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Big Chicago fund-raiser for Obama June 1



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Updated: June 16, 2012 8:09AM

J UST IN: PRESIDENT BARACK Obama will be in Chicago June 1 for a fund-raiser reception at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The prominent Chicagoans hosting this event include Neil Bluhm, F. Bruce Cohen, Les Coney, Kevin Conlon, Jack Hartman, Vicki Heyman, Steve Koch, Jill & John Levi, John W. Rogers Jr., Bettylu & Paul Saltzman, Tamar Newberger & Andy Schapiro, Andrea & Alan Solow and Grace Tsao-Wu.The reception kicks

off at 5 p.m., and tickets are $1,000 and $2,500 per person. For more info:

That same evening, Obama also will be the centerpiece at two very private and pricey events while in town: Tracey & Chaka Patterson along with Wally Brewster & Bob Satawake are hosting a dinner at 6 p.m., and another dinner will be hosted by Paula & Jim Crown at 7:30 p.m. For those exclusive affairs, folks will have to dig deep — $35,800 per person and $71,600 per couple.

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to be in Chicago for two events in June, but the exact dates have not been confirmed.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I want to say thank you to the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans for selecting this humble columnist to receive its prestigious Dante award on Thursday at Galleria Marchetti. This award is given to a “person from the media who exemplifies Dante’s credo: Be No Timid Friend to Truth.” In other words, a person who has no fear of telling it like it is!

My late great Sun-Times boss, Irv “Kup” Kupcinet received the Dante in 1973, and I attended that luncheon with him. He was so proud and thrilled that when we returned to the office, he placed the unique bust of Dante on his table and there it remained up until his death in November 2003. The Dante award was established in 1972 and was the brainchild of president emeritus Dominic Di Frisco, who told this reporter that, “The attendance on Thursday will break all records for this event.” Yeah, he said it! (I am just the humble and appreciative messenger!)

So many of Chicago’s respected media people have been honored, including last year’s recipient, WLS-Channel 7’s Linda Yu. Also, many thanks to the JCCIA’s hard-working staff and its president, attorney Antonio Romanucci. (I will be on vacation next week that is why I am saying thanks in advance).

UPCOMING HAPS: Former Bear Jerry Azumah’s foundation fund-raiser Wednesday at Lucky Strike Lanes on East Illinois . . . The hilarious Loni Love, a regular on “Chelsea Lately,” at the Chicago Improv in Schaumburg Thursday-Sunday . . . Huey Lewis & The News at the Venue in the Horseshoe Casino Saturday, followed by Snoop Dogg on May 24 and Hitz Boxing on the 25th.

ABOUT TOWN: George (“Star Wars”) Lucas and sweetie, Mellody Hobson dined at Tavern on Rush . . . “Windy City Live” co-host Ryan Chiaverini treated his mom to brunch at Harry Caray’s on Friday and was joined by WCL’s Mark DeCarlo . . . Singer Florence LaRue, the only original member still performing with the 5th Dimension, stopped by the weekly “Monday Night Live” talent show at Petterino’s and sung a few tunes . . . . The 76ers’ Elton Brand recently dined at Chicago Cut Steakhouse . . . Miss Windy City Jennifer Carr and Miss Chicago Marisa Buchheit recently saw “Motherhood the Musical” at the Royal George . . . Travis Wilson, 18, landed a part in filmmaker John Singleton’s upcoming Chrysler TV commercial filmed in Chicago.

CHURCH NEWS: Cardinal Francis George will attend the 150th anniversary of the St. Joseph’s Womens Club at St. Joseph’s Church in Wilmette Saturday . . . Being Single mag’s Bonita Bennett speaking at the Faith Community Church Women’s Breakfast Saturday.

THE VH-1 Channel will do a tribute to Whitney Houston as part of their next “Divas” special later this year.

MY Condolences to WBBM-Channel 2 sports anchor Ryan Baker on the death of his beloved 90-year-old grandmother, Josephine Baker. Also, to the family of iconic musician Al DeMarco, who leaves behind 92 grandchildren, including greats. R.I.P.

BIRTHDAYS: Fred Huebner, Robert Allegrini, Barbara Mathews and anniversary wishes to John Coletti and Susan and belated anniversary greetings to the Sun-Times’ Toby Roberts and Joan. On Wednesday: Janet Jackson.Well, that’s Stella in the City!

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