PLUS THE PURPLE AFFAIR FOR THE BEAR; VALENTINE'S DAY MEMORIES; WOMEN DRIVING EXCELLENCE; WEDDINGS; STEPHANIE IZARD'S NEW RESTAURANT; CYCLE FOR SURVIVAL; HOWARD'S LATEST HONOR; LURIE'S SNOWBALL; FUN VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
Tickled Pink for Bright Pink celebrated its 10th anniversary at Morgan Manufacturing with more than 1200 partygoers, most wearing various shades of pink in honor of this organization's mission to focus and raise awareness for the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer. The festive atmosphere could be felt from the street as guests pulled up in front of this pre-Chicago fire,
32,000 sq. ft. warehouse that glowed pink from within. Pulsing music, swirling lights and creative decor put me on sensory overload from the moment I walked through the door. Everywhere you looked, there were fabulous food stations from more than
50 Chicago hotspots. I particularly loved the sky-high pink cake decorated with breast cancer ribbons in sugar from Vanille patisserie. To add even more fun to the festivities, Vanille president Sophie Evanoff and her two cute
co-workers had donned pink page-boy wigs! The Chicago Players band had everyone on the dance floor including some dramatic looking female impersonators who everyone wanted to grab a selfie with. The 10th anniversary theme was prominent throughout with exciting event decor by Justin Jacobson's Platinum Events that featured oversized ice
sculptures at various bar stations carved with the number "10" and unusual floating pink designs hanging from the ceiling. Windy City Live's Val Warner served as the event emcee again this year and was hurrying home when we ran into her having been up since 5 am. (And she still looked FAB!) She introduced hosts Jodi Fyfe, founder of Tickled Pink, and Lindsay Avner, founder
of Bright Pink. Fyfe created Tickled Pink in 2005 in honor of her cousin Carrie Kenney, who died from breast cancer at age 35. She said: "Carrie's whole thing was living for today and appreciating every moment.
Tonight isn't about being sad, it's about celebrating your lives here and now." Avner spoke about the importance of early detection and said, "Because of your support, Bright Pink will have the opportunity to expand our breast and ovarian health educational programming to reach more young women and save
more lives." A silent auction, upstairs and downstairs lounges and photo booths offered guests more opportunities to mingle and raise funds for this great cause. Congrats to Jodi and Lindsay for all the good they do in Chicago and beyond!
The Auxiliary Board of Bear Necessities hosted its Purple Affair for the Bear party at Parliament with more than 375 guests in attendance, all with a common goal--to raise funds for Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The party
had a masquerade theme and guests were happy to oblige, decked out in beautiful masks that coordinated with their purple attire. WKSC/KISS FM's Jordan Gorman emceed the event that also included moving comments
by Kyle Loughlin, 15. Kyle spoke about his experience going through chemo treatments due to a brain tumor and how Bear Necessities helped him cope by taking his mind off his illness with a shopping spree and tickets to Bears and Cubs games. (He is now doing great!) The party
also included a silent auction and raffle as well as a live band, Slap Happy, a hometown top 40 pop/rock group. Guests dined on delicious tastings from top Chicago restaurants that included Mercadito Counter, Mercadito Fish,
Summer House Santa Monica and Reggie's Chicago. The evening raised more than $72,000 for Bear Necessities. The organization's largest fundraiser, The Bear Tie Ball (themed "Latin Nights"), will be held this coming Saturday at Union Station. Co-chaired by Nina
Mariano and Paul Iacono, the event will include the presentation of the 2015 Hope Awards to The Langham Hotel-Chicago and O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service; a heartwarming story of strength from the honorary Bear Hug Ambassador, Emily Crabtree; and remarks from Bear Necessities founder & CEO, Kathleen Casey. For tickets and more info, click here!)
Twice a year Chuck went fishing with his friends, on Valentine's Day and my birthday in May. If I were a more sensitive type, I would be slightly offended but, the truth of the matter is, he had been taking these trips for years with childhood friends before we even met. Happily, during his absences, I was lucky to be able
to take trips of my own with my mom, Elsa Mae Stott. We always chose Miami, in particular, the Fontainebleau at 4441 Collins Avenue. Even in May, when it was so hot, we had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. The weather was never a factor,
although it was really, really nice to see palm trees. The most important thing was the fun-filled times we spent together there....in paradise. The Fontainebleau has a rich history. It was designed by Morris Lapidus, opened in 1954
and instantly became a celeb hotspot (it still is). The Rat Pack performed there and Jerry Lewis filmed his comedy, The Bellboy, there, too. The James Bond film Goldfinger featured the hotel in the sweeping aerial shots that follows the opening credits and the pool
figured prominently in the film Scarface among many, many others. My mom and I always had a routine when we came. I would check in after seating her in the Lobby Bar. That's when my hunt for the perfect room began, which could sometimes last longer than a
couple of cocktails. On one occasion, Chuck splurged and reserved the penthouse for us. For this memorable trip, I included my cousin Donna Mae Watson (who was like a sister to my mom) and OMGoodness--fun reigned supreme. Those were wonderful times that I'll never, ever
forget. Now, this year, for the very first time, I celebrated Valentine's Day at the Fontainebleau with my husband--finally. His fishing trips have gone by the wayside, which is good news, bad news. I know he missed the boys, but I think he had a great time. :-) Hope you all
made wonderful Valentine's Day memories, too!. (The Fontainebleau has undergone a $1 billion reno and added some great restaurants plus 10 pools! These are my current top picks for hotspots in Miami Beach--Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau had
some of the best gourmet Chinese food we've had in a long time. The "moving" bar there is a must-see! We also loved Villa Azur (309 23rd St, Miami
Beach). I don't even have enough room to write about how cool this place is and, of course, our favorite beach club outside of St. Tropez, La Piaggia at 1000 S. Pointe Drive. We loved meeting up with good friends there, too, like Ken Norgan, Pepe Conforme, Jan Melk, Deb Walters, Pierre Desy and Michel Desjardins. Old friends are the best friends!
Congrats to this year's honorees for Women Driving Excellence hosted by Chicagonista Live!'s Beth Rosen, Nancy Loo, MJ Tam and Duong Online. The afternoon event held at the Chicago Auto show was hosted by fitness expert Andrea Metcalf and honored Dr. Suzet McKinney (Deputy Commission, Public Health Preparedness & Emergency Response); Anita Alvarez (State's Attorney, Cook County);
Debi Lilly (Chief Eventeur, A Perfect Event); Dorri McWhorter (CEO, YWCA Chicago); Lucy Moy-Bartosik (Commander, CPD) and Janet Davies (Host ABC-7 and 190 North). Congrats to all!
I met Jessica Zweig and Erica Bethe Levin as the "Cheeky Chicago" girls and, even though Jessica is now the founder of The Simply Be
Agency, I still think of them as my "Cheeky" friends. Jessica recently married the love of her life, Brian Fisher, in an elegant ceremony at a private villa at La Casa Que Canta in Mexico wearing a dress designed by Chicago's own Azeeza Khan. Erica married her longtime
love, Terry Kane, in October in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the ivy-covered garden of Pops for Champagne officiated by two of their best friends. After the vows, everyone rode in
double decker buses (following a mini Chicago tour) to the reception at bellyQ where 150 friends enjoyed a dinner created by renowned Chef Bill Kim. Congrats to these two cuties who will always be "Cheeky" to me!
Cycle for Survival, the national movement to beat rare cancers, returned to Chicago on Feb. 21 and 22 for the 6th consecutive year of its annual indoor team cycling event at Equinox The Loop. Special guests/actors from Chicago Fire and Chicago PD included LaRoyce Hawkins, Marina Squerciati, Joe Minoso and David Eigenberg. Instructors from Equinox, Cycle for Survival's founding partner, led the more than 1,600 participants in rides at these all-day, family friendly events where 100% of every dollar raised funds rare cancer research and clinical trials led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. To date, this national movement has raised more than $64,000,000 for the cause. In 2015, more than 20,000 riders in 13 cities across the country will participate in Cycle for Survival.
Congrats to 1871 Chicago's Howard Tullman who will receive the 2015 Public Humanities Award from the Illinois Humanities Council on May 14 at a luncheon at the Palmer House! Last year's honorees were Jay Franke and
David Herro. Congrats to ALL of these great guys who give back so much to the community and beyond! (For tickets and more info, click here).
Big thanks to WCIU's "You & Me This Morning" for having me back! I talked about my top Oscar party picks from around town and had a little surprise for hosts Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow at
the end of the segment. The show also featured miniature therapy horses from Mane in Heaven that put everyone on cuteness overload. If you don't tune into this fun-filled show M-F from 6-9 am, you are really missing out!
I love anything by Chef Stephanie Izard, so I was thrilled to hear her next restaurant, Duck, Duck GOAT, will open in the summer at 857 W. Fulton Market featuring Chinese food! Boka Restaurant Group's Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm "leaked" the fact that
they were partnering with Izard in a new restaurant venture at the Jean Banchet Awards recently.....so now we know! Can't wait!
And last but not least, I hope you enjoy this video that will restore your faith in mankind. I love this life-saving boost for a fine feathered friend!
Hope you enjoyed the Oscars and that your favorites all won!
Love, as always!
P.S. If you missed my Candid Candace column in Sunday's Chicago Tribune, here's a link. The Snowball benefited Lurie Children's Hospital and attracted nearly 2000 cute partygoers! And, as you can see, EVERYONE reads Candid Candace and I hope you do, too! LOL!