An intimate group of 70 attendees brought in big money at the Chicago Community Trust’s Nuestro Futuro reception at BMO Harris Bank (115 S. LaSalle). More than $70,000 was raised for Nuestro Futuro, a philanthropic giving circle formed by Chicago’s Latino leaders, which distributes $200,000 in grants every year to local nonprofits. The 2012 Nuestro Futuro grant recipients were recognized during a program honoring longtime supporter King W. Harris for his contributions to the organization.
Actress Jane Seymour, known for her role as a frontier doctor, came to town to serve as the mistress of ceremonies for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s inaugural Hope on the Horizon dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan). Chaired by Nancy and Steve Crown and Leonard A. Lauder — with a special performance by Glen Campbell who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 — the event brought out 200 local heavy-hitters. Partygoers made the evening a homerun smash, raising nearly $1.5 million to help fund innovative drug research to combat the disease.
Ken Downing, the acclaimed Dallas-based fashion director of Neiman Marcus, swung by the chic retailer’s Northbrook location (5000 Northbrook Court) to present his latest style report while models strutted down the runway. One of just a handful of store visits by Downing this season, more than 100 stylish Chicagoans turned out to hear his take on the hottest trends: navy as the new neutral, brooches as the way to add drama to your look and a cherry lip as the season’s perfect pout.
Tim King, president and CEO of the nonprofit Urban Prep Academies, has a lot to smile about. Since starting the country’s only all-male, African-American charter school in 2002, he has grown the institution to encompass three campuses and 1,500 students — many of whom come from low-income families — and a 100 percent college admission rate, the highest of any public school in Chicago. Aces UP!, his 6th annual poker tournament, raised more than $100,000 so that the organization can continue to provide support for the schools and students. The sold-out tournament attracted more than 250 guests to City Winery (1200 W. Randolph), including co-hosts Alexi Giannoulias, Chris Zorich and the Sun-Times’ own Richard Roeper. Other attendees included Roe Conn, Ryan Chiaverini, Cheryl Scott, Susan Carlson and Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely.
Dec. 8: It’s certainly not traditional, but when the Young Leadership Division of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago celebrates the first night of Hanukkah with a comedy show, it must be kosher. Taking place at the Sheraton Chicago, the event features an open bar, appetizers and a stand-up set from comedian Aziz Ansari.
The holiday lights at Macy’s on State Street always dazzle, but on Nov. 20, the store was even brighter than usual with the additional smiles of 200 preschool-aged kids participating in Operation Happy Children. Before the store opened, they were invited to enjoy a private breakfast in the Walnut Room (where Macy’s executives such as Andrea Schwartz served as waitstaff), followed by face-painting, a visit with Santa and goody bags brimming with gifts. For the fifth year Macy’s paired with the Chicago Commons Head Start Program, a full-day preschool for young children in underprivileged neighborhoods.
On the heels of the 2012 Changing Color of Leadership Conference, more than 900 business leaders gathered at Chicago United’s ninth annual Bridge Awards Dinner Nov. 15, presented by BMO Harris Bank at the Chicago Hilton. Johnson & Johnson Chairman William Weldon and Walgreen Co. President and CEO Gregory Wasson were honored for their commitment to diversity and economic inclusion. The evening was emceed by WLS-Channel 7’s Ravi Baichwal, who introduced presenting sponsor Ellen Costello, CEO of BMO Financial Corp., and Gov. Pat Quinn. The event raised $725,000 for Chicago United.
Reporters rocked the Park West Nov. 10 for the third annual “Newsapalooza,” a variety show and charity concert featuring Chicago’s most musically talented media personalities. The event — a collaboration between WSL-AM 890 radio host Roe Conn and Grammy Award-winner Richard Marx — featured performers such as “Windy City Live” hosts Ryan Chiaverini and Val Warner, “ABC World News Now” anchor Paula Faris and WMAQ-Channel 5’s Daniella Guzman. This year’s proceeds benefited Clearbrook, which provides aid to people with developmental disabilities.
In 1973 five American fashion designers battled five French designers at an epic runway show benefiting the restoration of the Palace of Versailles. Nearly 40 years later, a documentary celebrating the American designers’ dominance — and heralding the rise of African-American runway models — was shown at Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Cinema at 1104 S. Wabash. Attendees included the executive producer of “Versailles ’73,” Deborah Riley Draper, as well as documentary stars and former runway models Mikki Taylor, Pat Cleveland, Norma Jean Darden and Charlene Dash.
The Chicago Children’s Museum came of age on Nov. 3 when one of the city’s top cultural institutions dedicated to children celebrated its 30th birthday. Host committee members Joan Harris and members of the Crown, Goodman and Pritzker Pucker families welcomed more than 550 guests to the annual gala held inside the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom (600 E. Grand). With sponsors including Allstate and BDT Capital Partners, the party raised more than $870,000 to help support the museum’s mission of connecting the importance of learning through play for children.