[nggallery id=causesaks2] Shoe lovers stepped out in the name of fashionable fundraising Feb. 7 to join Jacky Ferro (wife of Wrapports Chairman Michael Ferro) and Elizabeth Cole for a design-your-own Manolo Blahniks event at Saks Fifth Avenue (700 N. Michigan). The well-heeled women shopped for spring fashions while selecting their shoes’ style, fabric, material and heel height — and at the register, 5 percent of their purchase was donated to the Sun-Times Foundation, which assists community organizations in reaching their fundraising goals. The giving continues all month, as Saks cardholders can choose to donate to the Sun-Times Foundation at checkout through Feb. 28.
[nggallery id=causeauto] The Chicago Auto Show put its gears in motion for the 105th time on Feb. 8, launching the 10-day affair with First Look for Charity. At the black-tie bash, nearly 8,000 guests flooded McCormick Place to get a sneak peek at the roughly 1,000 cars on display before the show opened to the public. WMAQ-Channel 5’s Alicia Roman and Cheryl Scott presided over the red carpet, then joined attendees in sipping cocktails, snacking on hors d’oeuvres and perusing the impressive automobiles sprawled across the one-million-square-foot space. At the end of the night, two lucky guests took home the event’s grand prizes: a Buick Encore and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Equally epic were the fundraising efforts — more than $2 million was raised for 18 local charities.
[nggallery id=causesarca] Chicago got its own taste of fashion week on Feb. 10, when Alexis Cozzini of Gold Coast boutique Sarca joined Splash in co-hosting a brunch and fashion show featuring Nieves Lavi New York’s spring collection. Fashion-forward guests such as publicist Amanda Puck, Luxury Garage Sale’s Lindsay Segal and Mario Tricoci’s Megan Bueschel flocked to Alpana Singh’s River North hot spot The Boarding House (720 N. Wells). They sipped mimosas, enjoyed brunch and viewed a presentation of the line’s bright prints and flowing silhouettes paired with jewelry by Damen + Division. Post-meal, the namesake designers, Sam Nieves Velez and Sharon Lavi, were on hand to answer questions and discuss their work.
[nggallery id=causemacys2] More than 100 guests wore their hearts on their sleeves at the Jan. 31 kickoff of Macy’s Find Your Red Shopping Party, held to benefit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. The Chicago flagship (111 N. State) hosted the bash, which featured hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music from DJ Jon Jeung of Fig Media and an inspiring story from heart disease survivor and Chicago native Jill Russell. The evening concluded with Estée Lauder makeovers and a fashion show demonstrating the latest trends in red apparel and accessories. More than $1.5 million was raised to support the AHA.
[nggallery id=causegoodman2] The Goodman Theatre created a fun-filled oasis for 150 partygoers at the Cocktails & Cacti event, letting guests peek behind the curtain of current show “Other Desert Cities.” The night began with hors d’oeuvres, cactus-infused cocktails and remarks from director Henry Wishcamper, who shared his personal take on the play. Guests at the Jan. 31 bash then got a first look at the performance before chatting with the all-star cast — including Tracy Michelle Arnold, Deanna Dunagan and John Hoogenakker — at a post-show reception.
[nggallery id=causesoccer] Urban Initiatives shot and scored with its 7th annual Soccer Ball, which was held at the River East Art Center (435 E. Illinois) on Jan. 25 and sold out faster than any previous year. Nearly 800 guests showed up to support the nonprofit’s health- and education-based soccer programs, which have expanded over the past six years to serve thousands of children attending 22 Chicago Public Schools. Masters of Ceremonies and ESPN 1000 hosts Marc Silverman and Carmen DeFalco entertained attendees who sipped cocktails, snacked on appetizers, danced and bid on silent auction items to help net nearly $300,000.
[nggallery id=causecreative] Science gained mass appeal Jan. 26, when more than 700 guests donned their best black-tie attire for the Museum of Science and Industry’s 30th annual Black Creativity Gala. The event honors the institution’s 40-year-old Black Creativity Program, which pays tribute to African-Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine. Co-chaired by Kevin Brookins, Larry Hollins, Myra Price and Greg Hinton and held at the MSI, the event featured artwork from more than 100 amateur and professional African-American artists from across the country, plus bites from eight buffet stations and live music from Grammy-nominated R&B group After 7 and DJ Lil’ John. WMAQ-Channel 5’s Michelle Relerford emceed and guests included Gov. Pat Quinn and Merri Dee. About $400,000 was raised to benefit the Black Creativity Program.
[nggallery id=causechicago] On Jan. 24, from 99 stories above the city, more than 350 guests raised their glasses to Chicago House at the organization’s annual Winter Art Auction and Cocktail Party, held at the Willis Tower SkyDeck. Guests sipped the Absolut Tune, a bubbly fusion of vodka and white wine, while bidding on artwork by 40 local artists and designers in an auction. Co-chaired by Tom Segal, David Kaufman, Sean Ward, Dennis Remer, Sean Kotwa and Christopher Hubbard, the event raised $45,000 for Chicago House. The nonprofit has been a local leader in providing life-saving housing and support to families and individuals affected by HIV and AIDS.
[nggallery id=causetavern] New sports bar Park Tavern (1645 W. Jackson) is amping up the West Loop, and 200 guests helped open the new digs in style at a Splash-sponsored VIP grand opening party Jan 23. Attendees enjoyed appetizers and craft beers — including local brews — from more than 40 taps as they geared up for the Bulls matchup against the Detroit Pistons. When it was time for tip-off, some used the complimentary shuttle service to the United Center to cheer in person, while others stuck around to watch on the two-story bar’s 20-plus TVs. Park Tavern also offers three private dining rooms, a late-night dining menu and a DJ every Thursday through Saturday night.