The Stanley Paul Foundation Benefit: An Unforgettable Night with Friends (Video)

I’ve never done this before so please forgive me, but I’m writing about the recent Stanley Paul- Raelene Mittelman Scholarship Benefit. Why you ask do I beg forgiveness? Because, this year, I was the evening’s honoree and it was such a wonderful night with so many friends who turned out that I would like to share it with you. (I hope you enjoy it). I received a call from the Apparel Industry Board a few months ago. It was Marsha Brenner, “Hello Candace. The Stanley Paul Foundation would like to honor you this year at the Casino. Just say yes.” Are you kidding me? Hell, YES!

 You could’ve knocked me over with a feather…..My mind flew in a thousand different directions with the first thought being how very humbled I felt to be receiving this honor especially following in the footsteps of Chicago notables who included Hazel Barr, Mamie Walton, Bill Zwecker, Nena Ivon, Dori Wilson, Leslie Hindman, Donna LaPietra, Mary Ann Childers, Mark Heister, Tony Jones, Victor Skrebneski and the late Beverly Blettner, among others. I also panicked wondering if anyone would even show up. And then when Marsha mentioned I would need to choose some speakers, I relaxed and knew this would be an evening filled with friends, no need to worry. It was easy to choose who I would ask to speak for me.  I invited longtime and some new friends who included Rhonda Sanderson, Helen Melchior, Tom Dreesen, Joycelyn Winnecke, Donna LaPietra and Leslie Hindman. 

The elegant private club where the event was held was filled with beautiful flowers by Debi Lilly from “A Perfect Event” and renowned artist Rosemary Fanti had created a portrait of me that she’d placed on an easel for friends to sign.  Even the goodie bag was thrilling with a delicious chocolate truffle cake from Eli’s Cheesecake!

The evening turned out to be the largest fundraiser ever hosted by this organization with more than 400 people in attendance.  I was thrilled beyond measure and even more so knowing that the funds from this night would support aspiring design students in the world of fashion with scholarships and other support from the Stanley Paul Foundation in conjunction with the Apparel Industry Board, Inc.  The Foundation was established in 1990 in honor of Stanley’s beloved sister, Raelene Mittelman, a model and mentor for young designers who had a passion for fashion.  “Whenever she entered a room, she personified past Hollywood glamour and all eyes would follow her.  What was most endearing was her underlying beauty,” said Paul.  Raelene’s beautiful daughter, Joanie Legittino, was in attendance this night.

 The night’s emcee/chair was Sun-Times columnist/Fox Entertainment reporter Bill Zwecker.  He’s a powerhouse at the podium and I was honored to see him there.  Donna LaPietra (Kurtis Productions) produced a surprise video that even included my earliest TV appearance as a Playboy Bunny!  How she ever found this, I will never know!  I’m sharing it here as well as wonderful photos by photographer Mila Samokhina.  It was a night I’ll never forget and I can’t thank Stanley Paul enough for honoring me in such a wonderful way. 

 To read more about this event, please click here and to see Donna LaPietra (Kurtis Productions) video, see below!

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