PAWS' PARTY ON THE BEACH; SERVICE CLUB'S RECORD-BREAKER; 1ST HAUTE DOG CHICAGO; A VERY PRIVATE PARTY; CHICAGO HOT DOG FEST; CHARLIE TROTTER DAY; PERRY FARRELL'S HOT LOLLA AFTER-PARTY; 900 SHOPS' "I AM CHICAGO" (WHO ARE THEY?); CHICAGO CUTS' CELEBS; LSCRF'S PLAY FOR THE CURE; AN EVENING TO IMAGINE GALA; THE JOFFREY'S "ROMEO & JULIET" LUNCHEON; AN EVENING ON ASTOR; THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT-- VELUXE; PETE'S DRAGON REVIEW; CHASE RIDES OFF INTO THE SUNSET; HUGH HEFNER'S NEW DOC; COMMON THREAD'S COOK-OFF; LOTSA VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
Over a thousand of Chicago’s philanthropists and social leaders (and all-around cuties) gathered at Shedd Aquarium for one of the city’s premier summer fundraising fêtes, BLU, on August 5. As many of you know, I attend a LOT of fabulous events throughout the year,
but this one stands out because of its darling/effective Auxiliary Board and the crowd that BLU attracts--omg, if I were single and a young professional, this is THE party I
would want to attend! So many beautiful (philanthropic) people in one scenic spot! This year marked the 10th anniversary of BLU that broke records raising more than $450,000 to support Shedd’s rescue and rehabilitation, conservation, and education initiatives. Hosted
by its Auxiliary Board and co-chairs Susan Hedlund, Doug McClure and Alex Ross, guests enjoyed a night filled with music, exciting animal encounters, dazzling skyline views, and tastings from many of Chicago’s best restaurants, all to support Shedd’s mission of connecting people to the living world. VIP guests started off the night with a stroll along the North
Terrace, temporarily dubbed "Luna Terrace" in honor of its rescued sea otter, where they enjoyed performances by John Vincent and The Voice contestant, Madi Davis. (Davis sang the song that snagged her The Voice audition. Hear it here!) Signage warned guests against diving red-winged blackbirds trying to
protect their nests. I was struck by the fact that animal conservation began right at the front door! LOL! Revelry and toasts to the belugas and dolphins could be heard throughout the aquarium that houses over 32,000 animals making it
one of Chicago’s top cultural attractions. Partygoers were drawn to the Caribbean Reef where they sampled delicious tastings, petted sturgeons and received temporary "tattoos" while taking in the tunes of jazz guitarist Guy King. Guests marveled at the 360-degree view of an underwater reef community as rays and
Nickle, an endangered sea turtle who was rescued off the coast of Florida after a run in with a boat propeller, glided by. Taking a walk on the wild side, attendees headed downstairs to a Philippines inspired coral reef. The special access to Shedd’s award-winning Wild Reef
exhibit provided a diver’s-view of a diverse marine metropolis that is home to more sharks, stingrays and live coral than any other exhibit at Shedd. Partygoers enjoyed up-close and personal encounters with an Argentine black and white tegu, an endangered Blanding's turtle and a brilliantly colored green tree python. BLU waters then came to life during a special
30 minute dive show that featured beluga whales, dolphins, a sea lion and more! Guests enjoyed an exclusive aquatic presentation in the Abbott Oceanarium emceed by Ken Ramirez, Shedd’s animal care & training advisor. Guests rose to their feet for a surprise performance from the Chicago Blackhawks' very own Jim Cornelison singing the national anthem.
Afterwards the audience was surprised and delighted by a parade of Magellanic penguins and marine mammals. During the performance, guests also participated in a record-breaking paddle raise,
raising more than $45,000 to support Shedd’s conservation mission, including animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. Throughout the night, guests explored the Waters of the World galleries and special exhibits and sampled tastings from more than
20 of Chicago’s premier restaurants, including El Hefe, Kinmont, McCormick & Schmick’s, Hampton Social, Shaw's Crab House, Aurelio's, Beatrix, Bombay Wraps, The Radler and Sunda. While
noshing and sipping spirits, guests used their smartphones to enter into a virtual bidding war for a chance to go home with an array of silent auction items, including a beluga encounter experience and special behind- the-scenes meet-and-greet with Nickle, the rescued green sea turtle. After the sun set on Lake Michigan, partygoers stepped outside for
a dance party on the Sick Family Lakefront Terrace, where fireworks over Navy Pier lit up the night sky. DJ KJ drew partygoers onto the dance floor against a backdrop of stunning skyline views. The evening ended on a sweet note over delectable treats including Insomnia Cookies and More Cupcakes! Congrats to all for this exciting, informative "party with a purpose for the porpoise," as Shedd president/CEO Bridget Coughlin
dubbed it during her first BLU appearance. :-)
The Service Club of Chicago hosted its annual "Day on the Terrace" Fashion Show & Luncheon at the Peninsula on August 8. The event was a sell-out with over 350 supporters and included a tribute to its founder Hazel Barr as well as a first look for fall with fashions from some of the city's top retailers. It was a perfect summer day for cocktails
on the Terrace before the show began. A buzz of anticipation filled the venue with models hurrying to and fro, getting their makeup (by NARS promotional artists) and hair done (by the Marianne
Strokirk Salon) and making last minute adjustments to their beautiful outfits. Participating retailers included Anne Fontaine, alice + olivia, CH Carolina Herrera, St. John, L.K. Bennett, Max Mara and Maximilian Furs from Bloomingdale's, Tod's, Tom James, Trunk Club and more. A highlight of the afternoon was a patriotic appearance by the United
States Marines who escorted models bedecked in eveningwear from Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue for the finale. Social doyenne "the Hazel" was glowing with pride as her two handsome grandsons, Justin and Alexander Smith, escorted her down the runway
to "That's Entertainment." The crowd rose to their feet to salute this hard-working longtime member of the Service Club as she received a huge bouquet of roses. Before her walk, a video montage (video-scaping by Myra Reilly and Tracey Tarantino, ZZAZZ Productions, who also choreographed the runway show) began with vintage photos from her
first events, then called "Day in the Country" in Hinsdale. (To hear/see Hazel's speech, click here!) Runway models included Izzy Idonije, Dan Ponce, Jim Rose, Melissa Forman, Ji Suk Yi, Linda Yu, Sylvia Perez, Alicia Roman, Ryan Baker, Rob Johnson, Chef Tony Priolo, David Zivan, Randy Hano, Dan Uslan, J.P. Anderson and
many more. Presenting event sponsor was Marguerite Hark along with sponsors McGrath Lexus, Cheri Lawrence, Sherry Lea Holson, Shelley Gorson & Alan Salpeter Family Fund and Anida Johnson "Cookie' Cohen. The event raised over $90,000 to help the organization to
continue to support its grant program supporting various non-profits throughout Chicagoland that specialize in women's and children's welfare programs, arts and education. (Photos by John Reilly Photography and me!)
PAWS Chicago, the city's largest No Kill humane organization hosted its 14th Annual Beach Party, presented by Burrows Moving Co. and Meta Modern Health, on July 14 at Castaways Boathouse on North Avenue Beach. This year's sold out event
was the most successful Beach Party to-date, and had more than 450 people and 100 dogs in attendance! The summer gala raised awareness about the life-saving work PAWS Chicago is doing to end the killing of homeless dogs and cats. Emceed by longtime supporter Lisa Dent, the occasion
was co-chaired by Andrew Tobin and Heather and Mark Yeager. The Pet Host Committee of the event was comprised of 79 dogs and cats, including Gracie the Miniature Schnauzer, Leo Canning, Mookie Styles, and Ichabod & Butch Duffens,
whose sponsorships helped underwrite the expenses. Lucky pups in attendance indulged in a doggie buffet, sampled doggie ice cream and were treated to pampered treatments at
the Paradise 4 Paws “Dog Spa”, complete with animal paw-di-cures and splash pools. Some even danced the night away on the deck of Castaways. Their human counterparts enjoyed a beachfront dinner buffet, photo booth, caricature artist, and a one-of-a-kind live and
silent auction. Six homeless dogs were available for adoption that evening, including Stewart, a 2-month-old Bully Breed. Stewart was in rough shape when he first arrived at PAWS Chicago at
just 3-weeks old. The runt of his litter, Stewart was suffering from pneumonia, a weak immune system, and mange. He was immediately placed into an experienced medical foster home where he was given
oxygen treatments and was bottle-fed until he learned how to eat on his own. Pecan, a 9-year-old senior Fox Terrier Mix, was lucky to find a home with Beach Party sponsors Howard and Judy Tullman. Awwwww, love all
around to this life-saving organization for homeless pets!
Yippee! Rooney and I are thrilled to be included in the first Haute Dog Chicago fashion show fundraiser at The
Peninsula Chicago on Thursday, September 8, from 6-9 pm. The evening will benefit Canine Companions for Independence, a national non-profit organization that provides highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to children, adults and veterans with disabilities free of charge. For tickets and more info, click here and see video below: http://bit.ly/2aVYcW2
The Chicago History Museum welcomed record-breaking attendance at the fourth annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest recently. More than 35,000 visitors made it to the three-day family-friendly celebration that took place August 5 - 7. Attendance was up 40 % from 2015 which saw 25,000 visitors. “Chicagoan’s love for the Chicago hot dog and all of the stories around this beloved favorite continue to amaze us,” said David Deyhle, VP of External Relations at the Chicago History Museum. “With this increase in Fest attendance this year, the Chicago Hot Dog Fest is growing to be one of Chicago’s most treasured festivals.” The Chicago Hot Dog Fest launched in 2013 as a way to raise awareness about the Chicago History Museum and celebrate Chicago’s favorite food - the hot dog. The classic Chicago-style hot dog, made exclusively with Vienna Beef, was the star of the festival. Visitors enjoyed hot dogs from Byron’s Hot Dogs, Frannie’s Beef and Catering, Wiener Take All, Flashy Hot Dogs, Fatso’s Last Stand and many more. The Fest welcomed music headliners American English, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and Catfight. Families and kids enjoyed craft activities, rides, face-painting and kid-friendly musical entertainment. Hot dog historians took to the Speaker Stage to weigh in on everything from the fiercely debated topic “Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?” to Chicago’s
most notorious condiment – ketchup. Ewwwww!
It was our first visit to one of the hottest summer parties of the year in Lake Geneva recently. It was very private, no social media allowed, but I want to share
some of the fun here with you. When we first boarded the trolleys, I heard some dimwit remark, "Boy, someone really took this 70's theme to heart." Granted, Chuck and I had donned requisite 70s inspired
shades with oversized pimp-style necklaces and I also included my Playboy Bunny ears from 1976--but I wouldn't let one thoughtless remark spoil our fun! I also happen to think if a host asks you to pay heed to the theme of the evening, that it is very rude to ignore the plea. On a
brighter note, the grounds rivaled Versailles and when the darling host and hostess made their entrance in a Rolls-Royce completely encrusted with Swarovski
crystals, I knew we were at one very special event! The 70s theme featured an ABBA-inspired band and other toe-tapping performances but our favorite part of the evening was the speech by the host who shared his amazing success story, which started from
very humble beginnings to the philanthropic and business success he enjoys today. Over 700 by-invite-only guests roamed the magnificent, perfectly manicured grounds, peering in tiny houses fit for fairy princesses and enjoying tables heaped with delicious food. A fireworks display put Navy Pier's to shame....It was a night filled with fantasy and magic. And a very special thank
you to our hosts--you know who you are. :-)
The Trotter Project's official airline partner United, along with restaurants across the United States, will celebrate the legacy of super-chef Charlie Trotter on "Charlie
Trotter Day," Wednesday. Aug. 17 – Sunday, Aug. 21 to raise funds for the Pillars of Excellence Mentor Program – a Trotter Project youth mentorship program which seeks to educate, train, and offer opportunities for the next generation of aspiring chefs and hospitality professionals. The airline will donate
$1 for every Choice Menu Bistro on Board item sold on all domestic flights during the Charlie Trotter Day celebration. Several Trotter Project supporting chefs worked in collaboration with United to create and inspire the airline’s Bistro on Board
menu. In addition to the airline partnership, several leading restaurants across the country, including Chicago’s BellyQ, GT Fish & Oyster, The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago, Bâtard in New York City, The French Laundry, Parallel 37 at The Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, Per Se and many more will offer Trotter-inspired dishes and menus. This special weekend recognizes Chef Trotter’s innovative approach to cuisine by featuring many culinary creations from his legendary cookbooks. You will forever be missed Charlie!
Perry Farrell celebrated the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza with 500 of his closest friends at the official after-party at the Motorola offices, with 101-WKQX and Verizon, located on the roof of the Merchandise Mart (who knew there was a party space there?!) called The Moto Rooftop. Danny Masterson (DJ Momjeans) spun hot mixes while Perry emceed the event that was aired
live. Perry was seen snuggling up to his wife Etty Lau Farrell and popping bottles of champagne behind the DJ booth while the crowd went wild. LOLLA was conceived and created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Farrell as a farewell tour for his band. The event ran annually until 1997 and was revived in 2003. From its inception through 1997 and its revival in 2003, the festival toured North America. In
2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, but poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be canceled. In 2005, Farrell and the William Morris Agency partnered with Austin, Texas–based company Capital Sports Entertainment (now C3 Presents) and retooled
it into its current format as a weekend destination festival in Grant Park. All four days of this year's festival were sold out (400,000 tickets in all) before a line-up was even announced! Notable
anniversary partygoers included Matt Thomas (from the Joy Formidable), Vinnie Ferra (Halsey), Masterson, Nader Kheirbek (The Strokes, 5 O'clock Heroes), Chris Wadhams (Animotion), Jeff Kite (Julian Cassablancas and the Voidz), Michael Pena, Jonathan Radtke (Filter, Kill Hannah) and Chris Null (Dead Sara). Happy anniversary LOLLA!
900 North Michigan Shops will showcase the passion and innovation behind the city of Chicago with its new 2016/2018 ad campaign, “I AM CHICAGO”. This campaign will symbolize the
relationship between 900 Shops with fourteen locals who have a true affinity for the city. “I AM CHICAGO” is 900 North Michigan Shops’ first ad campaign to spotlight local individuals and tell their unique story. The fourteen finalists were selected
from nearly 400 hopefuls who attended a casting call at 900 Shops on April 5. Contestants were judged based on many factors including how they were making a difference in their community. This summer/fall, 900 Shops is spotlighting Valerie Groth and Dominick and Donna Mondi. Other finalists include Michelle Harris, Kimberly Evetts, Trevor Heffernan, Carrie Meghie, Michael Tyler, Katrina Visnevska, Bella and her dad Charlie Roy, Saudi Davis, April Strong and Justin
Jacobson. These fun pics are from the launch party. Congrats to all!
Chicago Cut Steakhouse has become a magnet for visiting celebs! Recently, it hosted first ballot Hall of Famer and former Yankees short stop Derek Jeter. I happened to be there with
darling friends celebrating the birthdays of Greg Hyder, Jean Antoniou, Tracey Tarantino DiBuono and Mary Pat Burns and he was a sight for sore eyes--so handsome! He and his friends (from Goldman Sachs) enjoyed lobster, escargot, steaks, shrimp cocktails and Golden Eye Pinot Noir. Wanna know what we had? LOL! Recently, Shark Tank's Lori Greiner dined on the terrace at The
Local and Nick Jonas enjoyed the fare at Ocean Cut! So now you know!
Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (LSCRF) hosted its 25th Annual Play for the Cure Golf Outing at the North Shore Country Club with a turnout of 84 golfers. The day began with a beautiful buffet lunch on the
country club’s lawn followed by a 1 p.m. tee-off. After an exciting 18-holes of “putting for pink,” festivities concluded with an evening reception of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The Golf Outing
was co-chaired by Melissa Mazzetta and Bari Anixter Mlodinoff with presenting sponsor, the Mazzetta Company. The event raised over $150,000 to help fund research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center in novel treatments, education and early detection of breast cancer.
Some of Chicagoland’s top philanthropists gathered at Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette for a luncheon to celebrate the launch of Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago’s annual “An Evening to Imagine” Gala, which will be held on October 8, to commemorate the culmination of the Museum’s 30th anniversary year. Museum president/CEO Sheridan Turner welcomed many
notable guests, including Women’s Board members Mary Galvin and Museum trustee Dawn Meiners, to the kickoff reception. Gala chairs Claudia Temple, a
member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, and WB members Wendy Baker and Deirdre Franklin invited guests to the October 8 gala which will be held at Venue One North Shore in Deerfield. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres. A sumptuous dinner will be provided by J&L Catering
before guests enjoy dancing to music by the Eddie Butts Band. Tickets for the event, starting at $500, are available here or by contacting Beth Gall, Manager of Development Events, at (847) 832-6917. Kohl Children’s
Museum anticipates attendance of 500 and hopes to raise over $700,000 to support critical outreach and professional development programming. Good luck with your event! I hope it's a sellout for the kiddies! The Kohl Children's Museum was named one of the country's Ten
Best Children's Museums by Parents Magazine!
I had a blast returning to WCIU's "You & Me" recently to chat about my HOT event picks! I always love sitting beside co-hosts Melissa
Forman and Jeanne Sparrow, who were both invited to walk in the Service Club of Chicago's "Day on the Terrace" fashion show. Melissa wore a gorgeous midnight blue dress from Escada but, sadly, Jeanne had dental surgery and couldn't attend. To check out my "You & Me" segment, click here, and to see Melissa's fab runway walk, look here!
The Joffrey Ballet will celebrate Krzysztof Pastor's critically acclaimed reimagining of Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" with an elegant luncheon on Monday, September 26, at LondonHouse Chicago. The event will be hosted by its Women's Board and co-chaired by Jamie-Clare Colvin, Ellie Forman and Kathleen Henson and will include a reception and panel conversation. For tickets, $200, and more info, click here!
"Evening on Astor", the block party on steroids, will return on Wednesday, September 7, to Astor Street, between Banks and Goethe from 5:30 to 8:30. The event will feature music by the Michael Lerich Orchestra, drinks from the Lodge Management Group and delicious treats from a variety of food trucks. The evening will benefit Gold Coast Neighbor's Association, that helps protect, educate and beautify this neighborhood. (Woody Allen said, if he decided to make a film in Chicago, this is where he would like to film it!) For more info, click here!
There's an APP for that? Like Uber for transportation, we now have an app for BEAUTY thanks to tech entrepreneur Susanna Quinn. She is bringing her own special brand of luxury to Chicago with Veluxe, an on-demand beauty and fitness app that is available NOW! In just 4 clicks, you can find the perfect at-home blowout, makeup, personal training and more. When Quinn, a mom and former realtor, says that though Veluxe is still in its start-up phase, when word got out, she was deluged with requests from both would-be clients and job applicants. I'm not one bit surprised! Congrats and welcome to the Windy City Susanna! To sign up, download the Veluxe app in the App Store (Android & Apple).
The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) Midwest Region, honors long-time Weizmann Institute supporter, civic leader and philanthropist Renée Crown at its annual Weizmann Institute Gala on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Fairmont Hotel. Every year supporters of the Weizmann Institute come together for one special night in Chicago to raise funds for the research facility, based in Israel, which is home to thousands of scientists who strive daily to improve mankind’s understanding of nature and illnesses. The evening will feature a discussion with esteemed immunologist and nominee for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Professor Zelig Eshhar covering his career and his research of T-Cells. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, as guests celebrate Crown’s many efforts and achievements and her long-standing support of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Co-chair Marilyn Perlman (along with Brian Price) said, "Renee Crown has devoted so much of her time to countless Chicago organizations and non-profits. From the arts to education
to well-being, Mrs. Crown is a shining example of a dedicated citizen and a personal role model." Amen to that! Just love her! Congrats Renee! (For tickets and more info, click here!)
And now for my movie review! If you're a fan of fantasy like Chuck and me, then you will LOVE "Pete's Dragon"! You never know until the very end which way the wind blows. And I love Robert Redford (who doesn't?), both as a
young Hollywood hunk and as a grizzled old man. 4 STARS! Also, check out Bryce Dallas Howard who plays Grace (exquisitely and lovingly) in the film. She is Sheila O'Grady Duffy's double! (And just why aren't there any woman film reviewers?)
I want to congratulate one of the coolest guys I know who also happens to have been an awesome cop for THREE decades! Much love and happiness to Chase Garrett and his beautiful Monika on his much deserved recent retirement! Here's the sweet comment he posted on his Facebook page, "I've worked with some great people on the Chicago Police Dept. over the last three decades. I've also worked
side by side with other heroes, namely the Chicago Firemen and Paramedics. I want to thank you all and you'll always be my family. The other heroes I want to thank are the ones that do so much, but get little credit or mention. I want to give special thanks to the CHICAGO DISPATCHERS , who guide us, get us help when we need it and are a very important part of the team that we could not exist without." Wish we could clone
you Chase! Good luck and thanks so much for your service!
Amazon has ordered a 13 series documentary from Stephen David Entertainment and Alta Loma Entertainment titled "American Playboy: The Hugh M. Hefner Story"! It's
reported that Hef has been "deeply involved." It's good to know there will be a story about Hef in his own words! The series begins with the launch of Playboy in 1953 and continues over six decades as Hefner adopts social justice
causes and tussles with conservatives and the FBI. Producers will have access to more than 17,000 hours of footage from the Playboy archives as well as the 90-year-old Hefner’s more than 2,600 “personal scrapbooks.” The doc will premiere in 2017 on the Amazon Prime SVOD service in the U.S., UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. I can't wait!
Common Threads' Associate Board will host its 6th Annual Cook-Off on Thursday, October 6, at Revel (1215 W. Fulton Market). Experience an imaginative display of food, drink and culinary creativity as 30 of Chicago’s top chefs and master mixologists serve their favorite themed dishes and inventive cocktails. Guests vote for their favorite dish and cocktail in categories - from the garden, pasture, seed, barn, and barrel,
with the top pick in each winning BIG, bragging rights! For tickets, $75, and more info, click here: http://bit.ly/2aS3e42
I hope you've enjoyed this week's edition and I hope you're all still grilling your little hearts out. I'm sad that summer is coming to an end, but oh what a summer it's been! Hope you're having fun too!
Love, as always,
P.S. And now, I'll leave you smiling....:-)