The Service Club of Chicago celebrated its 121st anniversary with its biggest fundraiser of the year, An Evening of Glamour at Club El Morocco. Ball co-chairwomen Toni Canada, Laurie Davis and Dusty Stemer, brought El Morocco, the legendary Manhattan supper club of days gone by, back to life in the Grand Ballroom of the Four Seasons. The ladies pulled out all stops to bring their visions to life, which were expertly realized by top event designer Tom Kehoe. If you closed your eyes, you could easily envision the rich and famous clientele who frequented "Elmo," like the Vanderbilts, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich, clinking glasses in one of the zebra banquettes. Longtime Service Club member Anida "Cookie" Cohen, told me that she frequented the original El Morocco and that the room on this night was almost an exact replica. Many guests even dressed the part.
After a red carpet cocktail reception, Service Club President Sherrill Bodine welcomed the 430 guests and spoke about the mission of the organization. Established in 1890, the Service Club of Chicago is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that is committed to providing grants to local educational, social service, civic, health and cultural organizations. All proceeds go directly toward this goal. This year's gala raised almost $250,000.
Then the dance floor quickly filled, as orchestra leader Ken Arlen provided the perfect accompaniment to the evening's theme, playing a variety of elegant and fun dance music from Cole Porter to club mixes. Special guest Shelley MacArthur Farley performed a tribute to the club El Morocco in her unique cabaret style.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.
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Find Candace Jordan's blog at CandidCandace.com.