Katherine Nillebrand, Anne Kinsella, Betany Guerin, and Jane Amelotte

Katherine Nillebrand (left), Anne Kinsella, Betany Guerin, and Jane Amelotte at the Junior League's Martinis & Mistletoe fundraiser held at the Chicago Cultural Center on Friday, November 18, 2011. (Photo for the Tribune by Marina Makropoulos / November 18, 2011)

The century-old Junior League of Chicago celebrated its 40th Gazebo Holiday Market with a Martinis & Mistletoe preview party at the Chicago Cultural Center. Santa greeted everyone at the door for this festive affair that offered an exclusive first look at holiday gifts, jewelry, home decor and more at an annual market benefiting projects that focus on at-risk families, especially women and children.

Guests were kept in shopping-ready form with free facials and chair massages. The Sidney Yates Gallery was transformed into a unique shopping experience that included music and raffle prizes along with a broad selection of gifts. Popular booths included Kate Janeczko's TwoTara that offered reversible baby clothing, custom designed frames by Devora, hand-painted ornaments from Eggsquisite, canine couture from Barque and designer creations from Shernett Swaby.

"Attending this event is very important, as the League's mission is to support and empower women and children in the Chicago community," said Laura Stevenson, co-chair (along with Julie Rogers) of the market. "This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy holiday shopping where the proceeds directly benefit a local charity."

On the scene were Junior League President Regina Wootton, incoming President Michelle Miller Burns, Michelle Kerr, Aisha Murff, Delane Heldt, Jennifer King, Claire and David Kopp, Laura West, Katherine Hillebrand and Anne Kinsella.

Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.

Click here to see photos from the events.

Find Candace Jordan's blog at CandidCandace.com.