PLUS LINCOLN PARK ZOO'S ARCTIC BLAST; ART INSTITUTE'S NIGHT HEIST; SERVICE CLUB'S DAY AT THE RACES; GIRF BALL 2015; MY WOODY ALLEN INTERVIEW; CS MAG SHOOT AT THE GERAGHTY WITH AMIE; SUMMER COCKTAILS WITH LSCRF; RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE LOVES CECE & MELINDA; AT THE RACES WITH FACE THE FUTURE FOUNDATION; BOATBOUND; SAMSUNG LOVES FABRICE; CHASE LOVES MONIKA; XANDER WINS SILVER; MICHIGAN AVENUE MAG'S "ART OF THE CITY"; IZZY'S HEART OF GOLD; VALOR GAMES MIDWEST; ANCHORS AWEIGH WITH THE JUNIOR LEAGUE; FUN-FILLED VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
More than 1,050 of Chicago’s young philanthropists attended Shedd Aquarium’s annual Auxiliary Board soirée, BLU on July 25. Themed Frog Wild!, this fun-filled party raised more than $415,000 and celebrated Shedd’s new exhibit, Amphibians, which features over 40 species of
amphibians and highlights how their lives are full of change. BLU Co-Chairs Jay Healy, Alexis Geocaris Sutton and Christina Talarico, along with the 80-member Auxiliary Board, shared their passion for Shedd’s education and conservation initiatives at this premier summer fundraising fête. The evening
began in the aquarium’s Abbott Oceanarium that featured aquatic décor donated by Event Creative. NBC's The Voice’s John Martin performed on the Sick
Family Lakefront Terrace. Partygoers enjoyed a cocktail reception before being treated to an aquatic show emceed by Ken Ramirez, Shedd’s Animal Care & Training Advisor and Executive VP/Chief Training Officer. The audience was surprised and delighted by a parade of Magellanic penguins and a
demonstration of the “Shedd Way” of training featuring beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins. During the performance, guests also participated in a paddle raise to support
Shedd’s conservation mission that includes animal rescue and rehabilitation programs for animals at home and around the world. Diving deeper into Shedd, (see what I did there?) guests were invited to explore the new Amphibians exhibit and its more than 40 species of frogs, salamanders and rarely
seen caecilians (an order of limbless, serpentine amphibians). With 41% of the world’s amphibian species considered threatened, BLU guests saw firsthand how Shedd and others are working hard to create a healthier future. Next, guests moved upstairs and explored
the Waters of the World galleries where they enjoyed music by The Salt & The Sea and tastings from more than 20 of Chicago’s premier restaurants, including pork belly skewers from Sunda and a Maine-style
shrimp roll and clam chowder from Luke’s Lobster. Guests in the VIP Lily Pad Lounge enjoyed chicken and grits from Honey Butter
Fried Chicken and yellowfin tuna tataki from Filini Bar & Restaurant. (All seafood menu offerings were sustainably sourced). A silent auction included a private dinner for 20 in Shedd’s Wild Reef exhibit. Before the sun had set on Lake Michigan,
partygoers were treated to a surprise performance by Pyrotechniq, the jaw-dropping fire troupe, on the Lakeside Terrace. Artbeat Live’s Elliott From created a
six-foot Chicago Blackhawks portrait in minutes while partygoers danced the night away to DJ KJ against a backdrop of fireworks over Lake Michigan. A late night
sweets lounge served treats from More Cupcakes, Stan’s Donuts and Nespresso. An STK Kissing Booth allowed attendees the opportunity to plant a smooch on Shedd’s strawberry dart frog mascot. And as if all this wasn't enough, an after-party followed at Filini Bar at Radisson Blu Aqua. Whew! “BLU is always an exciting event and this year was no exception,” said Shedd President and
CEO Ted A. Beattie. “We’re thrilled that our Auxiliary Board has successfully inspired Chicago’s young philanthropists to support Shedd Aquarium yet again to help raise the critical funds that allow Shedd to inspire our guests to make a difference in the living world, provide exceptional care to
its 32,000 animals and support conservation efforts around the world.”(Photos by Heidi Zeigler and Brenna Hernandez)
The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo hosted its 38th annual Zoo Ball themed Arctic Blast on July 10 with more than 850 guests in attendance. This annual black-tie
affair raised more than $1.1 million to further the advancement of the Zoo as a leader in conservation and education. Education is a primary focus of the Women’s Board, and this year’s Ball supported the development of an innovative
new education center designed to enhance learning outside of the traditional classroom and cultivate the next generation of conservation scientists. The event, co-chaired by Karen Eisenbart and Denise Stefan Ginascol, brought together the design power of HMR Designs, FROST Chicago, and Jewell Events Catering to bring a glacial vision to life. Décor from HMR Designs enveloped guests into a world
of arctic wonder, with shades of white, silver and blue sparkling throughout the space. Jewell Events Catering created a glimmering ice bar elevated by polar bears carved from ice and
enticed guests with a signature cocktail aptly titled “The Aurora Borealis.” Animal ice sculptures, including an eight--foot tall polar bear
created by Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures, glistened throughout the space. The silent auction tent dazzled with irresistible offerings including a beautiful Pomellato pendant, an impossible-to-book VIP reservation at the Polo Bar in New York (sold for $5K), a private viewing and photo opportunity for six
with the Stanley Cup (sold for $5K), and a round-trip on the Pullman Rails to NOLA (sold for $4350). Jewell Events Catering prepared a flavorful three--course meal to complement the evening. For the first course, guests enjoyed a crab salad pillar and, for the entrée, a delicious pepper-crusted filet of beef tenderloin
was presented. Following a video featuring the Women’s Board President and co-chairs thanking the supporters who made the event possible, the sounds of Dr. Bombay filled the tent. Underneath the magical Aurora Borealis
ceiling created by FROST Chicago, the dance floor periodically erupted with arctic blasts of frosty air throughout the evening. After an array of tempting desserts, including a tasty blueberry blast option, the evening drew to a close, a cool conclusion to a warm summer night. The Lincoln Park Zoological Society is a member- supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. Congrats to all! (Photos by John Reilly, Anna Chase, Violet Dominek, Bob Carl)
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, something I could cross off my bucket list--an interview with the legendary film director/actor Woody Allen! I couldn't believe my good fortune when I received an email requesting Red Carpet coverage for Allen's film premiere of "Irrational Man"
on Saturday afternoon, July 18. The Red Carpet and pre-screening reception of Allen's 47th film (that he's written and directed) took place at Bellwether, 302 E. Illinois, which was right next to the AMC River East Cinema. The
restaurant was closed to the public for this big event and the room was packed with friends and fans. I staked out my space on the Carpet with my cameraman and recent ICB grad Jennifer Wright.
The expected stars on the Carpet included the man himself Woody Allen, actress Parker Posey, Ron Chez (the executive producer) and Michael Rose (chairman/CEO Metropolitan Capital Bancorp). As soon as the long black limo pulled up out front, chaos erupted. Cameras
started flashing, Iphones were ripped out of pockets and the crowd surge was HUGE--that's when I got nervous. Even though I was prepared, I had asked film expert/friend Michael Kutza (founder Chicago International Film Festival) for
some direction as far as good questions, I was still nervous. And, sure enough, as soon as he Woody stood in front of me, my notes became a thing of the past. Fortunately, I had read
enough to know what I wanted/needed to ask so, per Michael's advice, I just "relaxed and enjoyed the ride." Woody couldn't have been a more gracious interview. He was warm, open, anxious to talk, animated and very generous with his answers. I was so thrilled as I admired his work so much and I didn't want to have to change my opinion of him, ergo his
films. (See my interview video below!) Allen's wife, Soon-Yi, accompanied him on the Red Carpet and looked tres chic in a short green cocktail dress with a shiny, silver clutch and high, silver heels. She most definitely didn't want to be in the spotlight, most times hiding behind various attendants. I spoke to Parker Posey, too, who will appear in Woody's
next film. She said the entire audition took 3 minutes. LOL! Ron Chez, executive producer, told me he's trying to get Woody to make his next film in Chicago. Fingers crossed he can make that happen. We loved
"Irrational Man", the story about a tormented philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix), who finds a will to live when he commits an existential act. The twist near the end was a real surprise and very clever! Good luck to Woody and thanks for making Chicago one of only TWO stops you made to promote this film! (He also made a Red Carpet appearance in LA). (See my Candid Candace TV video below! Hope you enjoy it!)
The Art Institute of Chicago's Evening Associates Board hosted its fifth annual“Night Heist” benefit in the museum’s Modern Wing. This sold-out event raised nearly $90,000 for programming to increase young Chicagoans’ awareness of the Art Institute.
Event Co-Chairs Autumn Fincher, Catherine Napier, and Brandon Clark welcomed more than 1100 guests who staged a fashionable take-over of the museum to celebrate the groundbreaking exhibition Charles Ray:
Sculpture, 1997-2014. Partygoers enjoyed an intriguing evening inspired by Ray’s work that included private, after-hours access to the exhibition (only on view in the United States at the Art Institute) with special tours, live music, entertainment, and a raffle that included coveted prizes -- a trip to Las Vegas and VIP tickets to
Lollapalooza. The evening kicked off in the elegant Terzo Piano on Bluhm Terrace where guests enjoyed the sounds of VIP DJ Ryan Paradise and celebrity mixologist Adam Seger. A tasting menu featured panko-crusted crispy shrimp with an apricot and pineapple compote, petite glazed beef tenderloin with soy sauce, buffalo
chicken with blue cheese bites and mini white cheddar grilled cheese squares with fig jam. For the main event, guests sampled exhibition-inspired cocktails by local mixologists Paul McGee of Lost Lake; Danny Shapiro of Scofflaw; Wade
McElroy and Jeff Donahue of Sportsman’s Club; Alex Renshaw, Clint Rogers, and Brian Sturgulewski of Dogma Group and Mike Ryan and John Stanton of Sable Kitchen & Bar. Body painters and DJ sets by Matt
Roan with instrumental accompaniment set the scene in the museum’s Griffin Court where attendees enjoyed yet another unique menu, this time designed to complement the black, white and silver theme. Blackened lamb meatballs, chocolate and marshmallow s’mores and palate-tempting burritos filled out this delectable menu option. The museum’s Pritzker Garden remained open throughout the event and featured Black Dog Gelatoand Pink Lemonade Jello Shots along with a specialty cocktail
from Freddie Sarkis of Broken Shaker. Guests continued the celebration late into the night at the official after party hosted at Underground. (Photos by David Suarez)
The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation hosted its 6th Annual Summer Cocktail Party at Rockit Bar & Grill recently
with a sold-out crowd of more than 200 attendees. Co-chaired by Laura Berger, Chloe Ifergan, Brad Jarol, Liza Sweitzer and Zachary Zisook, the event raised nearly $30,000 to benefit breast cancer research, education and
program initiatives at Northwestern Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Guests enjoyed Rockit's recently renovated 2nd floor lounge decorated with elegant pink
floral arrangements donated by Ashland Addison Florist. Since its inception in 1985, LSCRF has raised over $30 million toward advancing the understanding of breast cancer.
And for the last 24 years, it has been affiliated with Northwestern Medicine helping to fund research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center in novel treatments, education and early detection of breast cancer. The LSCRF also funds fellowships in areas such as breast surgery, breast imaging, pathology and hematology/oncology to ensure that more patients have access to professionals with advanced training in
the treatment of breast cancer. (Photos by Sheri Whitko Photography)
The Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation (GIRF) held its annual fundraising gala, Innovate, at the Radisson Blue Aqua Chicago
to celebrate 54 years of supporting clinical and laboratory research in digestive diseases. GIRF BALL 2015 attracted more than 600 guests who enjoyed an elegant dinner and the chance to bid on an exciting live auction as well as a performance by funnyman Jay Leno, all in an effort to help prevent, treat and ultimately find cures for these diseases. The auction raised more than $310,000 and featured a French Polynesian Cruise, a guided Tanzanian safari, a luxury stay in Tuscany and exciting Chicago wine and concert packages. The crowd favorite was a once-in-a-lifetime 13 day adventure in Hong Kong and Thailand. Chicago Tonight’s Phil Ponce, served as the evening’s emcee for this event that helps provide critical funding for researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at the University of Chicago Medicine. GIRF’s contributions have helped with the discoveries of the first gene associated with Crohn’s disease, the role of immune factors related to Celiac disease, the role of vitamin D in inflammation and cancer and the first living donor liver transplant
from parent to child, among others. This event was a record-breaker for the organization raising more than $1 million towards life-saving research. (Photos by FAB Photo)
The Service Club of Chicago held its annual Day at the Races event on July 19 in Arlington Race Track’s beautiful Governor’s
Room and Terrace. An elegant day filled with horse racing, a luncheon, raffles and a silent auction offered guests a memorable day at "the track." More than 180 guests attended decked out in traditional Derby attire. A special appearance by Arlington Race track owner Richard L. Duchossois thrilled co-chairs Kathy Piccone and Sherrill Bodine as well as guests. Prizes
for best hats went to Sherry Lea Holson, Kathy Piccone, Tom Lange and Mark Vallortigara. Raffle items included a Cross Town Classic Sox-Cubs game plus dinner (won by Susan Regenstein); a sailing party on
Lake Michigan (won by Mark Krukowsky); a party for ten at The Cabin (won by Sally Jo Morris); a rooftop Cubs party (won by Ellen Wesley) and a Taste of the Gold Coast dining package (also won by Sally Jo). The event raised more than $35,000 for the charity, one of the oldest in the city at 125 years! The organization "assists, improves and enlarges upon agency programs
in areas of children, family services, education and the arts." It helps expand facilities, improve equipment and initiate new programs which will better serve a large number of people in need with
every dollar raised going directly to charity.(Photos by John Reilly Photography)
The Geraghty (2520 S. Hoyne). It's most certainly a "venue of possibilities"! With Amie's skills and Tom's exquisite, creative decor, this was one
exciting shoot! Thanks also to Sarah Ryan, CS deputy editor, for taking the time to interview me at another one of my favorite spots, RL
Congrats are in order for the dynamic duo Cece Gonzalez and Melinda Joseph of Cece & Melinda with Raymi Productions. They recently celebrated the dedication of their
official "brick" at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's. Their generous donation of $10,000 (from last year's Mac & Cheese Fest) will help desperately ill children and their families find comfort at the World's Largest RM House on Grand Avenue. And on July 7th, Melinda was toasted by family and friends on her 30th birthday
celebrated on the Godfrey's rooftop! #HappyTimes
Love is in the air for a much loved couple around town! Handsome cop Chase Garrett became engaged to gorgeous Monika Ktz during a romantic getaway weekend in NY. Their cute Facebook postings are a must-follow!
Michigan Avenue Magazine President and Publisher, Dan Uslan, and Editor-in-Chief, J.P. Anderson, joined the magazine’s cover artist Hebru Brantley at Dolce Italian in the Godfrey Hotel
Chicago to toast its “Art of the City” summer issue. The VIP event also gave back to the Chicago Arts Coalition by raising funds through the donation of an exclusive piece of Hebru Brantley artwork. Brantley’s work is part of Niche Media’s Art
Of The City emerging art’s platform featuring works from the most important artists across the country as cover art for each of its 11 cities' publications. Brantley’s work, along with an art piece donated from artists in nine of Niche
Media’s markets, is available in an online auction on Charity Buzz now through August 21.
It was a picture perfect afternoon for the Face the Future Foundation’s Associate Board’s 6th annual Derby Party held at the Fortnightly Chicago. Over 150 people turned out in fancy attire to watch the
running of the 141st Kentucky Derby, the biggest day of the year in horse racing. The buffet was a Southern delight and included cod cakes with Meyer lemon sauce, homemade crispy-fried
chicken, country ham and cheddar biscuits, fried green tomatoes (my favorite!), deviled eggs, mac and cheese, mint flavored cupcakes and more. Johara Farhadieh, President of the Associate Board, welcomed guests and congratulated the event co-chairs, Ali Tierney and George Dorhmann. President Farhadieh
recognized Sean Eshaghy, the founder of the Associate Board, along with other honorees, Linsey Payne, Ryan and Vicki Conner, Shelly Perkowski and Maury Vanden Eykel. Each honoree was given a red cap, a nod to the Face the Future
Foundation logo which features a child soaring into a bright future with their red cap floating behind. Guests bid on a mini silent auction which included 15 bottles of fine wine, a stay at Hôtel Americano (located in the heart of Chelsea in NY), front-row seats to a Cubs game and tickets to a Bears game in the United Club. Winners of the Best Hat and Best Dressed were Khadija El-Harazin and Taylor Bass. Over $30,000 was raised to benefit the Foundation which supports the work of The
Craniofacial Center at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. The Center is dedicated to the care and treatment of children born with cleft lip, palate and other craniofacial anomalies and to expanding healthcare access to under-served children in the Chicago area, who suffer from craniofacial conditions. No child is turned away
on the basis of ability to pay. More than 5,000 Chicago-area kids are helped annually. Sponsors for this year's event included William Blair; The Kirschner Family; The Perkowski Family; and Sidley Austin. Bredemann Dealership, Andrea Biel-Cohen, Utz&Lattan, Woodford Reserve were also
sponsors. (Photos by Megan Zagger)
The premiere of the 8-part docuseries "I Am Cait" starring Caitlyn Jenner premiered Saturday night on the E! Channel and I loved it. It was raw, truthful, courageous and wildly entertaining and I think Jenner has a runaway hit on her
perfectly manicured hands. Besides being a fun, well done show, I loved the fact that it was also informative. At the end, I was happy to see a PSA saying “If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386.” I can't wait to see the next show and I'm happy that she's living her true life on her own terms. I wish everyone could.
With summer finally here and warmer weather, a lot of people would love to be out on the water boating. But alas, not all of us are lucky enough to own a boat BUT Boatbound (affectionately called the "Airbnb of the Sea") is going to change all that! With Boatbound, you can experience cruising Lake Michigan without "having to pay like one." According to their info, one day on the water could cost you and five of your friends only $50 each or less! Their website states "no experience necessary. Find the perfect boat with or without a captain." Sounds a little dangerous to me, but hopefully they know best. Anyway, for more info, click here!
The South Side Community Art Center's 50th annual art auction will feature a treasure trove of African American historic and contemporary art on Saturday, August 1, at Herman Hall (Illinois Institute of Technology Campus), 3241 S. Federal St., from 5 pm to 9 pm. Funds raised will support the organization's
mission to preserve, conserve and promote the legacy and future of African American art and artists, while educating the community on its value. For more info, click here.
The Israel Idonije Foundation hosted a fun-filled fundraiser at Trump Hotel & Tower recently. Izzy hosted the event, that raised more than $150,000, and honored fellow NFL star Charles "Peanut" Tillman with the organization's Humanitarian award. Judge White Jr., 14, an incoming freshman at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, received the Youth Award. A private VIP party was held the night before at Chris Gardener's ("Pursuit of Happiness") penthouse at Trump. Read/see more in Candid Candace in the Chicago Tribune!
ceremonies will take place at Soldier Field on August 18th at 10:00 AM. Following the opening ceremonies, spectators and veterans can attend the free Veterans Resource Fair, hosted by the Chicago Park District, at Soldier Field from 11 AM – 3 PM. The nonprofit honors those who have served
our country with this regional, introductory competition for injured, ill and wounded veterans and active duty service members. During the three-day event, athletes compete in discus, shot put, cycling, indoor rowing, power-lifting and archery. Organized in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Chicago Park District, The Valor Games gives
disabled veterans and active duty service members the opportunity to regain their confidence, purpose and competitive spirit after injury. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-861-4848 or click here.
Junior League of Chicago (JLC) will present its premier signature summer event, "Anchors Aweigh" on Friday, August 21, at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street. Guests will enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live band, dancing and raffle prizes. It's the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends and to meet some new ones all the while raising money to support the League’s mission of helping at-risk women and children in Chicago. For tickets, $85 in advance and $100 at the door, click here or call 312.664.4462, X101.
I want to give a shout-out to an amazing athlete! Xander Lawlor, 9, is one very special guy who needs a barn to hold all of the trophies, awards and medals he's won as a Taekwondo/Martial Arts champ! His mom and dad,
Cheryl and Dave Lawlor, couldn't be prouder of his latest win at the USAT Nationals in Austin, Texas, where he took SILVER in sparring! This is his 2nd time winning at nationals with a Gold medal in 2013. He's been in Taekwondo since he was 5 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt! He studies under Master Greg Washington at USA Spirit Martial Arts in Lockport, Ill. Here's to many, many more wins Xander! You're a true superhero and super cute, too!
That's all for now! I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy bringing it to you! And remember, if you would like to subscribe to my blog, please click here! (My list is completely spam free and never sold.)
Love, as always,
P.S. Pools aren't just for kids!