[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.
[nggallery id=causedvine] Like a fine wine, the d’Vine Affair just keeps getting better. At the 12th annual event, held Jan. 27, more than 400 guests sampled 250 premium wines presented by 90 vintners from around the world at the Union League (65 W. Jackson). Mingling on the fifth and sixth floors of the club, attendees sipped while upping their wine expertise with exclusive seminars led by Chicago sommelier Bob Bansberg and founder of the Chicago Wine School Patrick Fegan. Armed with new knowledge, guests then had the chance to bid on bottles in a “Stock Your Cellar” raffle and silent auction. Chaired and founded by Joe and Helen Glunz and John and Teddi Scholz, the event netted more than $100,000 with proceeds benefitting the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Self-Sufficiency Programs, which gives struggling families long-term assistance in reaching financial independence.
Jan 31: Take a fashionable stand against heart disease at Macy’s Find Your Red Shopping Party, held in honor of the 10th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. Sport the hue to the shop’s Wear Red Sale to get an extra 20 percent off red apparel and accessories. While browsing the racks, snack on light refreshments, get an Estée Lauder makeover and watch a fashion presentation on the best ways to incorporate red into your wardrobe. Throughout, AHA volunteers and local heart disease survivors will share their stories and offer more information on the Go Red for Women movement. 5:30 p.m. 111 N. State. Admission: free. Call (866) 607-4422 to reserve your spot or visit Macys.com/events for more info. —Talia Beechick
[nggallery id=causecubsshow] On Jan. 17, Cubs players past and present swapped the field for the runway as outfielder David DeJesus and wife Kim welcomed almost 300 guests to the Strike a Pose Celebrity Fashion Show. With the goal of raising funds for the David DeJesus Family Foundation — established by the couple to help families in need — players such as Shawn Camp, Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo strutted down the catwalk and Kerry Wood, Darwin Barney, Michael Bowden and Ian Stewart were joined by their wives on the runway at the River East Art Center (435 E. Illinois), all sporting glam looks courtesy of the 900 North Michigan Shops.
[nggallery id=causecubs3] Ballplayers became bartenders on Jan. 18 at Woody’s Winter Warm-Up, a fund-raiser hosted by retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and his wife Sarah. More than 450 guests turned out at Harry Caray’s Tavern Navy Pier (600 E. Grand) for the second annual event featuring an all-star lineup — Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Tony Campana and more — who served drinks and competed for tips donated to the Wood Family Foundation. The party raised more than $100,000 for the foundation, which works to improve the lives of kids in Chicago. The Sun-Times was the media sponsor of this event. Story by Katerina Bizios | Photos by Ramzi Dreessen and Kenny Kim
[nggallery id=causelittle] On Jan. 17, chef Ryan Poli, Mercadito Hospitality partners Alfredo and Felipe Sandoval and “Tippling Bros.” Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci celebrated the grand opening of their Gold Coast restaurant, Little Market Brasserie (10 E. Delaware). Nearly 200 guests flocked to the 150-seat restaurant nestled inside the Talbott Hotel and surrounded by a 125-seat outdoor sidewalk café. Attendees like Steve Dolinsky, Andrew and Jonathan Landan and April Francis sipped on charged cocktails (homemade soda blends mixed with a choice of spirits) and snacked on samples from the menu, including deviled eggs with mushrooms and grilled cheese stuffed with fried egg, cheddar, bacon and avocado.
[nggallery id=causevertigo] The Dana Hotel (660 N. State) cranked up the heat on Jan. 18, when nearly 600 guests turned up to celebrate the return of the Vertigo Sky Lounge’s seasonal ice bar. Perched 26 floors above the city, revelers stayed warm by sipping Svedka cocktails from the frozen bar, mingling inside or gathering around the fire pit on the outdoor balcony. Throughout the Splash-sponsored event, Kristen Amato’s K. Amato spring 2013 jewelry collection was on display for partygoers to admire.
Jan 26: Study up while getting down at the Museum of Science and Industry’s 30th annual Black Creativity Gala. Each year, more than 800 guests attend the event — and this year, they’ll be dining alongside Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke, Northern Trust Bank EVP Connie Lindsey, AARP Illinois State President Merri Dee and gala chair Myra Price while listening to remarks from WMAQ-Channel 5’s Michelle Relerford and dancing to live music from Grammy-nominated R&B group After 7 and DJ Lil’ John. Throughout the evening, attendees can stroll through the juried “Black Creativity Art Exhibition,” highlighting more than 100 works of art by African-American artists from across the country. All proceeds support the Museum’s Black Creativity program, which has showcased achievements by African-Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine for more than 40 years. Tickets: $350. Contact Octavia Hooks at (773) 947-3729 or visit Msichicago.org.