Archive for November, 2013

22nd Anniversary of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Starts the Holiday Season in Chicago

 

 

The Lighting of the Trees on the Magnificent Mile with tiny white lights dates back to the 1959 when the Greater North Michigan Avenue started this holiday tradition.

It wasn’t until 1992 when the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival as we know it today originated  under the leadership of Founding Lights Festival Chairman Marc Schulman, the President of Eli’s Cheesecake. In an article in the Tribune in November of 1992, Schulman told Rick Kogan in an article entitled “It’s time to turn on the Lights” that “It’s all meant to be fund, to really kickoff the holiday season in a style reminiscent of bygone days.” “We think this will mark the new coming of age of Michigan Avenue, our hope is that the lighting of the trees will become a holiday highlight.”

On Saturday, November 23rd, over one million people lined the Magnificent Mile for the 22nd Anniversary of the Lights Festival. Eli’s Cheesecake President Marc Schulman,  Founding Chairman of the Event and Past Greater North Michigan Avenue Association Chair joined  Association Chairperson Mary Ann Rose, past Association Chairman, Ralph Weber and Grant Deporter (Grant was also a Chairman of the Lights Festival), past Lights Festival Chairpersons, Kelly Wisecarver and Robert Dion, 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti, Choose Chicago CEO, Don Welsh, and Association President, John Chikow, as part of the Legacy of Leaders that leads the Procession.

Streeterville & the Magnficent Mile Welcomes the Holidays with the Lighting of Seneca Park & the Eli M. Schulman Playground

 

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Michael Ruchim, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti (Seneca Park &  the Eli M. Schulman Playground are now in the 2nd Ward), Eli’s Cheesecake’s Maureen Schulman, reigning Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skating Champion, Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago, Eli’s Cheesecake’s Marc Schulman and Ritz Carlton Hotel General Manager Tom Segesta.

The evening of Thursday, November 21st continued a tradition in the Streeterville neighborhood as a ceremony was held to light Seneca Park & the Eli M. Schulman Playground for the holidays.

It was a festive evening (although a little wet) with a pre-lighting reception at the historic Company 98 of the Chicago Fire Department  catered by the Ritz Carlton Chicago and the Eli’s Cheesecake Company. Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago, a former Captain at Engine Company 98, joined in the festivities.

The lighting of Seneca Park & the Eli M. Schulman Playground is 100% privately funded.  Funders of the lighting are Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, the Museum of Contemporary Art, American Girl Place, the American Dental Association, the Ritz Carlton Chicago, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Lookingglass Theatre Company, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Broadway in Chicago, CBRE and Moore Landscapes.

 Reigning Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater, Evan Lysacek (a native of Naperville), served as the celebrity in a countdown to direct Moore Landscapes to turn on the lights. Lysacek is a long time friend of Marc and Maureen Schulman, who coordinated the event with Sarah Burke of Northwestern Healthcare.

A highlight of the event at the Firehouse was the reading of the by Eric Schroeder of Lookingglass Theatre of the poem written by Sally Park in honor of the event. Sally is a long time resident of the area and annually writes a poem for the evening.

Attendees at the Lighting included 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti (Seneca Park & Eli M. Schulman Playground are now in the 2nd Ward,  Dean Harrison, CEO of Northwestern Healthcare, Susan Hayes Gordon of Lurie Children’s Hospital, Peter Roth, recently named GM of the Park Hyatt,  John Chikow of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association and Gail Spreen of SOAR.

In 1988, the Playground at Seneca Park was renamed in memory of the late restaurateur, Eli M. Schulman, whose restaurant Eli’s the Place for Steak was located just south of the park on the site of what is now the Lurie Children’s Hospital. Over the next one and a half years, Eli’s son Marc Schulman led a campaign to totally rebuild Seneca Park and the Eli M. Schulman Playground raising over $350,000 to fund the reconstruction and to purchase the equine sculpture, “Ben,” by Deborah Butterfield which is in the Park. Fund raising events included a Gala the Ritz Carlton featuring the late cabaret singer Bobby Short.

The Lighting of the Trees on the Magnificent Mile with tiny white lights dates back to the 1959 when the Greater North Michigan Avenue started this holiday tradition.
It wasn’t until 1992 when the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival as we know it today originated  under the leadership of Founding Lights Festival Chairman Marc Schulman of Eli’s Cheesecake. In an article in the Tribune in November of 1992, Schulman told Rick Kogan in an article entitled “It’s time to turn on the Lights” that “It’s all meant to be fun, to really kickoff the holiday season in a style reminiscent of bygone days.” “We think this will mark the new coming of age of Michigan Avenue, our hope is that the lighting of the trees will become a holiday highlight.”

What a great way for the Streeterville Community to welcome the Holiday Season: Thursday night in Seneca Park  & the Eli M. Schulman Playground and Saturday evening for the 22nd BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Eli’s Holds Dock Sale and Attends Chicago Lights Festival This Saturday

This year, November 23rd is one of the biggest days for Eli’s Cheesecake because this Saturday, we will be holding our bi-annual Dock Sale as well as participating in Chicago’s Lights Festival.

Eli’s will be holding it’s Thanksgiving Dock Sale at 6701 West Forest Preserve Drive from 9am to 2pm.  Visitors can save up to 50% on the biggest selection of Eli’s products available anywhere.

Eli’s Cheesecake will also be participating in the Chicago Lights Festival at Pioneer Court at the south end of the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.  We will be offering FREE Eli’s Cheesecake slice decorating from 11am to 4pm with the help of students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

Guests to either event can also donate nonperishable food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and receive a FREE slice of Eli’s Cheesecake.  Additionally, anyone who makes a donation of $10 or more will receive a FREE 7″ Eli’s Cheesecake to take home!  We hope to see you there!

Eli’s Cheesecake Brings a Slice of the Season to Good Day Chicago

Today, Eli’s Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake made a special appearance on Good Day Chicago.  Sun-Times Splash editor Susanna Negovan was on set with her “Things We Love” segment, where she shared her passion for Eli’s Cheesecake with the world.  Check out the segment here, then go order some delicious Eli’s Cheesecake for yourself on our website.  We’ll deliver just in time for Turkey Day!

Instyle Holiday Gift Guide in the December issue features Williams-Sonoma Tiramisu made exclusively by Eli’s Cheesecake—one of our greatest Holiday Traditions

Thank You Chicago Sun Times Splash & Editor Susanna Negovan for naming Eli’s Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake One of the “Things We Love”

Congratulations! You found Eli Slice!

Congratulations! You found Eli Slice! Comment on this blog post to be entered for a chance to win a FREE Eli’s Cheesecake on November 15th!  Contest details here.

Eli’s Cheesecake Teams Up with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg

Neil Steinberg, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, has recently begun promoting Eli’s Cheesecake on his blog.  Steinberg is a prolific writer whose work has appeared in several newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated.  Steinberg graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1982 and joined the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1987 as a feature writer.  In 1996, he began working as a columnist, publishing four days a week in the Sun-Times news section.  Steinberg has also authored seven books; the latest of which, Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Guide to Recovery, is set to be released in the spring of 2015.  Eli’s Cheesecake is proud to be advertised on Neil Steinberg’s blog through the holiday season.  Check it out here.

Eli’s Cheesecake Moves South of the Border on Mondays

Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Café proudly welcomes Chicago food royalty onto our culinary team.  Berta Navarro is working behind the scenes of the café every Monday afternoon to provide visitors with a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine.  Born in Mexico, Navarro moved to the U.S. with her family when she was just seven years old.  Navarro’s passion for Mexican food and culture culminated in the opening of Café 28 in Chicago in 1996.   The restaurant offered patrons upscale Mexican dining, with dishes that included salmon tartare and honey jalapeño pork chops.  And although Café 28 closed its doors after 17 years of service this past February, Navarro’s food continues to live on every Monday at Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Café, where tacos and other authentic Mexican faire are still being prepared by Navarro and our team.  Stop in or call (773) 205-3800 to ask about the daily specials.