Teesee’s Town

Congratulations – to Bill Williams, vice president of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, is the newly installed president of The Rat Pack of Chicago, the organization of mostly corporate guys who host a popular Wednesday afterwork set that att

 Congratulations – to Bill Williams, vice president of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, is the newly installed president of The Rat Pack of Chicago, the organization of mostly corporate guys who host a popular Wednesday afterwork set that attracts a loyal group of followers and supporters at Norm Bolden’s Room 43. Other new officers installed last weekend at Room 43: David Rozell, vice president; Peter Pope, secretary; Dennis Page, treasurer; and Baxter Burke, historian.      RPC was started in 1983 in Rumors, a popular afterwork hangout in its day, so say Mel Hobson and Al Palmer, outgoing president and vice president, to provide philanthropic assistance and community service to a number of non-profit local, national and international organizations. At its annual Formal Holiday Gala, several scholarships in memory of Charles E. Curry, founding president, and Gloria Jean Jenkins (Mrs. Ernie), a loyal supporter, are presented. Other Rat Pack chapters are located in cities around the country. The annual national convention is held during Super Bowl weekend – and by coincidence in the city of the “big game.” Yeah, right! Rat Pack motto: Serving others while having fun doing it!     Summit Service – Mellody Hobson, president, Ariel Investments; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, president, Bennett College for Women; Ron Huberman, CEO, Chicago Public Schools; and Valarie King-Bailey, CEO, OnShore Technology Group, are among several national and local economic, education and business leaders who are confirmed to address the Chicago Urban League’s inaugural Spring Summit, Education = Economic Empowerment, on April 8 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The experts will focus on the powerful link between a quality education and economic success as a catalyst for improving educational opportunities for children and adults in the region. Herman Brewer is UL’s acting president and CEO.     The summit is being presented by National City bank, now a part of The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. The summit will include a CEO roundtable luncheon featuring prominent business leaders and concurrent breakout sessions designed to tackle issues that include education funding reform, high unemployment and job training, and challenges and opportunities in the professional services sector. Wanna know more? Visit www.thechicagourbanleague.org.     Washington Remembered – Lee Bey, executive director of the Chicago Central Area Committee, speaks when the Chicago Public Library presents “Harold’s Chicago: How Mayor Harold Washington Changed the Face of the City,” a program that looks at how the late Mayor Washington’s urban planning programs transformed Chicago. The program, slated for April 15, 6 p.m., in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., is a continuation of CPL and the Harold Washington Archives & Collections Advisory Committee’s observance of Washington’s birthday by presenting a program that recognizes his many contributions to Chicago. The program, now in its 19th year, is an occasion for introducing topics of interest and relevance to the city’s many diverse communities.      Washington, who served four years as mayor, is often remembered for his historic election followed by his battles with the City Council. Lesser-known are the key urban planning and public works initiatives that set the stage for a resurgent Chicago that, sadly, he did not live long enough to see.     Before joining CCAC, Bey was director of media and government affairs for the world-renowned architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He was deputy chief of staff of planning and design to Mayor Richard M. Daley and architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Additionally, Bey is an accomplished photographer, lecturer, writer and prolific blogger. CCAC is a civic group of business and cultural leaders committed to making Chicago a better place to live, work, visit and conduct business. For more, visit www.chicagopubliclibrary.org or call (312) 747-4050.      Fashion Focus – Come out and see fashions with a native twist, performances from Africa and the Caribbean and partake of awesome food, entertainment when the African and Caribbean Students Association, in collaboration with the Organisation of Black Students at the University of Chicago, present “A Native Touch” fashion show on Friday, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., in The Cloister Club of Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., on U of C’s campus. Featured designers include TemiAde, Pretty Afrika, Zainab Art, and Authentic Fashion Renaissance. And among the performers: Babou Chico, Africa Dance Ed & Jonathan and Tiara. A special guest will be Andrea Samuels, make-up artist, of Vixen Make-Up. Music will be provided by DJ Loose Fit. Donation: only $6.      Curtain Call! – Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Jon Michael Hill, fresh from his Broadway run in Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, will be among the honorary guests at Steppenwolf’s eighth annual “Red or White Ball,” April 9, at unique eco-chic Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard St. Some 500 young professionals will gather for the spectacular benefit of cocktails, food, music, dancing, silent auction and raffle hosted by the theater’s Auxiliary Council. Proceeds will go to Steppenwolf for Young Adults, a nationally recognized arts education program. Individual tickets at $125 can be purchased online at www.steppenwolf.org/rowb, or via e-mail at auxiliarycouncil@steppenwolf.org or by calling (312) 654-5681. A limited number of $250 VIP tickets are also available and include: an exclusive cocktail reception with Steppenwolf artists, enhanced gift bags and VIP status for the entire evening.     Following his Broadway stint, Hill taped a pilot for ABC tentatively titled 187 Detroit. If the series gets picked up, Steppenwolf’s youngest ensemble member could very will become a familiar fixture on prime-time TV.     Newsy Names – Rev. Lacy Banks, Rev. Clay Evans and the Miller brothers (Rev. Matthew and Rev. Johnny) are among the stellar line of popular preachers who’ve signed on to deliver “The Seven Last Words” sermons beginning Friday noon at Rev. Henry Hardy’s Cosmopolitan Community Church, 53rd and Wabash … Syleena Johnson, vocalist. and Lee England Jr., hip hop violinist, will make special guest appearances at  an intimate evening of  “good music, good people, good times on Good Friday,” 7 p.m., at Tre’s Music Lounge, 1528 E. 63rd St., hosted by Super Friends and Malone of Pulse/Warner Bros. Records. Also on tap: Angela (“A1”) Martin, American Idol finalist; J. Ivy, Grammy winning Def Jam poet; Spree Isreal & Grad School Entertainment, Just Flo, visual and performing artist; Tarrey Torrae, two-time Grammy winning singer; and  RedStorm, Def Jam poet and author. Call (773) 360-4316      Happy B’day – to Dr. Helen Davis Gardner, Gina Hemphill Strachen, Geraldine Rhone, Pepper Miller, State Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-33rd Dist.), Linda J Dodd-Rhodes, Edwin Campbell, Atty. Doris-Jean Willows and Dr. Anthony Singletary, who celebrated with “best buds” at a “12-2-12 Open House” (noon-midnight) in Ed’s spacious South Loop bachelor digs that overlook Lake Michigan. (We hear the incredible edibles and liquid libations never, ever even ran low!) … Hyde Park Jazz Society saluted keyboardist John Knight with the inaugural Dr. James Wagner Award named for its late founder at its Black & White Nite at Norm Bolden’s Room 43. Sultry vocalist Julia Huff headlined with Joel Burt (piano), Harrison Bankhead (bass), and Charles Heath (drums). And two recently deceased jazz buffs, “Big Bad” LeRoy Brown and Charles “Tops” Pressley, were also remembered at the third annual event … Dr. Frank and Fannye Dunham and a planeload of pals celebrated his 45th b’day in NYC, seeing Tappin’ Thru Life: An Evening with Maurice Hines, that pays homage to four of Frank’s fave old-skool singers: Nat King Cole, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra and Joe Williams.   

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