About 150 people attended the By Women for Women event at the Center on Halsted on Feb. 1.
The event was organized by the Center's Women's Action Committee in collaboration with Affinity, Amigas Latinas, B. Blyss Productions, The L Stop and the Little Queer Film Festival.
Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres by Chef Tony and live performances on the COH Hoover-Leppen Theater stage. For dessert, guests participated in a cupcake competition featuring creations by Alma Izquierdo of Amigas Latinas, Kim Hunt of Affinity, K. Sujata of the Chicago Women's Foundation, Renauda Riddle of the Center on Halsted and Vivian Gonzalez of The L Stop. To vote on their favorite cupcakes, guests put money into one of five donation jars.
Past Center on Halsted Board President Vicky Raymont shared stories about how the center has impacted people's lives for the better before turning the night over to the emcees for the evening, current board member Leslie Ramyk and Affinity's Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry of Affinity. Kelly Zeng of the little Queer Film Festival previewed the little Queer Film Festival (which ran Feb. 2-3) and showed trailers from all the films.
Gwen La Roka and Shannon Ennis and Sindee Spanks of the Vaudezilla Burlesque Dance Company provided the evening's entertainment. La Roka and Ennis brought the house down with their unique brand of humor while Spanks provided the spice with a striptease performance that elicited gasps from the crowd.
The winner of the cupcake competitionchosen by Naomi Levine and Charlene Mabins of TipsyCakewas Gonzalez. She will be donating the money that was raised from the evening to a women's charity of choice.
Bonsai Bar and Grill hosted the after-party.
Note: Carrie Maxwell is also a volunteer on the Women's Action Committee
Photo caption: L to R: L Stop's Vivian Gonzalez, Affinity's Kim Hunt, Amigas Latinas' Alma Izquierdo, and Center on Halsted's Renauda Riddle. Photos by Carrie Maxwell