Sweet Home Illinois is the tentative name set for the June 19 party for former Illini living in the entertainment business in Los Angeles. It’s patterned after the wildly popular annual summer Windy City West party that endured for a decade. The IFO is planning on hosting 600 guests at a venue to be determined. A main party objective is to sell guests to produce their film projects back in Sweet Home Illinois.
Bringing their familiarity and expertise to the event are producer Ginny Weissman and comedian Tom Dreesen, who co-founded and hosted the original Windy City West event from 1987 to 1996. The idea was to reunite former Chicagoans who had a connection with the city and state, either by being natives, or having worked or gone to school here.
“After 10 years we decided to put the parties on hold for a while,” said Weissman, who returned to Chicago in 1990 but always attended the West Coast summer parties.
Windy City West ended with the death in January, 1997 of co-founder Morgan Moore, a movie publicist, who started his career in Chicago with the John Iltis PR firm. Also on the original founding committee were Jeffrey Gordon of the Writers Boot Camp, Karen Shiffman, now with Fox TV, and the late movie producer Brandon Tartikoff, Linda Mancuso and Trish Alexander.
The PR firm of Jasculca/Terman is the event planner for the IFO party.