with even more dedicated supporters, more creative planning and updates that have actually created silver linings in all this mess. I'm thrilled to share this uplifting news (AND FUN!) with you here now! ______________________________________________________________________

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Honoree Paul R. Iacono with his adoring neice Jennifer Goodwin.

Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation hosted its annual Bear Tie Ball, this year renamed to something bigger and bolder, BEAR TIE BASH! Guests came out in force wearing their most colorful attire to help raise funds

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BNPCF's Courtney Krupa and Kathleen Casey with Greg Kosinski.

for kids with cancer. People I haven't seen in a long, long time showed up dressed to the nines for this elegant, fun-filled bash at Wintrust's Grand Banking Hall. The theme, "Magic in Bloom," attracted all sorts of creativity, from the sustainable flower arrangements that dotted all the tables created by Debi Lilly's "A Perfect Event", to the 8-foot poppies from Derrick Taylor (Taylor & Company) to the unique "flower fairy" courtesy of ZZAZZ Productions, the night was filled with wonderment and

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Julie Barrish and Sherry Lea Fox.
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Co-chair Nina Mariano with her son Pasquale Gianni and Paul.

beauty. Kids from the Bear Hug Program sold plush bears in honor of the organization's namesake, Barrett "Bear" Krupa, while guests mixed, mingled and cocktail-ed as they perused the silent auction offerings (which included an amazing dinner for 6 at the soon-to-be-opened Reunion restaurant at Navy Pier, helmed by Chef Art Smith!) Wintrust, the presenting sponsor, offered its

Dr. Joaquin Brieva  Jennifer Sutton Brieva and Todd Hatoff.
Dr. Joaquin Brieva, Jennifer Sutton Brieva and Todd Hatoff.

amazing space for the party. The building was built in 1924 and still retains so many beautiful elements of the era, including 28 columns that line the hall made of light Cunard

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Dmitry and Bianca Richie.

pink marble, the Stockyard Inn Antique Clock (which dates from 1683) and the exquisite murals that line the ceiling (and took a year to complete) painted by the famous painter Jules Guerin. During the program, emceed by Fox-32's Sylvia Perez, the 2022 Bear Hug Ambassador, Samantha Gewalt, was introduced. She is a leukemia survivor who worked full time through college to become a physical education teacher. She is (almost) 9 years cancer free now. Bear Necessities founder Kathleen Casey spoke

Kathy Piccone  ZZZAZZ Productions Flower Fairy Jennifer Wycykal and Sylvia Perez (emcee).
Kathy Piccone ZZZAZZ Productions Flower Fairy Jennifer Wycykal and Sylvia Perez (emcee).

about the effect Covid had on the nonprofit. "Every difficult moment in our lives brings us the opportunity to

Julia Jacobs   Bob and Nicki Fioretti  John Robak and Bethany Florek.
Julia Jacobs, Bob and Nicki Fioretti, John Robak and Bethany Florek.

learn. Bear Necessities had to completely change our ways with no in person events and we went from 8 staff members to 3! Wow, how in the world do we survive without events, that's what we have been known for almost 30 years? With the help of a "crisis" team made up of Board members, we hired consultants who taught us how to change things all around to make it possible for us to survive...We are beyond proud to announce that we

Tiffany and Adam Marshall  Tracy and Russ Scurto  Lanisa and  Rusty Scurto.
Tiffany and Adam Marshall, Tracy and Russ Scurto, Lanisa and Rusty Scurto.

ended our year with a surplus in the midst of it all instead of a deficit. You, our generous donors, responded to our calls for support and together we continued to meet the needs of our children and their

Mimi and Jay Goodwin with daughter Jennifer Goodwin.
Mimi and Jay Goodwin with daughter Jennifer Goodwin.

families." Kate Tillotson, who had served as one of the consultants, was recently named CEO. The evening honored legacy board member Paul R. Iacono with the nonprofit's highest honor, the William J. Casey Hope

Jim Shriver  Barbara Hartman  Meghan and Michael Hartman.
Jim Shriver, Barbara Hartman, Meghan and Michael Hartman.

Award (named after Bear's grandpa). Paul, a splendid dresser on every occasion, wore a pale pink Yves Saint Laurent suit with white Prada tennies. Before his presentation, a short video (created by Troy Mair's Kairos Film Co.) featured FOPs (Friends of Paul) speaking about the man they all know

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Tracey Tarantino DiBuono (R) and friend.

and love and why he is so deserving of this award. Speakers included Dr. Joaquin Brieva and Jennifer Sutton Brieva, Todd Hatoff, Donna Rotunno, Nina Mariano (co-chair) and me (co-

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Kathy Piccone, Julia Jacobs and Jennifer Brieva.

chair). Paul delivered a warm, heartfelt speech before he was told his award had been dropped and broken so no photo opps for this moment, sadly. Following Paul's speech, Father Paul White interviewed children in the Bear Hugs Program about their experiences. Nina and I welcomed the crowd and explained where the funds raised went-- to programs including research programs

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Handsome men, Chuck Jordan and Greg Kosinski.

across the country, counseling for families, educational scholarships and the wonderful Bear Hugs Program that brings so much joy and happiness into the lives of

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Paul Iacono, Nicki and Bob Fioretti.

hundreds of kids courageously battling cancer. A live auction, presented by Jason Lamoreaux, included a fabulous in-home dinner cooked by world famous Chef Tony Priolo (that sold TWICE for a total of $26K!). A dinner at Paul Iacono's home sold for over 10K! A Bernedoodle puppy from Erica's Doodles sold for $$$$ to Kathleen Casey and her husband Greg! Steak 48

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Father Paul White with some of the adorable Bear Hug Kids.

donated an amazing package featuring dinner every  month at this award-winning restaurant for a YEAR, that sold for $5K!!! (Thank you Steak 48, Oliver Badgio and Kathleen Sarpy) During

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Beautiful venue at Wintrust Banking Hall.

dinner (by Blue Plate Catering), guests were delighted to see an unexpected guest, a ROBOTIC DOG! It was beyond adorable and, even though it was remote controlled, people still felt compelled to reach out and pet it! Special thanks to Dimitry Ritchie and wife

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Dmitry and Bianca Richie brought a robotic dog!

Bianca for adding even more excitement to an already thrilling night. And, on top of this, in another surprise move, they donated a magnificent Cartier diamond and gold bracelet, that brought in over $10K!

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With fellow co-chair Nina Mariano, and Tracey Tarantino DiBuono (ZZAZZ Productions)

Whew! Heads were spinning during all of this and you just didn't know what to expect next--my definition of a perfect party! The event raised over $500K and still counting! I was beyond honored to return for the 2nd time as a co-chair for this remarkable nonprofit that lightens the loads for so many families and their kids with cancer. Chicago Star was the proud media sponsor. (If you would like to donate or learn more, please click here!)

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TOP PIC--Chef Art Smith with Reunion servers.

Chef Art Smith’s Reunion restaurant was the scene for a lively gathering of Art-loving locals to celebrate the opening of his brand-new restaurant at Navy Pier. Over 150 guests

Sherry Lea Holson  Kathy-Haines Finley  Jesus Salgueiro  Jennifer Sutton Brieva and Kathy Piccone.
Sherry Lea Holson, Kathy-Haines Finley, Jesus Salgueiro, Jennifer Sutton Brieva and Kathy Piccone.

were in attendance to congratulate Art, his partners Manolis and George Alpogianis and team on Reunion, a great new dining option for the Windy City. Chef Art, with his artist/husband Jesus Salgueiro, greeted partygoers and snapped pics all the while keeping a

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With Manolis Alpogianis, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, and George Alpogianis.

keen eye on the food, staff and other happy diners. Chef Hector Guerrero made sure the dishes came out of the kitchen looking and tasting good. Platters of Art’s famous fried chicken were

Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and Kathy Rezny.
Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and Kathy Rezny.

highlights but all the items on this comfort-food menu were delicious.Outside, guests gathered around the newly opened corner bar, which I predict will become a hotspot for sure at the Pier, not only because it’s a cool spot to hang out but also because of its prime location

Jane Stephens and Sylvia Perez (Fox-32)
Jane Stephens and Sylvia Perez. (Fox 32)

at the southwest corner of the Pier. It’s also the first bar going in to grab a cocktail as you walk through the attractions. The event was co-hosted by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and moi. (Photos by Kelsey Goodwin)

(Chef Art Smith’s Reunion, 700 E. Grand, Navy Pier, 312.224.1415, reunionatthepier.squarespace.com)

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SC Hat luncheon 2022 co-chairs-Pat Maxwell Dr. Stacie McClane and Sherry Lea Fox
Event co-chairs Pat Maxwell, Dr. Stacie McClane and Sherry Lea Holson.

The Service Club’s Spring Hat Luncheon returned to a historical location for 2022, The Ritz Carlton Chicago, which also traditionally welcomes back our “snowbirds” from their Winter homes. The Grand Ballroom was full of a sea of gorgeous millinery and the flashbulbs “popped” as people were overjoyed to be all in one room together! The trio of co-chairs who raised

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Shaun Rajah, best hat overall winner.

the Spring Lunch to success a few years ago, returned this year to keep the momentum going. Sherry Lea Holson, Pat Maxwell and Dr. Stacie McClane pulled out all the stops to create a fun afternoon of camaraderie, fundraising and merriment.

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Susan Gohl, always elegant, and another Hat Award winner.

The newly renovated Ballroom was gorgeous, and the Foyer provided the perfect “meet & greet” gathering spot. Service Club President Jean Antoniou welcomed the sold-out crowd of 400 ladies and gentlemen, along with the co-chairs, by thanking them for their generosity. “I am so grateful to our co-chairs for spearheading our first major event of 2022.

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Paula Borg, a vision in pink! (And a Hat Award winner).

This audience is full of beautiful fashion and millinery, and all of you are beautiful for your inherent spirit of giving,” said Antoniou. The guest speaker of the day was Jessica Ann Pushor, the Costume

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Pam Capitanini and Dusty Stemer.

& Textile Collections Manager for The Chicago History Museum. She discussed the history of hats, beginning with Paris millinery in the late 1800’s, through to the Chicago hat experience. reviewing designers of note from the CHM Collection including Paul Poiret, Halston, Dior, Bes Ben/Benjamin Greenfield and Balenciaga. The crowd was enraptured and questions for Jessica abounded. Awards for Best Hats went to Cheryl Coleman, Shaun Rajah, Paula Borg, and Susan Gohl. Chicago media star Rob Johnson helmed a Live Auction of fantastic hotel & staycation experiences, as well

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Wendy Krimins and Tina Koegel (Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue).

as an Open Call to benefit the organization’s Philanthropic

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Cheryl Coleman, another Best Hat Winner.

Fund for 2023. The event raised over $269K, an all-time record for the Hat Luncheon. The Service Club of Chicago's mission is to assist, improve and expand upon agency programs in the Chicagoland area. Its grant recipients operate in the areas of social service, cultural, educational, and civic fields and they serve individuals all over greater Chicagoland. The Service Club of Chicago is an all-volunteer women's organization founded in 1890. All proceeds raised are distributed to the worthiest 501c3 agencies in our community. (For more info, click here)

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Event co-chairs Tracey Tarantino DiBuono (ZZAZZ Productions), Sharyl Mackey and Jean Antoniou (SC President).

And continuing with more SC event news! The organization hosted its annual “Day on the Terrace” fashion show luncheon at The Peninsula Chicago, on

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Dawn Hasbrouck looking smashing.

August 1. Themed “Cinema Paradiso,” the much-loved event returned to the Pen after a two-year covid hiatus. Over 300 fashion-loving men and women gathered to lend their support to the SC and veteran event co-chairs Jean Antoniou, Tracey DiBuono, and Sharyl Mackey.  Models included a number of Service Club members, as well as a bevy of local celebrities

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Lezley Hodes and Karen Peters.

and media personalities. A silent auction, raffle prizes, a keepsake Look Book and a jam-packed goody bag added to the excitement of the day. Fashions showcased featured the latest trends from some of the best retailers on the Avenue: alice + olivia, Anne Fontaine, Contessa Bottega, Cram Fashion, Elda de la Rosa Couture, Lauren Lein, Ltd.,

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The handsome men of CRAM.

Max Mara, Mira Couture, Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue, Peter Millar, St. John Boutique, Suit Supply,

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Proud to wear fashions from Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue in the finale. (A.W.A.K.E. Mode skirt and cing a sept jacket).

SYLWIA, and York Furrier. After the show and lunch, the fun and festivities continued at a fabulous After Party on the Terrace! Dancing to the beats of DJ Akib, specialty cocktails, a “photo frame” and lots of relaxation and friendship ensued.The after party was a first at the Pen for this event and it was a great success!

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A chic Sherry Lea Holson at DOT After-Party.

Photo props by Kehoe Designs added to the merriment. Congrats to the co-chairs, the committee, ALL who so generously donated and supported, Kevin Sullivan and all the other people/businesses/designers/retailsers who helped

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Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue finale looks.

make it such a great success! Every year, these veteran co-chairs work so hard putting this fabulous event together, and every single year, they make it better than the last! How do they do it?! Thank YOU! (John Reilly Photography photos)

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It was a very beautiful Day on the Terrace!

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Holly Buckendahl  Bill Chunowitz  Charlie Marino  Anne Baum  Jeff Cantalupo - Photo by Hilary Higgins Photography (70)
Holly Buckendahl, Bill Chunowitz, Charlie Marino, Anne Baum and Jeff Cantalupo. 

More than 600 guests came together in-person for the first time since 2019 for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of

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Kiss FM's Fred, Ronald McDonald and Leon Rogers.

Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana’s (RMHC-CNI Annual Gala (on April 30) to celebrate the organization’s 45th anniversary and raise important funds to help families get better together. The Gala, titled Welcome Home and presented by Wintrust, HAVI and Tyson, was held at The Geraghty and honored the charity’s co- 2022 Gala Guests - photo by Erin Lylefounders Charlie Marino, Bill Chunowitz and Dr. Ed Baum. The event also spotlighted Dr. Cathy Humikowski, a former patient of Dr. Baum and an ICU pediatrician at Lurie Children’s, who shared her thoughts on the important role that Ronald 2022 Gala Guests - Photo by Hilary Higgins Photography (47)McDonald House has played for families in need 45 years ago, today and for the years ahead. Fred, from I HEART MEDIA, 103.5 KISS-FM’sThe Fred Show” and Leon Rogers from the WGCI Morning Show served as the evening’s emcees and Holly Buckendahl, RMHC-CNI’s CEO, and Jeff Cantalupo, RMHC-CNI’s Board Chair, took to the 2022 Gala Guests - Photo by Hilary Higgins Photography (86)stage to share remarks about the impact the organization has on families in the Chicagoland community and thanked guests for their generosity and continued support. “The gala is our largest annual Jeff Cantalupo and Guests - Photo by Hilary Higgins Photography (94)fundraising event that helps provide the care and resources needed for countless families with sick children around Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana and beyond,” says Holly Buckendahl, CEO, RMHC-CNI. “It was wonderful to all be together 2022 Gala Guests - Photo by Hilary Higgins Photography (20)again in person for this special event and I’m thrilled that we raised over $1.3 million. Every dollar will go toward programs and services that enable families to get better together, ensuring that Ronald McDonald House continues to be a beacon of hope and support 2022 Gala Guests - Photo by Hilary Higgins Photography (24) for families with sick children.”The event celebrated the tremendous impact RMHC-CNI has had over the past 45 years and raised money to support children and their families through the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and GalaRonald McDonald Care Mobile® programs. Attendees were encouraged to dust off their favorite red dancing shoes, anything from stilettos to sneakers and build an ensemble around them for the festive affair.  In the exciting live and silent auctions, guests had the opportunity to bring home incredible keepsakes and experiences including an invite to Andrea Bocelli’s private, annual White Party in Tuscany, VIP Wrigley Field experience, live concerts, luxury car racing experience and a lavish trip to Cabo San Lucas.  At the conclusion of the program, guests celebrated the evening’s success by night away to the live entertainment.

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PAWS Chicago Founder & Chairman  Paula Fasseas with homeless puppy  Photo by Sparenga Photography
PAWS Chicago founder and chairman, Paula Fasseas.

Life was a beach for PAWS Chicago’s homeless pets! Dressed in Hawaiian shirts, floral sundresses and leis – and that’s just the canine guests – PAWS Chicago’s 19th

Life was a beach for PAWS Chicago’s homeless pets! Dressed in Hawaiian shirts, floral sundresses and leis – and that’s just the canine guests – PAWS Chicago’s 19th annual Beach Party brought hundreds of pet lovers to Offshore at Navy Pier on July 27 to raise lifesaving funds for homeless pets. The event, which raised $375,000, will help the city's largest No Kill humane organization continue its mission to end needless euthanasia of cats and dogs, and provide lifesaving medical treatments for homeless and at-risk pets.  The Beach Party was emceed by WGN Radio’s Lisa Dent and FOX 32 Chicago’s Jake Hamilton, and co-chaired by PAWS development board members Laura Sachs and HGTV “Windy City Rehab” star Alison Victoria. Guests participated in a spirited live auction by auctioneer David Goodman and enjoyed an up-close view of the Navy Pier fireworks from the dance floor. Live auction items included trips to Tuscany and Burgundy, and one exotic Hawaiian beachfront condo package even resulted in a bidding war between two guests.  Luckily, PAWS was able to sell the package to both, for $18,000 each. Lucky pups in attendance indulged in a doggie buffet provided by PAWS Chicago’s feeding partner Merrick Pet Care and received pampered treatments at the Dog Spa - complete with brush-outs and pawdicures. Some even danced the night away with their people on the Offshore rooftop – like Chicago the Great Dane dancing on his hind legs with his owner, Magdalena Huk. Human guests also enjoyed a beachfront dinner, photo booth and caricature artist.  Several homeless dogs were available for adoption that evening, including Disco, a 7-month-old Miniature Schnauzer PAWS rescued from Chicago Animal Care & Control, and Gunther, a 3-year-old Dachshund mix who was found dumped by the side of the road in rural Oklahoma locked inside a dirty crate. Disco and Gunther both found homes at the event! (pawschicago.org)
Jake Hamilton, Sylvia Perez, Magali Blasdell and Adina Klein (Photo by Claire Demos Photography)

annual Beach Party brought hundreds of pet lovers to Offshore at Navy Pier on July 27 to raise lifesaving funds for homeless pets. The event, which raised $375,000, will help the city's largest No Kill

Howard Tullman  Alderman Raymond Lopez & Judy Tullman  Photo by Sparenga Photography
Howard and Judy Tullman with Alderman Raymond Lopez. (Photo by Sparenga Photography)

humane organization continue its mission to end needless euthanasia of cats and dogs, and provide lifesaving medical treatments for homeless and at-risk pets.  The Beach Party was emceed by WGN Radio’s Lisa Dent and FOX 32 Chicago’s Jake Hamilton, and co-chaired by PAWS development board PAWS Chicago Adoptable Puppy Amor  Photo by Claire Demos Photography members Laura Sachs and HGTV “Windy City Rehab” star Alison Victoria. Guests participated in a spirited live auction by auctioneer David Goodman and

Beach Party Co-chairs Laura Sachs & Windy City Rehab's Alison Victoria with adoptable puppy  Photo by Sparenga Photography
Beach Party co-chairs Laura Sachs and Windy City Rehab's Alison Victoria w/ adoptable puppy. (Photo by Sparenga Photography)

enjoyed an up-close view of the Navy Pier fireworks from the dance floor. Live auction items included trips to Tuscany and Burgundy, and one exotic Hawaiian beachfront condo package even resulted in a bidding war between two

Domanique Woods holding dog  Peanut and Rebecca Silva  Photo by Sparenga Photography
Domanique Woods holding dog Peanut and Rebecca Silva. (Photo by Sparenga Photography)

guests.  Luckily, PAWS was able to sell the package to both, for $18,000 each. Lucky pups in attendance indulged in a doggie buffet provided by PAWS Chicago’s feeding partner Merrick Pet Care and

JP Marchetti  holding Nacho  Angie DeMars  Maria Beck & Joe Panarese  Photo by Claire Demos Photography
JP Marchetti, holding Nacho, Angie DeMars, Maria Beck and Joe Panarese, (Photo by Claire Demos Photography)

received pampered treatments at the Dog Spa - complete with brush-outs and pawdicures. Some even danced the night away with their people on the Offshore rooftop – like Chicago the Great Dane dancing

Renata Block & Michele Mistovich with Gigi & Isabella  Photo by Claire Demos
Renata Block and Michele Mistovich w/ Gigi & Isabella. (Photo by Claire Demos)

on his hind legs with his owner, Magdalena Huk. Human guests also enjoyed a beachfront dinner, photo booth and caricature artist.  Several homeless dogs were available for adoption that evening, including Disco, a 7-month-old Miniature Schnauzer PAWS rescued from Chicago Animal Care & Control, and Gunther, a 3-year-old Dachshund mix who was found dumped by the side of the road in rural Oklahoma locked inside a dirty crate. Disco and Gunther both found homes at the event! (pawschicago.org)

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With Steak 48's Oliver Badgio  Kathleen Sarpy  Nicole Robinson (CEO  YWCA Metropolitan Chicago) and Toya Garcia-Bradow (William Blair).
With Steak 48's Oliver Badgio, Kathleen Sarpy, Nicole Robinson (CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago) and Toya Garcia-Bradow (William Blair).

The 4th annual "Pretty Powerful" event was held at Steak 48 in River North and attracted over 60 of our city's most philanthropic women, those who promote and support a variety of

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Cortney Hall, Dr. Lauren Streicher, Bela Gandhi and Susanna Wickham.

local charities and nonprofits. It was founded in 2018 by Kathleen Sarpy, founder and CEO of Agency H5, a

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Part of Agency H5's Dream Team, Carmen Kramer, Addie Bazant and Kaitlyn Kennedy.

boutique, integrated marketing and PR firm Agency, and me (we also served as hosts). Guests enjoyed networking, cocktails and light bites as they toasted each other and the important work they do in Chicago. Collectively, the group assembled on this evening has raised millions

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With Sylvia Perez and Dionne Williams.

of dollars for charity. An exciting raffle took place and Oliver Badgio, Chief Brand Officer for Prime Steak Concepts, awarded the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation a complimentary cocktail reception for their respective networks at Steak 48. Flowers for Dreams, a local florist who makes a huge charitable impact in Chicago by giving a portion of their sales to local organizations, provided beautiful bouquets for each and every guest to take home. Next year, we hope to celebrate with even more Pretty Powerful ladies as we toast to Chicago's charities, the women who keep them funded and their continuing success! (Photos by Mila Samokhina) ______________________________________________________________________

Homer Bryant--2625 Pictured center - Homer Bryant- with Hiplet Ballerinas at GDC 2022 Legacy Ball. Photo by Beth Anne Anderson.
Dance legend, Homer Bryant, Giodano Dance Chicago's Legacy Ball honoree 2022, with the Hiplet Ballerinas.

Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) hosted its annual Giordano Legacy Ball gala at the Ravenswood Event Center on June 2. The evening provided attendees the chance to enjoy

GDC's Joshua Blake Carter  Michael McStraw  Nan Giordano  honoree Homer Bryant and new artistic program director Cesar Salinas.
Joshua Blake Carter (GDC operations director), Michael McStraw ( Exec. Dir.), Nan Giordano (Artistic Dir.) , honoree Homer Bryant and Cesar Salinas (new artistic program manager). 

pop-up performances by the GDC dancers and Hiplet

BOB--COULD WE OVERLAY THIS IMAGE WITH THE EVENT TITLE--Giordano Legacy Ball. (Caption--GDC dancers Skyler Newcom  Fernando Rodriguez and Erina Ueda.)
GDC dancers Skyler Newcom, Fernando Rodriguez and Erina Ueda, in background.

Ballerinas, plus eat, drink and dance the night away surrounded by vintage cars, neon signs and music spun by world renowned DJ Madrid Perry. Homer Hans Bryant, former GDC Assistant Artistic Director, former principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, creative director of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center (CMDC) and

Bethany Florek and John Robak.
Bethany Florek and John Robak.

the Hiplet Ballerinas, was Honorary Chair and Honoree for this event. The evening attracted more than 250 attendees and raised more than $125,000 for GDC and its ongoing operations and community outreach programs including the innovative “Jazz Dance/Science & Health” program. GDC dancers opened the evening’s program

Mat Tully  Pat Manus  Molly Manus and Steve Manus.
Mat Tully, Pat Manus, Molly Manus and Steve Manus.

with a colorful and electric number, “Illuminate." Gala attendees were treated to additional GDC pop-up performances throughout the evening, alternating between fun-filled

Trey Gonzales  Kip Helverson (GDC board pres.) with Lisa and Jeff Jozwian.
Trey Gonzales, Kip Helverson (GDC board pres.) with Lisa and Jeff Jozwian.

moments of open dancing. The Hiplet Ballerinas heralded the introduction of honoree Bryant with a special performance set to "Jammin” by Black Violin. “Homer is a legendary force in Chicago’s dance community and an inspirational educator whose career is built on strength, discipline, integrity, and

Leslie Glazier  Lee Golub  Zachary Heller  Wendy Elstein  Greg Elstein and Sandy Golub.
Leslie Glazier, Lee Golub, Zachary Heller, Wendy Elstein, Greg Elstein and Sandy Golub.

positivity,” says GDC Artistic Director Nan Giordano. “It is our pleasure to honor this man who, though anchored in

Michael McStraw (GDC ED)  Jacki Hydock and Ryan Jacobson.
Michael McStraw (GDC ED), Jacki Hydock and Ryan Jacobson.

Chicago, has had an impact worldwide and continues to inspire us all.” This gala event preceded GDC’s final performance of their 59th Season at the Auditorium Theater June 11; and GDC’s popular “Dancing With The Giordano Stars” benefit competition returning Oct. 6 to Park West. For more information on these and other GDC events visit giordanodance.org. 

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Doris Salomon  Nuestro Futuro Affinity Fund Co-Chair and Lorenza Taylor from Chase and LGBTQ Community Fund Steering Committee
Doris Salomon, Nuestro Futuro Affinity Fund Co-Chair, and Lorenza Taylor from Chase and LGBTQ Community Fund Steering Committee

The LGBTQ Community Fund celebrated its pandemic-postponed (2020) 10-Year Celebration recently with over 220 guests in the Hyatt Regency’s Crystal Ballroom. This Fund is an initiative of the Chicago Community trust. Since its launch in 2010, the fund has invested in 42 Chicagoland organizations through 72 grants focused on LGBTQ youth, seniors, employment, community safety, affordable housing and accessible health care. Attendees, which included grant recipients, donors and community leaders, enjoyed a panel discussion focused on the need for more funding within this community. _______________________________________________________________________________

Catie Keogh  Bonnie Spurlock  Angela Gagnon and Cynthia and Peter Au  with son  toast Chicago Star.
Catie Keogh, Bonnie Spurlock, Angela Gagnon and Cynthia and Peter Au, with son, toast Chicago Star

Party in aisle two! Chicago Star's Streeterville Week Kick-Off Party was a great success at Mariano's Lakeshore East! Thanks to our hosts, Mariano's and its team leader Amanda Puck,

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Peter Kamberos with grandson.
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Peter Kamberos with grandson.

store director Scott Wilson, Chris Weir, Amari Walls, Jajuan Harvey and J & L Catering who helped us

CSM Publisher-Editor Elaine Hyde with Chef Jaymes Berry  Brian Keyes  Chris Weir and Jajuan Harvey.
CSM Publisher-Editor Elaine Hyde with Chef Jaymes Berry, Brian Keyes, Chris Weir and Jajuan Harvey.

create magic for this annual celebration of local (and big) businesses in Chicago. Last year's event was held on the store's magical rooftop overlooking Lakeshore East Park. This year, due to inclement weather, we brought the party inside but that certainly

Amanda Puck  Mariano's Director Strategic Brand Development.
Amanda Puck, Mariano's Director Strategic Brand Development.

didn't diminish the fun factor! As a matter of fact, with all of the colorful florals and product displays, it turned out to be a visual feast as well. Guests were greeted by Honest Abe Lincoln (Gregg Steigmeyer courtesy of ZZAZZ Productions) who

Andy Frey  Molly Callinan (Too Much Molly Band)  Ellie Kahn  Dr. Bianka Hardin.
Andy Frey, Molly Callinan (Too Much Molly Band), Ellie Kahn, Dr. Bianka Hardin.

held a bronze star which served as a great prop for photos along with many others courtesy of Kehoe Designs. A beautiful, branded cake was served with the Chicago Star logo surrounded by sugary flowers created by Mariano's pastry department. A buffet, created by Chef Jaymes Berry, included everything from sushi to truffle mac & cheese and everything in-between. Live entertainment by Molly Callinan (Too Much Molly Band) and Ellie Kahn wowed the

Michael Kutza and Lisa Fielding.
Michael Kutza and Lisa Fielding.

crowd, as they played toe-tapping covers from Moulin Rouge, Lady Gaga and other pop hits along with Mariano's DJ B-Real. The crowd was dancing in the

Jon Landan  Giovanna Krozel  Andrew Landan and Almira Yllana.
Jon Landan, Giovanna Krozel, Andrew Landan and Almira Yllana.

produce aisles as they mixed and mingled and enjoyed cocktails, delicious food and a feeling of camaraderie --all in support of Chicago Star and local businesses. Publisher/editor Elaine Hyde explained the mission of the paper, building community and positivity, and I welcomed the crowd. Our former assistant editor Nuria Mathog spoke about Chicago Star's

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Kate Murray with Honest Abe (Gregg Steigmeyer from ZZAZZ Productions).

reach, over 50,000 and in nearly 400 locations across the city. Thanks to a connection from the Landan Twins (Jonathan and Andrew), guests were gifted with cool branded baseball caps created by Done Deal

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Paul Iacono, Dr. Joaquin Brieva and my Chuck.

Promotions, along with Mariano's goody bags. Special thanks to all who came out and supported Chicago Star (and us!), especially the businesses who participated in this year's Streeterville Week celebration. Drum roll please for the Fairmont Chicago, Harry Caray's, Robert's Pizza, The Hampton Social, Winter's Jazz Club, W Chicago Lakeshore, Cupitol and Carr Workplaces. A fun time was had by ALL! (Photos by Kelsy Goodwin)

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BSF Golf Classic 4More than 300 civic and corporate leaders from across the country came out to participate in the 22nd annual Big Shoulders Fund Golf Classic. The event is Big Shoulders BSF Golf Classic 3Fund’s largest annual fundraiser and, this year, raised over $830,000, for the Friends of Big Shoulders Scholarship Fund, which provides critical tuition assistance to nearly 400 students in Big Shoulders Fund’s network of Chicago schools annually. Hosted at the prestigious Olympia Fields Country Club, attendees took part in a series of golf contests – including a Hole-in-One and Closest to the Pin contests, raffles, live and silent auction, and more. Since its inception 22 years ago, the Golf Classic has raised nearly $11M for scholarships. (Congrats to Josh Hale, Team, Supporters and Donors!)

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Advisory Board President Ellen Sandor w/ event co-chairs Eda Davidman and Natalie Crawford. Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon onscreen behind. (Photo by Sean Su)

The Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosted a special benefit to commemorate the organization’s 50 years of showing

The staff of the Gene Siskel Film Center; photo credit Sean Su
The brilliant staff of the Gene Siskel Film Center. (Photo by Sean Su)

the best of independent, international and classic film to Chicago audiences. The festive evening featured a live-screened conversation between actor, producer and screenwriter Matt Damon and Film Center board member, actor, producer and activist Robert Downey Jr. At the end of the sold-out event, which raised $200,000 to support the Film Center’s mission, Damon was presented with the Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award. Congrats to all and thank you for that awesome anniversary cake Eli’s Cheesecake Company!

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Bob--could we make this photo big and maybe in upper right corner--Caption--Lucky guest gets up close and personal with Zoo lion Zabari.
Lucky guest gets up close and personal with Zoo lion Zabari, dad to new cub Pilipili.

The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed revelers to don their finest and soar to Zoo Ball, the zoo’s largest annual fundraiser. Themed “Birds of

Jason Brett and Dr Lauren Streicher
Jason Brett and Dr Lauren Streicher

Paradise,” this year’s black-tie event once again took place under a big tent set in the middle of the zoo’s stunning grounds and raised $1.5 million in support of the zoo for the second year in a row. Joined by nearly 700 guests, the Women’s Board curated a lively evening with music from Gentleman of Leisure that provided the

JaCee Burnes
JaCee Burnes

soundtrack as attendees enjoyed a three-course meal courtesy of Blue Plate Catering. The event’s theme was inspired by the zoo’s Puerto Rican parrot. Lincoln Park Zoo is the only place outside of Puerto Rico that’s home to this endangered bird brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to zoo scientists and partners. This incredibly unique bird and its rainforest habitat served as inspiration for the event which featured lush, tropical décor along with unique cocktails and creative cuisine. Co-chaired by Brigid Najarian and Amy Olshansky, the event raised funds to help Lincoln Park Zoo support animal care, the community, and conservation initiatives. (Photos by Kyle Flubacker)

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Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 2. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Ensemble Members and Artistic Directors Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis emceed the evening.

Steppenwolf Theatre Companys world-renowned ensemble was joined by more than 460 civic, cultural, and business leaders for its 2022 Gala, raising more than $1.98 million for Steppenwolf’s educational and artistic programming. The major fundraising event, held at Rockwell on the River, celebrated the

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 4. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Board Chair Eric Lefkofsky, Liz Lefkofsky, Gala Co-Chairs Bryan Traubert and Penny Pritzker, AD Glenn Davis, ED Brooke Flanagan, Gala Co-Chair Nora Daley, AD Audrey Francis, Gala Co-Chairs Keating and Caroline Crown.

company’s 46th Season – including the opening of Steppenwolf’s trailblazing new 50,000-square-foot Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center and featuring the new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell. The festive Gala evening was designed and produced by Frost

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 13. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Trustee Asheesh Goel with Artistic Director Glenn Davis

Chicago and hosted by new Artistic Directors Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis and Executive Director E. Brooke Flanagan alongside the theater’s acclaimed ensemble and Board of Trustees, including Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Gala Co-Chairs Caroline and Keating Crown, Nora Daley and Sean Conroy, and Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert. Additional guests

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 16. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
The stunning venue design was done by Jeffrey Foster for Frost Chicago and used floor-to-ceiling projections to highlight all things Steppenwolf throughout the night.

included Chicago’s First Lady Amy Eshleman, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Erin Harkey, Arts Alliance Illinois Executive Director Claire Rice and Steppenwolf ensemble members Alana Arenas, Kate Arrington, Robert Breuler, Celeste M. Cooper, Tim

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 19. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Trustee Carole Brown bidding.

Hopper, Rajiv Joseph, Sandra Marquez, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Caroline Neff, co-founder Jeff Perry, Yasen Peyankov, Karen Rodriguez, Eric Simonson, Namir Smallwood, Jim True-Frost and Alan Wilder. A cocktail reception with Steppenwolf’s ensemble kicked off the event, followed by a seated three-course gourmet dinner catered by Calihan. Throughout the evening, a dynamic display of photography and video clips played along the walls of the venue, showcasing Steppenwolf’s ensemble and the construction and unveiling of the Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center. Artistic Directors Glenn Davis and

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 8. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Members of the Steppenwolf Ensemble take the stage.

Audrey Francis and Executive Director E. Brooke Flanagan welcomed guests and spoke of the company’s

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 4. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Board Chair Eric Lefkofsky, Liz Lefkofsky, Gala Co-Chairs Bryan Traubert and Penny Pritzker, Artistic Director Glenn Davis, Executive Director Brooke Flanagan, Gala Co-Chair Nora Daley, Artistic Director Audrey Francis, Gala Co-Chairs Keating and Caroline Crown.

bold return to live performances this season as they opened their expanded campus on Halsted Street with the dedicated support and generosity of the Board and other major partners. Following dinner, auctioneer Robbie Gordy took to the stage to host a live auction featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the Steppenwolf ensemble, including: a culinary adventure in Mexico City featuring a daylong walking tour and meals curated and led by Chef Rick and Deann Bayless alongside ensemble members Caroline Neff and Karen Rodriguez; a New York getaway featuring a set visit to

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 18. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Ensemble Members Karen Rodriguez and Caroline Neff join auctioneer Robbie Gordy onstage to cheer on bidders.

HBO’s The Gilded Age with ensemble member Carrie Coon, dinner with Carrie and her Gilded Age co-star Morgan Spector, and lunch with ensemble members Kathryn Erbe and Rajiv Joseph; a trip to Hollywood for brunch with Steppenwolf ensemble member and co-founder Jeff Perry and Emmy Award-winning casting director Linda Lowy in their Hollywood Hills home with ensemble members Gary Cole and Laurie Metcalf, a Warner Brothers Studio tour, dinner with ensemble

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 20. Photo by Derek Van Barham
DJ Rae Chardonnay kept the dance floor packed until the wee hours.

member and Artistic Director Glenn Davis, Sterling K. Brown (This is Us, Black Panther) and Chris Perfetti (Abbott Elementary), and an exclusive construction site tour of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and access to a private workshop and reading of ensemble member Kate Arrington’s playwrighting debut Another Marriage, directed by ensemble member and co-founder Terry Kinney, followed by a progressive Boka Restaurant

Steppenwolf 2022 Gala 7. Photo by Kyle Flubacker
Ensemble Member Celeste M. Cooper.

Group dinner with Kate, Terry and fellow ensemble member and Artistic Director Audrey Francis. After the live auction, Academy Award-winning ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney took to the stage with Pulitzer Prize-nominated ensemble member Rajiv Joseph to speak about the company’s education programs. Concluding the Gala evening, guests hit the dance floor to the lively jams of DJ Rae Chardonnay and enjoyed gourmet late-night snacks from Calihan including fried chicken and waffles with mashed potatoes and red cabbage slaw, glazed with sriracha honey, and a gourmet grilled cheese with sharp cheddar and raspberry preserves. (Photos by Kyle Flubacher)

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288853031_10227762806520713_9162830789814962347_nIt felt like home at Untitled Supper Club when Playboy hosted an event in collab with Sip Spirits (RARE HARE) to announce their new product release, a rare whiskey named "1953 Anniversary Edition, so named for the first printing of Playboy mag with the iconic Marilyn cover. The spirit is rare because only 1953 bottles were produced. I was proud to host this event! (Thank you Toula Georgakopoulos!) What a great night! Loved seeing burlesque star Michelle L'amour there too (she brought two of my mags to sign). And, to top off the night, the bartender informed me of the drink choices: The Marilyn, The Pamela and THE CANDACE! I'm a drink now too! _______________________________________________________________________

Index
David Murga, now offering men's styling consultations at The 900 Shops!

This n' that! Kudos to David Murga on his new mens' personal styling hotspot, Galan, now at The 900 Shops! He's such a fashionable guy and it's great to be able to get advice from one who knows! (Available for appts. now at 312.915.3916)

Love and congrats to PR maven extraordinaire, Noreen Heron, on

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Noreen Heron of Heron Agency.

her fabulous new offices at 2626 N. Lincoln! Heron Agency hosted a jam-packed open house last night to celebrate! Noreen, that beautiful space must be so inspiring to all of you!

The 4th of July Grand Finale of the 16-year-old Bitter Jester Music Festival (BJMF) was canceled in the wake of the Highland Park parade tragedy. The concert has now been rescheduled for 4pm on Sunday, September 4, 2022, and will take place at Billy
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Billy Corgan and partner Chloe Mendel in front of Madame ZuZu's Teahouse in Highland Park.
Corgan ’s Madame ZuZu's Teahouse’s, 1876 1st St, Highland Park, IL 60035. This is a free concert, open to the public. Donations are welcome at the door but are not required for entry. Proceeds will support local businesses affected by the tragic events at the town’s July 4th parade. (Donations can be made here: bit.ly/hpbenefit)
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Master photographer Barry Butler mounting his Navy Pier exhibition.
 
One of my favorite photogs, Barry Butler, is having a photo exhibit at Navy Pier starting this month, "Flow- Water Brings Life to Chicago." It will be in place for the next 16 months, so please make sure to put it on your to-do list! Each photo will have a QR code that
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Photo shoot for SVRN boutique. (Photo by Josh Ray)
activates a video he created providing info about the image. (22 beautiful images on a 60 foot wall!)
 
Werkin' at the car wash! What a fun shoot for SVRN, a super cool clothing store at 171 N. Aberdeen (svrn.com). Loved shooting this through Lily's Talent in the Bling Bling car wash with photog/editorial director Josh Ray. I can FLY!
 
So excited about this year's Eversight Gift of Sight Celebration, themed "Circus of Dreams"! Grab your top hat and expect a night filled with whimsy, surprises and two of the cutest Eversight Sept. 22honorees, Kathy O'Malley Piccone and Dr. Ali Djalilian, you've ever seen! The Peninsula will be transformed into the Big Top and you won't want to miss it! (All to benefit Eversight's efforts to provide the gift of sight for all in need, info here. Tickets are going fast (and this isn't a sales pitch). Buy by Sept. 1 to get current pricing.
 
Please join us for our “FLAIR: Eye on Style Fashion Event” Friday, September 30, to support The Chicago Chicago Lighthouse half page adLighthouse’s programs for children who are blind, visually impaired, or disabled. See the latest designer fashions in a show produced by ZZAZZ Productions, scout the latest tends at our pop-up shops, and enjoy a full-course luncheon all at a spectacular venue, The Langham Chicago. AND, best of all, help pay tribute to our beautiful honoree, Sherry Lea Holson! For details and tickets, click here
 
Paws fur ball 2022PAWS Chicago's Fur Ball, one of the city's largest pet-friendly fundraisers, will return on Friday, November 1, at The Drake Hotel. This black-tie event is the nonprofit's 21st and will include all of the popular hallmarks of this fun event--exciting live and silent auctions, a raffle, dancing, dinner buffets (for canines and humans), photo opps, an adoptable pet showcase, and so much more! Join in the fun and register now here to help support the largest no-kill shelter in the Midwest.
 

The River North Fall Gallery Walk, presented by Daniel Kinkade Fine Art, is back on September 9. The walk will be comprised of 21 locations with special events throughout River North, featuring 31 artists and 20 designer vignettes. The Gallery Walk’s philanthropic partner is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which will receive a portion of proceeds. The walk is free and open to the public except for opening night parties which are ticketed.  The Kick-Off party will be held at Altalia Furniture Sept. 9, 410 W. Grand (5-8 pm) and the After-Party, Sept. 9, will be held at Architectural Artifacts, 1065 N. Orleans, 8-10 pm. Showrooms will have extended hours day of and will offer food and libations. The vignettes will be on display until October 10. (All details here!) 

Gallery walk sept 9

Justine Fedak
Author/honoree Justine Fedak with her first children's book, "The Happy Magic Chair."

On Thursday, September 29, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will host its annual Dinner of Champions at the Four Seasons. The event will honor its chair, Justine Fedak and raise funds to support research for a cure, advocacy, programs and services. (All details here!)

The Symphony Ball, presented by Northern Trust, returns Saturday, Sept. 24 as an elegant black-tie affair. The concert will feature CSO Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti and Yefim Bronfman, on piano. Dinner and dancing will follow at the Four Seasons for gala sponsors and patrons. (For tickets and
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Tech Sgts. Carrie Gatz, left, and Amy Morys at a past USO Salute Gala.
more info, click here)
 
 
The USO Salute Gala will be held at Offshore Navy Pier on Saturday, September 10. Widely acclaimed as Chicago's "premier patriotic event" that welcomes and celebrates distinguished military and civilian guests to support the USO. (For tickets and more info, click here)
 
The Green Tie Ball, benefiting Chicago Gateway Green, will be held at Chicago Sports Museum on Saturday, September 17. Join us to celebrate by buying tickets here!

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Michael Kutza with his first book  Starstruck.
Michael Kutza with his first book, "Starstruck."

I'm so excited to report that Chicago Star is growing by leaps and bounds! We have wonderful advertisers,

Author Joseph P. Luther (jp Little) with his first book-- Just a Minute More.
Author Joseph P. Luther (jp Little) with his first book, "Just a Minute More."

a following of over 50K and a list of contributors whose accomplishments are astounding. This month, three members of our growing team have BIG personal successes to celebrate. Contributors, Joseph Luther and Andy Frye, and Michael Kutza, a Chicago Star Board member and Chicago International Film Festival founder, have all authored their first books. Luther, writing children’s titles as “J.P. Little,” recently published “Just a Minute More,” a tender story

Author Andy Frye holds a copy of his first book--Ninety Days in the 90s.
Author Andy Frye holds a copy of his first book, "Ninety Days in the 90s."

with gorgeous illustrations that celebrates all the little moments we wish could last “just a minute more.” Frye, best known for his sports writing, has published his first novel, “Ninety Days in the 90s,” a fascinating rock n’ roll time travel story for CSM August 2022--COVERanyone who is a fan of pop culture and great writing. Kutza’s book, “Starstruck,” is a whirlwind trip through Movieland featuring unique photos and stories as well as an insider’s look at the cast of characters that make Chicago one-of-a-kind. (You can find all of these books on Amazon or any other notable bookstore). Congrats to ALL! And, if you've missed the latest issue of Chicago Star, please read it here now! And, join our family by subscribing here! And my last request? LOL! Please follow us on social media, @chicagostarmedia (Facebook, Twitter and Insta) THANK YOU!

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Well, now I've caught you up to date! Whew. I hope your eyeballs aren't bleeding. I know it's a lot but, as I mentioned, the social scene is busier than I've ever seen it. People are excited to see each other and support their favorite charities again and so am I. I've been writing this blog now for over 12 years and, granted, I'm not as regular as I'd like to be but I'm not going anywhere, so please subscribe here. My lists are never shared, only treasured, and we have a lot more fun ahead of us so I wouldn't want you to miss it. Thanks for sticking with me.

Love always,

Candace

Candace@CandidCandace.com

P.S. Just for you. And don't forget it.

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May 2, 2022

December 30, 2021

October 18, 2021