Saturday, March 14, 2009

OBIT: The Amazing Mary McCall

I just noticed in the Sunday Chicago Tribune obit section that Mary McCall has passed away. I met Mary in 1994 at a meeting with a mutual friend at CBS TV. Mary needed one of my Photos of David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce signing a chair for her 'Celebrity Chair Auction' charity that she founded.
I'd never heard of that charity before,but Mary quickly became a tireless worker getting backs of chairs signed by celebrities at in-store appearances and hand picking creative talent from around the world to design chairs for her annual event. Soon everyone knew about it..
She frequently asked me if I could photograph her event but as fate would have it,I already had my schedule booked for that day thru the years. However, two years ago she contacted me to cover it. She really wanted to get the event more out to the print media and she asked me to help out. It was my first "Celebrity Chair Auction" and it was such a creative fun event. Held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers there were many outstanding chairs to bid on,Chicago's top chefs cooking up a storm and a lively live auction to raise money for a variety of charities.
At the end of the night she asked me if I would like to do a chair for the following year and I was thrilled!
However, the economy started its downturn and this was really a major event to plan and produce and it took a whole year of very hard work. Mary had decided that it wasn't going to happen again and sadly we missed her presence at the signings.

She'll always be remembered as the petite lady with a heart of gold.

The above photo is Mary McCall and Spike Lee at a book signing at Borders a few years

Chicago Tribune story:,0,5877445.story

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