Kandy Kane Ball: Festive fun with a joyful twist

Every once in a while, you find an event that has it all--a great cause, tons of fun, cool attendees, outstanding decor, hot music--you get the picture. Well, I have found all this and more in the annual Kandy Kane Ball! Held for the 13th year at Joe's on Weed Street on December 12, this event is "excitement incarnate" and also addresses a wonderful need around the holidays.....

The first year I attended, I felt like I had died and gone to Holiday Heaven.  Festive decor by Taylor & Co. (Derrick Taylor) filled every nook and cranny. In years past, a hairy Grinch (Aurora Sexton) posed for photos and spread good cheer, this year Mercedes Tyler and Aurora channeled Gramma Nutt and Queen Frostine, inspired by the Candyland game!

Most of the cute guys were decked out in suits and ties and the beautiful girls were dressed in their finest cocktail attire (a prerequisite for entry along with a toy, but we'll get to this in a minute!).

From the first moment I experienced this party, I thought this would be the ultimate hook-up for all my single friends! The attendees are all professionals and did I say SO attractive?! As a matter of fact, one of the event co-founders, Mark Bell, met his wife there! Now Tara Clack and Mark are proud parents of 2 darling little ones so, as you can see, dreams do come true at the Kandy Kane Ball!

The event was founded in 2002 as the result of a wish from a sick friend. Courtney Dempsey had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer (that she has since beaten) and her only desire was to bring joy and a toy to Chicago's underprivileged kids.  Her friends, now event co-founders took note, and there is always a semi-trailer parked outside the venue to load up with toys. (Every guest is required to donate a toy or there is an extra $20 charge).  They are then distributed the following week to Holy Family Church and Chicago Children's Charities. This year's haul brought in 4000 toys for kids!

Great fun for a good cause! Watch this website for next year's event details! (Photos by Chuan D. Vo and me!)

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