I'm sorry I've been so MIA lately! I just had to make it through the craziness of the holidays with family, friends, and holiday parties. However, I haven't been MIA with this city.
I kicked off my holiday season with P.Y.G.'s first annual holiday fundraiser at Downtown Bar & Lounge. Special guest speakers Shane Talbott and Steven Nakisher of Talbott Teas as well as Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services shared with guests their personal story. Be sure to pick up some of Talbott's teas as they were recently voted as one of Oprah's favorite things for 2010. HALO [For Men] was on site fulfilling every guest's hand grooming needs. Donors were gifted with goodie bags that included certificates to Rockit, Sunda, John Allan's, HALO [For Men], and one of Talbott's customized teas. Guest could also drop their business cards in the drawing for P.Y.G.'s raffle items. The lucky winners walked away with a $100 RL restaurant gift certificate, a complimentary grooming day to John Allan's, and three complimentary consultation hours courtesy of my friend and fellow board member Kip Rodrigue of Kip Rodrigue Designs. It was also great to announce and reveal P.Y.G.'s future programs for 2011. Programs include The Big CEO program where participants shadow an established professional in their selected career path for a month. P.Y.G. will kick off the month with a meet and greet breakfast where the pair will meet and end the month with a cocktail reception that welcomes discussion and reflection. In the Behind H.R. program, participants are sent on mock interviews with actual human resources professionals. After the mock interview, the human resources professional will then offer their expert critique and advice to participants. I must thank Brian Martin, owner of Downtown Bar & Lounge and Jennifer Rante, Downtown Bar & Lounge's event manager for their support. We have a lot of other exciting things planned for 2011, so I'll be sure to keep you updated!
Before I go into how I celebrated my New Years, I must first state that I promise I'm not a lush, I promise I'm not a lush, I promise I'm not a lush. I had every intention on bringing in the New Year in a calm and simple manner. Needless to say, it was hardly either. My friend Robert Ford Reynolds invited me to his annual New Year's Eve party at his place in the John Hancock. Last year, his party was more of an intimate cocktail reception among a group of friends. This year, it was an all out party! Now, given the fact that I didn't know it was going to be a huge party, I think it shouldn't be held against me. He featured a live DJ spinning music, and I honestly confused his frig with one that I could find in Binny's. Guests were easily encouraged to bring a personal bottle to their table or sitting area; didn't have to tell me twice! Apparently, the rest of my New Years was spent at other house parties in Lakeview and Wicker Park. So much for a calm and simple New Years but whatever…I'll do calm and simple when I start my subscription to AARP; no offense mom and dad!
I must send a shout out and a huge congratulation to my friends David Dodd and Kean Christopher Ray of K Dock Media for the success of their heavily attended holiday thank you party at Stone Lotus. K Dock Media is an event marketing company that hosts exclusive events to benefit community organizations and charities. More than $1,000 was raised to benefit the Spirit of Truth Orphanage in Haiti at their holiday thank you party. The first time I met Kean was at the Chicago Urban League's Golden Fellowship Dinner where we sat at the same table. Kean and his guest were absolutely hilarious and kept me laughing throughout the night. So, it was great to hear how successful his event went, though I'm not surprised at all.
I attended to the HER HRC pre-party at Minibar Ultra Lounge & Café, 3341 N. Halsted. The actual HER HRC "A Burlesque Affair" event is set for Sunday, January 16 at Atmosphere, 5355 N. Clark Street in Andersonville and tickets are already sold out! The night will include a hosted Absolute Vodka bar from 6pm to 7pm, sexy female burlesque dancers, noshes courtesy of Anne Sather, prizes and more. One of the missions behind PYG is to support LGBT charities and LGBT-friendly charities and organizations, so it was great to come out, represent PYG and show some love to HRC. I also made some great new friends and we even hit up the rest of Boystown after the pre-party. Donations from the evening went to support HER HRC; thumbs up to John Dalton, Ricardo Sebastian, and the entire team at Minibar for supporting such a worthy cause.
I stopped by mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel's fundraiser at the House of Blues. Jennifer Hudson performed three songs for a very eager audience. J Hud is looking good I must say. Last time I saw her was actually at the House of Blues for Michigan Ave. magazine's anniversary party, and she keeps on getting better! I hung out in the foundation room, a private oasis from the very crowded stage area downstairs. Former White House social secretary and Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers, civic leaders, donors, and other supporters of Rahm Emanuel rallied their support for Rahm in the foundation room. I also ran into Chicago-based fashion designer Barbara Bates. Bates is best for designing prom dresses for underprivileged girls. Her designs have been worn by such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jordan, and other notables. Since Mayor Daley was such a huge supporter of the LGBT community in Chicago, it was great to learn that Rahm Emanuel plans to follow Daley's lead and make it his own. Forgive me is this is a bit inappropriate, but what the hell...Rahm Emanueal is kind of a silver fox!
Wow…I got through a whole column without any big girl rants about food! I think that deserves a pat on the back. Take care of each other, and if you see me around, say hi!