PLUS BLACK CREATIVITY GALA; MIMI'S LAST DANCE; EISENOPOLY; BOYS & GIRLS CLUB'S YOUTH OF THE YEAR; LESLIE'S KENNEDY AUCTION; BRUNO'S RECIPE FOR CHANGE; EVENING IN BLOOM; FELIX MAG'S TASTEMAKERS; LITTLE CITY'S POKER TOURNEY & CASINO NIGHT; WOMEN DRIVING EXCELLENCE; UNICEF'S HOPE GALA; MORK & MINDY'S; HAYES' NEW SHOW; OPEN CALL FOR F.A.M.E.; TICKLED PINK FOR BRIGHT PINK; DARLING VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
The event was a sports lovers dream come true when Sarah and Kerry Wood hosted their 5th annual Woody's Winter Warm-Up at Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch Restaurant at Water Tower Place with a sellout crowd. The event, benefiting the Wood Family Foundation, has become a staple for baseball fans during Cubs convention weekend and, on this night, over 750 guests were in attendance, along with
some of Woods' celebrity friends and former/current Cubs players and coaching staff. The good natured celebrity bartenders jumped behind the bar to serve drinks while competing for tips and also challenged guests through interactive games in the adjacent Chicago Sports Museum.
Emceed by WGN's Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes, the Warm-Up featured meet-and-greet opportunities, multiple food stations, a raffle for a team signed baseball, a silent auction and musical performances by celebrity DJ Niena Drake and DJ Prince. This year’s live auction showcased an exclusive ‘Cubs training’ experience that included a personalized
diet and training program, a workout with Kerry and a Cubs trainer in Wrigley Field’s brand new facilities, batting practice, a pre-game tour of Wrigley, tickets to a game and signed baseballs from stars Kyle Schwarber and Jake Arrieta. This amazing package sold for $8500 to Bill Hickey, President of Lapham Steel Company! What a lucky guy! “This is one of our favorite events to host each year,” explains
Kerry. “The current and past Cubs players create a lot of excitement when they are in the room, not to mention our celebrity guests who are bar-tending throughout the night…it’s an all out really fun time.” Those in
attendance from the Chicago Cubs (past/present) were Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Justin Grimm, Miguel Montero, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Chad Noble, Dan Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson, David Ross, John Lackey, Ryne Sandberg (Hall of Famer), Scott Sanderson, Steve Trout, Joe
Maddon (Manager), Mike Borzello (Catching coach), Eric Hinske (Asst Hitting coach), Theo Epstein (President of Baseball Operations), Jed Hoyer (Executive VP) and Crane Kenney (President of
Business Operations). Additional celebrity guests included: Israel Idonije (former Chicago Bear), Brent Sopel (Blackhawks), Jamal Mayers (former Chicago Blackhawk),
Ron Kittle (former White Sox), Joe Minoso (NBC’s Chicago Fire), Eric Ferguson (WTMX), Kathy Hart (WTMX), CM Punk (UFC), Lisa Varga (Marley and Me), Dr. Daniel Ivankovich (CNN 2015 Hero of the Year), Ryan Chiaverini (Windy City Live),
Sarah Spain (ESPN radio), Lisa Fielding (CBS radio), Pete McMurray (The Drive), Lou Canellis (FOX TV), Jane Monzures (WGN TV), Joe Soto (V103), Sam Hunt (Chicago Fire),
Scott Fischer (MasterChef), Ray McElroy (retired NFL player), Lisa Dent (US99), Ramblin Ray (US99), and Kelly Crull (Comcast SportsNet).“We appreciate everyone who came out to support the foundation and our Pitch In program,” adds Sarah Wood. “This event allows us to provide more resources for our students and
mentors so that our mentoring program continues to grow.” The Wood Family Foundation (WFF) was founded in June 2011 by the Woods to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago. The Warm Up raised funds for the Foundation’s Pitch In group mentoring program serving 4th through 8th graders in Chicago’s North Lawndale
neighborhood. (Photos by Kenny Kim and Rob Ramirez).
Mimi Marks has been performing at the Baton Show Lounge for the last 25 years and last Sunday she took her final bows. The place was standing room only for this
legendary showgirl whose titles include Miss International Queen, The World's Most Beautiful Transsexual, Miss Continental and her very first pageant title from her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa--Ms. Waterloo 1986. I don't know what it was that first attracted me to
the Baton where the "tops of the tops" perform but once I moved to Chicago in 1974 and discovered it, I took everyone I knew there. Along the way, we befriended a lot of the entertainers who perform as female
impersonators including Mimi, Chille Pepper, Maya Douglas, Sasha Colby, Sheri Payne, Victoria La Paige, Regine Phillips, Ginger Grant, Chanel and so many others. Whenever my mom visited, our first stop was the Baton, the same for my cousins and my friends. I even took my husband Chuck there on one of our first dates as well as legendary tennis star
Jimmy Connors who stood in line to tip the "girls" just like everyone else. Those performers were and are like family to me as well as Jim Flint, the man who started it all. I suspect all of
their fans see them the same way since each of them certainly have a great following. They work hard to entertain you, putting on exciting shows with dramatic costuming (that they plan/create themselves) and fabulous choreography to current, hot music. Mimi has lived as a woman since she was 21 years old.
She grew up in Oelwein, Iowa, and, as a boy, she recalls feeling uncomfortable in her body and had the "most difficult time" in her physical education class because she said, "I didn't fit in at all." Her family, who was in
the audience for her last show, have always been supportive. For her final number, her longtime fan/friend event planner Derrick Taylor, presented her with a massive pink floral display filled with dollar bills! I will miss not seeing her at the Baton as will her legion of fans, but she's off to follow her heart and plans on mentoring transgender youth. I know she will be a very positive influence for everyone she meets. Good luck on your exciting, new journey Mimi with
love from Candace, one of your biggest fans! (Extra photos by Louis Boroff).
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago hosted its 33rd annual Black Creativity Gala on Saturday, January 30, with over 500 guests in attendance. The
Gala, planned in collaboration with a committee of prominent Chicago African-American leaders, raised more than $500,000 to support the Museum's programming and events which pay tribute to the culture, heritage and science contributions of African Americans and help motivate youth in the sciences. The Gala was co-chaired by Cheryl Harris, senior VP at Allstate Insurance
Company; and Linda Nolan, senior VP and managing director at Northern Trust. The evening began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Black Creativity Juried Art
Exhibition that featured more than 100 original works of art. Several of the Museum’s Science Minor teen volunteers also showcased science demos for the crowd. Following cocktails, guests proceeded to the Museum’s Rotunda where they enjoyed a lavish strolling buffet
catered by Food for Thought. Food stations featured a chilled seafood bar with shrimp and stone crab claws; mojo rubbed pork shoulder with currants and creamed kale; creole grits with bacon, collard greens, fried okra and chicken gumbo; chicken and waffles with crispy cornbread and Sriracha-maple dressing. Two dessert stations included
bread pudding bites, “build your own” pies, and a selection of mini tartlets, skillet cookies, sorbet cones and more. NBC-5's Art Norman emceed the evening’s program that included musical entertainment by the Opal Staples Orchestra and DJ Nick Nicholson. The Black
Creativity Innovation Studio was also open to guests who were able to invent and craft their own pins and bracelets. Other Museum exhibits, including MSI’s newest permanent exhibition, Numbers in Nature; as well as Science Storms and The Great Train Story were also open to attendees throughout the evening.
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. The event featured a lively cocktail reception with music and swing dancing by Sons of Susan, delicious small bites from Tocco, West Loop Salumi and Wow Bao as well as wine samplings from the Alex Cooper Project. During the main event, guests enjoyed tastings from some of Chicago's finest restaurants including Maple & Ash, Swift & Sons, Formento's,
Nando's Peri Peri and The Hampton Social. Speed rounds of EISENOPOLY entertained guests playing for incredible prizes including a two-night stay at the Thompson Chicago as well as raffle prizes. The jail marshall kept watch on the life-sized Jail & Bail fundraiser in the
center of the room, housing guests that could be bailed out for donations. "We are thrilled by the growth the event experienced this year,
raising $200,000, $50,000 more than last year," said Katie Wales, executive director of the Eisenberg Foundation. "I'm so grateful for our sponsors and board members for their shared dedication and passion, allowing us to continue funding our mission of
supporting GI cancer research while honoring the memory of Harold E. Eisenberg." The Foundation is committed to embracing life's challenges through gastrointestinal cancer research and education. Proceeds from the event will
contribute to the innovative research programs at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, where the Foundations funds a GI Cancer Tissue Bank. Congrats to all!
The Union League Boys & Girls Clubs (ULBGC) will host their annual Youth of the Year Dinner on Thursday, February 25, at the Union League Club of Chicago. The event marks the 69th year the ULBGC has recognized and celebrated the extraordinary achievements of Union League Boys & Girls Clubs teens. “The Youth of the Year is the highest honor one of our 13,000 Boy & Girls Club members can achieve,” said Terry Hendrickson, ULBGC Board President. ULBGC members ages 14 to 18 are eligible to compete in the competition. The winner advances to the statewide contest to compete with Boys & Girls Clubs winners from across Illinois. Winners receive much needed scholarship money to support their college education. Each year the organization serves nearly 13,000 youth with engaging after-school and summer programming. Tickets for the dinner are $125 per person. To reserve tickets, sponsor a
youth to attend or for more information, please contact Marina Siragusa at (312) 765-0405 or email@example.com.
Congrats are in order for one of Chicago's most beloved chefs, Bruno Abate, owner of the popular Tocco Restaurant at 1266 N. Milwaukee! His non-profit, Recipe for Change, has been honored with a John D.
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Holiday Award in the amount of $50,000 in support of his innovative culinary and fine arts training programs in
the Cook County Jail system. Bruno gives tirelessly of his time there inspired by the highly successful Padua Prison program in his native Italy. "It's amazing to see people, changing their lives a little bit at a time," says Abate. "I hope they will not come back here (Cook County Jail), " he explains. "Whatever I can do to keep them out, I will." Inmates
interested in participating in the program must submit a written essay and undergo a personal interview with Abate. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, expresses his enthusiasm for what Abate and Recipe for Change are accomplishing at the Jail. "You can just see in the behavior of these guys here that it means more than just going through some class. It's like there's a philosophy Chef Abate has got cooking along with the pasta." Congrats with love Bruno and thanks for all you do!
floral cheer right about now! This year's event will benefit The Trotter Project and will be chaired by Nina and Bob Mariano of the show's presenting sponsor, Mariano's. The Trotter Project is a national non-profit driven by Chef Charlie Trotter alumni and supporters to unite those interested in the culinary arts through educational and inspiring programming and events. Restaurateur/sommelier Alpana Singh will be a featured guest speaker at the event and will share her extensive food and wine experience. For tickets, $150, and more info, click here.
Thank you Felix Magazine for including me in your upcoming "Tastemakers" feature with these cool peeps: Debi Lilly, Kyle Joseph, Whitney Reynolds, Beth Clinton Peterson, Erica Eckman, Ashley Hutchinson and Kit Graham! (Photo by Anthony Tahlier Photography, styling by Rachel J Styling, hair and makeup by Andie Pierce and Paula Heckenast). Felix Mag was founded by
Jessica George to support her awesome nonprofit organization, the Apparecio Foundation, one of the FIRST STEM programs EVER initiated for girls in the city that also provides mentoring, academic assistance and scholarship programs for high-potential, low-income women in public high schools. Congrats to all!
Grab your four-legged friends and get ready to party at PAWS Chicago's annual Animal Magnetism party on Friday, March 18 beginning at 7 pm. Hosted at Morgan Manufacturing (new venue!) in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, the event welcomes more than 500 of Chicago’s urban professionals and pet lovers for a night of cocktails, dinner, DJ, dancing, pet entertainment and a fabulous silent auction. For tickets and more info, click here.
Beep! Beep! On February 16th, (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at McCormick Place: 2301 S. Lakeshore Drive) Women Driving Excellence (#WDE16) will return to the Chicago Auto Show for the fourth year in celebration of women who help start, accelerate, fuel, and steer others to excellence. The #WDE16 event was created by two social media mavens, MJ Tam and Beth Rosen of the popular ChicagonistaLIVE! online talk
show. While there are many activities that appeal to women at the Show, they felt the need to create a special program that would recognize women who exemplified unique vision and talent that fueled the fire of passion in the community. The event will include a full day program honoring and celebrating innovative, entrepreneurial, accomplished, businesswomen as well as an exciting new addition, a "shark tank" style entrepreneurs pitching
contest call GPS Pitch Engine Contest where five aspiring entrepreneurs will make presentations to a panel of experts who are in search of rising businesses. (Submissions are still being taken). Honoring Trailblazing Women Presentation will be emceed by ABC-7's Janet Davies and will include Lisa Madigan-Illinois Attorney General, Marilynn Gardner-Navy Pier President & CEO, Dominique Jordan Turner– Chicago Scholars President & CEO, Kathleen Henson-Henson Consulting Founder & CEO, Dee Alexander– Song Stylist. I'm honored to have been an inaugural recipient of this prestigious award and congratulate all involved! It will most certainly be an exciting afternoon! For more info, click here.
GET YOUR POKER FACE ON! SPEX, Chicago’s premier destination for distinctive eyewear and sun wear, joins with Little City Foundation Friday, March 11th, at 6:00pm to 12:30am, to present “Seeing Hope Together.” This is the fourth year of sponsorship for the exciting poker tournament and casino night fundraiser. THE MONTGOMERY CLUB, located at 500 W. Superior Street, Chicago, will visually delight guests who attend in support of children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Iconic fashion eyewear collections will be informally modeled and displayed in the ‘James Bond’-themed Spex lounge. GIBSONS BAR & STEAKHOUSE will provide a lavish, all-night buffet for guests to enjoy; a premium open bar and engaging raffle will all be part of the special ‘gaming for a cause’ event. Little City has successfully changed lives, created hope and challenged the limits placed on children and adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 55 years. Their comprehensive services and programs make them the preeminent organization of their kind in Illinois. Michael Caputo, Spex Director of Marketing, expressed pride with the continuing partnership: “Spex remains energized and delighted to present the hottest Texas Hold ‘Em tournament and casino games event in Chicago; it’s fast becoming a ‘must attend’ spring fundraiser! We know our vital support of Little City’s mission has helped change lives. We’re definitely proud of our fourth year of association with an Illinois organization whose core advocacy – simply stated, sees hope. It’s very much a committed partnership – and that’s a winning hand.” (For tickets and more info, click here!)
Calling all dancers and musical artists ages 16-30! F.A.M.E. (Foundation of Artists Mentored in Entertainment) will host an Open Call on Saturday, February 6, from 10 am --1 pm. at Studio 3G, 1017 W. Washington Blvd. Final winners will each receive a minimum check of $1000 towards their artistic endeavors and the opportunity to showcase their talents to agents and celebrity judges on 5/13/16. (For all the details, click here!) Break a leg!
UNICEF’s 9th Annual Hope Gala, which invites Chicagoans to put children first and celebrate UNICEF’s global impact, will be held on Saturday, April 9, at The Geraghty. The event will be co-chaired by Mark Mitsukawa (Barneys New York) and Kim K.W. Rucker (Kraft Foods Group, Inc.) to raise funds to save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children. (For tickets and more info, click here)
I know a set of parents who are very, very proud of their son right about now! Hayes MacArthur, son of Shelley MacArthur Farley and Bruce MacArthur, is co-starring in a new TBS series Angie Tribeca, that aired January 17. This crime
show spoof pairs actress Rashida Jones and Hayes as partners. Congrats to all! Check your local listings for show times!
More congrats are in order for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, whose recent Kennedy Winter White House auction, was a great success in Palm Beach bringing in over $500,000. Best selling lot? A pair of Venetian glass mirrors that sold for over $38,000 (against a $3-5000 estimate). Fair warning!
We can't wait to try Mork & Mindy's, Food Network's Jeff Mauro's new restaurant at 1623 N. Milwaukee Avenue! The Sandwich King is making his move! Congrats Sarah and Jeff! 773.799.8759.
Hope you're all making it through the winter in style and taking the time to smell the roses along the way. I've found some adorable videos recently and can't wait to share them with you!
This one proves that once a kid (or kit) always a kid!
A perfect example of the power of dance......
And lastly, every little girl's nightmare. I remember a moment like this all too well.....
There, now I will leave you with a smile! Thanks for reading,