Message from Montie

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Alpha Kappa Alphas and Alpha Phi Alphas win Chicago Sprite Step Off

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

The AKAs are on a "mission" to win!

3/20/2010 Update: Click here to read about the Atlanta finale.1/24/2010: When I heard about the Sprite Step Off from FoxBrownFox and Commonground, I was sold from the beginning. But when SpriteStepOff.com advertised that it would be the largest step show in history, I was wondering how true that'd be. However, on Saturday night (Jan. 23) when I drove up to the Regal Theater and saw cars backed down the block of 1645 E. 79th St., and the line to get into the Regal around the corner, I knew this was going to be something serious. And the Regal completely sold out of tickets. Largest step show in history? Looked like it. But would it be the livest step show I'd ever seen? That was the test. I've seen many throughout my college years (Lincoln University alumni!), plus the numerous step shows I've seen all over the world even after I graduated.

Well, this Sprite Step Off was not playing around. Hands down the Sprite Step Off is definitely my all-time favorite step show, and it was definitely the livest!

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Updated 1/25/2010

The original winners announced at the Sprite StepOff on Sat., Jan. 23, were the following:

Sororities: $21,500 Alpha Kappa Alpha (first place); $16,000 Zeta Phi Beta (second place); $11,000 Alpha Theta Omega (third place)

Fraternities: $21,500 Alpha Phi Alpha (Central State University, first place);  $16,000 Phi Beta Sigma (second place); $11,000 Alpha Phi Alpha (St. Louis citywide chapter, third place)

 

However, 360i and FoxBrownFox PR were notified on Mon., Jan. 25, that there was a voting discrepancy for the sororities during Saturday night's event. According to the Sprite Facebook page, "In the spirit of sportsmanship, we also advised the other two teams who were originally announced as the second and third place winners (now third and fourth place winners), that we wanted them to keep the prize money they had been awarded." So here are the updated sorority winners with corrected prize amounts. 

Sororities: $21,500 Alpha Kappa Alpha (first place); $16,000 Sigma Gamma Rho (second place) and $16,000 Zeta Phi Beta (third place); $11,000 Alpha Theta Omega (fourth place)  

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But just telling you who the winners are doesn't do them any justice. You need proof, right? Check out some of the photos and a video of Greek strolling in the crowd that I took at the Sprite Step Off on Saturday, Jan. 23.

 

 

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Photo Gallery: Commonground's 40 Under 40 Chicago Crain's List honoree reception, Chicago adventures

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

This past week, I was honored with interviewing two of Crain's 40 Under 40 professionals, Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam from Commonground, a marketing agency that embraces multiculturalism. I think it's so respectable how they're building a bridge to encourage diversity where there was none. Other marketing companies are jumping on the bandwagon slowly but surely, but I knew about many of Commonground's products before I'd ever heard of Commonground so to find out that they'd achieved the honor of Crain's Chicago list for 2009 wasn't a surprise. I talked with these two entrepreneurs about social networking, diversity in marketing, their advertising and marketing background, and the economy.

 

And on Monday, Nov. 23, I was flattered to be invited to their 40 Under 40 Honoree Reception at a Chicago bar and restaurant called Clutch, located at 459 N. Ogden Avenue, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

 

 

 

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Diamonds & Lace EventScaping presents The Makeup Bar of Chicago's official launch party

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Relana, co-owner of Diamonds & Lace EventScaping

 

If you're a fan of BRAVO's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," then you probably know about Atlanta's Makeup Bar parties with women being photographed and socializing while getting makeovers. Chicagoans will get to experience these "Girls Night In" events with The Makeup Bar of Chicago's official launch party on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Makeup Bar of Chicago will be located at the Dream Boutique Lounge at 1750 N. Clark.

 

"I saw ["The Real Housewives of Atlanta"], and I loved the concept," said Relana Johnson, the Creative Director and co-owner of a Chicago wedding planning company called Diamonds & Lace EventScaping. "I saw that there were lots of inquiries about it. As an entrepreneur, I saw that this could be something fantastic to bring to Chicago instead of us being the ones that get the trend last."

 

Similar to the "The Real Housewives of Atlanta's" third episode of season one, women will get makeovers, take photographs and liquor will be served. However, The Makeup Bar of Chicago adds some unique activities to the event. Diamonds & Lace's event will include eight or nine licensed professional makeup artists, two or three photographers, a chocolate martini sampler provider and wine tasting provider, a tarot card reader, a "resident eyelash diva" and one henna hand artist. Other entertainment will include complimentary mini-makeup applications; a body art fashion show; samba, burlesque and Caribbean dance performances from Sensuality Training for Good Gyrrls; and complimentary appetizers. The Dream Boutique Lounge has a full bar and restaurant. Valet parking will also be provided.

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Gurnee's Six Flags Great America celebrates Halloween and Michael Jackson at 2009 Fright Fest with B96 deejay Jerzy

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America

Halloween is coming. Why not scare yourself silly and drop 147 feet on the American Eagle, speed through six 160-degree turns or have random "dead" people jumping out at you at Six Flags Great America? Chicago is already giving Illinoisans the gloomy weather for nearby Gurnee, IL's Six Flags location, but don't let the cold weather stop you. The water park is closed, but the rides are still zooming like crazy. Over 75 rides (including 13 roller coasters, 35 kids' rides and 22 family ride in addition to other water rides), two haunted houses, two "scare-thru areas" and the "Thrill the World" Michael Jackson tribute with thousands of people re-enacting the "Thriller" scene sounds like a lot of fun.

 

Brooke Gabbert, Six Flags' Director of Communications, took time out to talk to ChicagoNow.com blogger Message from Montie about how Chicago's B96 deejay Jerzy is handling living in the Sky Trek Tower (since Oct. 10) until the Raging Bull gets 1.5 million riders, what's new this year for the Fright Fest and why people should spend their weekends at Six Flags.

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The Executive HQ, the Chicago artsy place to party

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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This is what the ceiling looks like in The Executive HQ.

Every once in awhile you go to a party or visit a place that leaves a lasting impression, and this past Friday on Oct. 9, I did just that. My cousin had a Mardis Gras birthday party on the south side of Chicago at "The Executive HQ," located at 2310 E. 75th Street. As soon as I stepped into this club, I could tell that the architect or artist who created it put a lot of weird effort into it.

 

Before you walk into The Executive HQ, it doesn't look like it's open to the public. The windows are painted white, and eyes stare back at you. And as soon as you walk in, looking up at the ceiling, there are multiple shut doors just hanging upside down. And in front of the door is a chair shaped like a hand, so when you sit down, it looks like the hand is groping your butt. Of course I sat down immediately, laughing away.

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