|The Joffrey Ballet held its sold-out opening night of the Nutcracker last Wednesday, December 12 at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The performance was preceded by a gala family dinner at the Chicago Club.
There was entertainment for the young guests during cocktails and dinner, featuring clowns, jugglers, stilt walkers, costumed characters dressed as Nutcrackers and ballerinas — plus Santa Claus. The dinner featured a special children’s menu and sophisticated fare for adults. The youngsters left for the Auditorium Theatre with goody bags filled with super books, jelly bellies and other exciting gifts.
Not only do three Board members have children dancing in the Nutcracker, but the Joffrey was very proud to announce that four members of the Joffrey’s Education & Community Engagement program (ECE) were also part of the cast.
The 2007 Family Night Dinner and Performance is a benefit project of the Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet and was co-chaired by Sandra Deromedi of Lake Forest and Shawna Owen of Chicago. The president of the Women’s Board is Kathleen Klaeser of Glenview. The new artistic director of the Joffrey is Ashley Wheater.
Bank of America was the Opening Night event sponsor and the program sponsor was Macy’s. Macy’s has featured the Joffrey Nutcracker in its State Street, Chicago, Christmas Windows. Additional season sponsors are Abbott Fund, Huron and United Airlines.
The chairmen, Sandra Deromedi and Shawna Owen announced that the evening’s net was $100,000.
|Two days before the Joffrey's opening night of the Nutcracker, over at Graff on 103 East Oak Street in Chicago, Henri Barguirdjian, President and CEO of Graff, and Diana Hall, Director of Graff Chicago, held a book signing reception for New York society/celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan and his new book "Glamour Girls." The evening also saluted The Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis Healing Garden Society.|
|More Chicago ... The Parkways Foundation Committee for Children with Disabilities was formed in March of this year. Parkways Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Chicago Park District, with Laura Barnett as president of the Foundation and Laurie Ashcraft and Gerri Shute as co-chairmen of the Committee for Disabled Children. This new committee provides the first ever free adaptive camp for disabled children in Chicago.
The first camp was in Columbus Park last July with children enjoying adaptive kayaking, golf, hand cycling, swimming, wheelchair basketball and other adventures in a program developed and run by Gerry Henaghan, Therapeutic Recreation Manager.
They held their first fundraising gala, "Dancing Under the Star" at the Casino with 170 guests dining on Long Island Supreme Duck. Helen Brown and MaryBeth Smith co-chaired. Mary Ann Childers of CBS2 News was Auctioneer. The Matt Reed Band played and Dance Chicago performed Latin Dances and got the guests dancing the night away.
|Skipping over Art Basel back to mid-November in Miami ... socialites Morgan Park Smith, Cristina Echavarria, Kristen Munroe, Regina Russo, and Alison Zhuk hosted a "decadent" evening of daring dresses, delectable and delicious desserts. DVF is a very popular brand and over 100 women turned up in their favorite dresses — an assortment of von Furstenberg's vintage as well as latest styles. The evenings prevalent color was pink — Snow Queen martinis rimmed with pink sugar, mini cupcakes iced in pink. Each guest left with a DVF emergency kit consisting of various tiny make up products, a DVF T-shirt and a cookie shaped to look like red lips, a signature logo of the DVF brand.|
|More fashion in Miami ... Late last month the French fashion house Celine hosted an intimate dinner in Miami Beach to celebrate the unveiling of their latest resort collection. The seated dinner took place on the terrace of the penthouse of the Sagamore Hotel overlooking the ocean. Guests were greeted with flutes of Ruinart Rose (which was so popular several of the guests elected to stay the night at the hotel instead of driving home) and models dressed in the collection.
The 35-foot-long table designed by Karla Conceptual Event Experiences was set for 55 ladies, the place cards done in calligraphy cards illuminated by the Moroccan style lanterns. Fragrant all white centerpieces of lilies and roses ran down the center of the table. The table was set with raffia linens and bamboo chairs with raffia seat covers deigned by Pablo Oliveri of Nuage Designs and the dinner was served buffet style with selections from the Sagamore’s very popular in house restaurant, Social.
The elegant affair was hosted by Nancy Karp, Charlotte Hicks, Amarilis Moran Osorio, Beth Tasca, and Celine Bal Harbor boutique director, Claudia Tripepi. Each of the guests including Sagamore Hotel owners, Jennifer and Neil Sazant, left the evening with a wonderful gift bag filled with Christian Dior Beaute products and Celine sunglasses.