Chicago Culture, Celebrity, Arts & Entertainment
Chicago culture, arts & entertainment with Billy Dec

Browsing all 29 posts in baseball.

2015 Chicago Cubs Convention

baseball, celebrities, charity, chicago, cubs, General, Networking, Press

Hey Chicago! Ashten here; I’m ready to tell you about an awesome event that’s been happening for 30 years!


As rumors of sold-out rooms continue to escalate, sports fans in Chicago begin to anticipate the upcoming Chicago Cubs Convention held annually at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Tower.  Each year the Chicago Cubs organization hosts this convention that has kicked off the upcoming Cubs season 30 years in a row. It is used to showcase current players, alumni, notable sports broadcasters, Cubs organization staff and even upcoming prospects from the minor league.


Cubs fans of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in the convention’s Opening Ceremony, The Ricketts Family Forum and A Recent Look Back: 2007-08 Cubs. Other convention events include Friday Night with Ryan Dempster, a Cubs Business Operations Update, 30 years of Cubs Convention Memories and Cubs Jeopardy. Also on the schedule is the For Kids Only Press Conference where tiny Cubs fans will have the opportunity to grill their favorite players. Cubs fans will be able to Meet the New Cubs, Cubs Baseball Management as well as Joe Maddon and his Coaching Staff.

Just to sweeten the deal, a percentage of the convention’s net profit will benefit Cubs’ Charities. So don’t miss out on this Chicago tradition!

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Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo on “A Piece of The Game”

baseball, celebrities, charity, chicago, cubs, Fundraiser, General, sports, TV Show

You can team with the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo to save kids’ lives. Plus, you can own his game used jersey and bat. How? Keep reading…

A Piece of the Game is a half hour sports memorabilia and collectibles TV show that airs nationally each month on both the Fox Sports Net and Comcast SportsNet regional channels. In 2013, the program was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Sports Series and for the 2014 and 2015 season is proud to have a partnership with Allstate as the title sponsor. The format of A Piece of the Game is fast paced, compelling and includes a wide variety of engagement and story telling. From a Jesse Owens’ gold medal in 1936 to a Bentley once owned by Michael Jordan, the variety of intrigue and curiosity touches every corner of the sports landscape.

The creator and producers of the program are committed to contributing to the “greater good” and in a recent episode shared the amazing story of Chicago Cubs All Star first baseman, Anthony Rizzo. In 2008, at the age of 18 and beginning his new journey as professional baseball player, Anthony was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For the next six months, he went through chemotherapy and by November of that same year doctors told him he was finally in remission and could resume leading a normal life. Knowing he wanted to become a role model and help cancer patients and their families, Rizzo founded The Anthony Rizzo Foundation in 2012.

APOTG EPISODE 004 RIZZO Piece with spots FINAL from Don DuPree on Vimeo.

In the program segment at the link below, A Piece of the Game host, Dave Kaplan, joins Anthony Rizzo at Wrigley Field along with leukemia patient, Ben Cowing. Ben is in need of a bone marrow transplant, but at the current time has not found the proper match.

To raise money and encourage donations for such a nobel cause, Rizzo signed one of his “game used” bats and and a jersey and both will go to the highest bidder as part of an online auction. Every dollar raised will go to The Anthony Rizzo Foundation and then to the non-profit “Be The Match.”

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World Sport Chicago Helps Chicago Kids Build a Better Future Through Sports: Join In and Spin to Break the Cycle!

baseball, basketball, charity, chicago, Fitness, Football, Fundraiser, General, Health, sports

Spin to Break the Cycle_logo(1)

Youth violence, dropping out of high school, homelessness. These are the real-life struggles that kids growing up in some Chicago neighborhoods face every day. And they aren’t going away any time soon without your help.

How can you make a difference?

On March 8th you can help break this cycle by jumping on a spinning bike to raise money for Chicago’s at risk youth at our Spin to Break the Cycle event.

Organized by World Sport Chicago, the legacy organization of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid, this event will help continue the amazing work they have doing for the last 7 years using sport to help kids build a better future.

While sport is great for physical fitness, its also a great tool for strengthening the character of kids. World Sport Chicago has been proving this by implementing programs that are helping reduce violent crime by over 40%, raising high school graduation rates and creating safe play areas.

President Obama participating in one of WSC's "Becoming a Man" sessions.

President Barack Obama drops by a “Becoming a Man” program roundtable at the Hyde Park Career Academy in Chicago (2/15/13)

BAM - Obama, Hyde Park - Group Photo

As D.J., a mentor in one of the programs, called Becoming a Man: Sports Edition, said, many of the youth in Chicago communities are growing up without the benefit of stable homes and communities, “many of the kids in our communities are raising themselves. They need support in learning about accountability, responsibility, integrity, positive anger expression.

The sports programs that World Sport Chicago has created are playing a key part in teaching core values to youth men and women and helping youth learn how to manage the social and emotional challenges they face everyday in their communities.

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Join in helping spread the impact of these programs. Sign up today at (registration ends on Friday, February 28th) and join us at House of Blues for a fun, high energy spinning event on March 8th that makes you a part of breaking the cycle of violence and hopelessness in some of our communities.

- Scott Myers, Director of World Sport Chicago

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Wood Family Foundation Woodys Winter Warm-Up Kicking Off Cubs Convention Weekend

baseball, celebrities, charity, chicago, cubs, Fitness, Fundraiser, Health, Networking, nightlife, restaurants, sports, Uncategorized


Woody’s Winter Warm-Up is a great way to kick off 2014 and celebrate Cubs Convention Weekend.  Once again we will have local celebrities and media personalities guest bartending and competing for tips to help raise money for the Wood Family Foundation.  Stop by and try our special tequila cocktail Harry Caray’s is serving up at all locations called “Woody’s Smokin Pitch” that will give proceeds back to the foundation.  In addition, we will have a silent auction with a lot of sports memorabilia and unique experiences.

The past two Warm-Ups have warranted an amazing crowd and featured musicians William Beckett, Plain White T’s, Dave Mason, DJ White Shadow and DJ Greg Corner.  This year  we are thrilled to have a special solo performance by Robert Randolph, pedal steel guitarist whose American funk and soul sounds have entertained audiences across the country since 2001. In addition we will also have popular local band Lovehammers on stage as well as a DJ to entertain the crowd.

Join us, along with emcees Pete McMurray and Catie Keogh and red carpet hosts Candace Jordan and Gabriela Santoyo, as we raise money to help support and improve the lives of children in four of our foundation’s target neighborhoods:  Lawndale, Austin, Humboldt Park, and Englewood.  Through events like this, we are able to host baseball clinics, coat and toy drives, school supply drives, and provide scholarships.

Friends expected to attend include Cub favorites  Todd Walker, Ted Lilly, Derrek Lee, Mark Prior, Rick Sutcliffe, Tom Stoddard, Scott Sanderson, Dave Otto, Scott Eyre and ‘Hall of Famers’ Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams.

WHEN:                  Friday, January 17th at 8:00pm, Robert Randolph from 9:15pm-10pm,

WHERE:                Harry Caray’s Tavern Navy Pier- 700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL

INFO:                    Tickets are  $175 at the door.

-Kerry and Sarah Wood

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The David DeJesus Family Foundation and Cubs Charities Host “Strike A Cord” Celebrity Karaoke Benefit

baseball, celebrities, charity, chicago, cubs, Food, Fundraiser, Health, nightlife, restaurants, sports, Uncategorized


My husband David may have been traded to another team, but that does not stop us from returning home and hosting a charity fundraiser with his former teammates.  The David DeJesus Family Foundation has teamed up with Cubs Charities to host “Strike a Chord” Celebrity Karaoke to benefit ALS research, a disease which has affected our close friend Brian Schnurstein.  The event will feature David, myself, Ryan Chiaverini (Windy City LIVE), Jeff Hoover (WGN), B96 Morning Show team, Danni Allen (winner of Biggest Loser) and Cubs players teaming up with local media personalities and Chicagoans to compete on the microphone.  In addition to cocktails, food will be provided by American Junkie, Chicago Q, Siena Tavern, Wow Bao and GT Fish & Oyster.

We started the David De Jesus Family Foundation (DDF) in 2012 with the purpose of helping families in crisis or who may lack access to basic human needs in Chicago, and throughout the world.  We have been actively involved in the fight against ALS-Lou Gehrig’s disease and want to support those families who may be suffering.

Ever karaoke’d with a Cub?  Come check it out!

Thursday, January 16th from 7:30pm-10:30pm (program beings at 7:30pm)
American Junkie
15 W Illinois
Chicago, IL  60654

Tickets are $125 per person in advance and $150 at the door and can be purchased at   For more information or to make a donation please contact 773.404.CUBS.

-Kim DeJesus

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Bacon, Sports, and Beer Celebration Benefiting Chicago Cares!

after school matters, baseball, basketball, blackhawks, charity, chicago, chicago bears, Chicago White Sox, cubs, Football, Fundraiser, General, Press, restaurants, sports, Uncategorized, Video

Grab some bacon, drink some beer, and play some sports at this awesome opportunity to celebrate three of the best things in life. Wash down some warm and delicious bacon at this delectable event at Union Station’s Great Hall. On November 23rd, taste various samples of scrumptious bacon inspired creations from more than 30 different restaurants (like Frontier, Atwood Cafe, South Water Kitchen, Big Fork, and more!).  Savor beer samples from over 30 craft breweries as well, all in a fun, social, and sports themed environment (such as Lagunitas, Magic Hat, New Holland, and more)!

What should you wear to this mouth-watering event you ask? Throw on a jersey of your favorite sports team and prepare yourself for pictures on social media! Get creative with your outfit because the best looking Bacon Bro and Bacon Babe of the night will get a surprise award. Make sure to stretch and be ready for some entertaining sports games throughout the night such as Nerf games, pop-a-shot, TV’s with games on, and sports trivia!

A minimum of $5,000 of the ticket proceeds go to Chicago Cares, a Chicago based charity organization whose volunteer programs help make Chicago a better place to live. Within the past 20 years, Chicago Cares volunteers have completed more than 1.4 million hours of service through over 30,000 group volunteer projects. So satisfy your appetite and have some fun at the Bacon, Sports, and Beer Celebration! Buy your tickets and find out more details here.

See you there!
Abby Cin

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Champions for Children’s with the Lurie Children’s Hospital

after school matters, baseball, basketball, blackhawks, celebrities, charity, chicago, chicago bears, Chicago White Sox, cubs, Football, Fundraiser, General, Health, Networking, olympics, Press, sports, Uncategorized

Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital presents, the Fifth Annual Champions for Children’s, on Friday November 1, from 6:30pm to 10pm at the Hilton Chicago.



Guests will rub shoulders with some of the biggest names and legends in Chicago sports while benefitting patients and their families. In 2012, close to 1,000 guests appeared and, since its launch, the event has produced over $1.2 million for the 149,000 patients treated at the hospital each year. All funds raised are used to enhance the hospital’s capacity to provide the very best medical treatment and kind care to every child in need.











Chicago’s sports teams who have shown incredible support of the patients and families served by Lurie Children’s will continue to be highlighted this year, as well as, individual athletes and sports world notables who are dedicated to giving back to their community. A few of the special Chicago sports guests this year will include: Anthony Adams (Chicago Bears), Chris Chelios (Chicago Blackhawks), Dave Corzine (Chicago Bulls), Chris Gandy (NBA), Sidney Green (Chicago Bulls), Todd Hollandsworth (Chicago Cubs), Bob Love (Chicago Bulls), Calvin Thomas (Chicago Bears), James “Big Cat” Williams (Chicago Bears), Grant Mulvey (Chicago Blackhawks), and Dan Pasqua (Chicago White Sox).

The Special evening will also include, announcer and Chicago Bears Director of Sports, Jeff Joniak as the Master of Ceremonies, a presentation of the Champions for Children’s award to the Chicago Bulls, interactive entertainment, a one of a kind silent auction and a post-party following dinner for all guests.

This is a benefit and fun event you won’t want to miss being apart of!

Katie Betken

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Woody Wiffle Ball Classic at Wrigley Field with Kerry Wood, Billy Dec, Matthew Perry, Bill Murray and more!

baseball, celebrities, charity, chicago, Comedy, cubs, Fitness, Fundraiser, General

Screen shot 2013-07-09 at 6.04.58 PM

When is the last time your Wiffled? As in…played wiffle ball? Join Kerry Wood and his celebrity friends for a weekend of wiffle ball and fun to celebrate and support The Wood Family Foundation.

August 10th at historic Wrigley Field you can watch such celebs as Bill Murray, Matthew Perry, Richard Marx, Neil Flynn and more compete in a wiffle classic all to support children’s programs in Chicago’s communities.

Billy Dec has also been asked to play in the wiffle ball game and can’t wait to see you all there! Get your tickets HERE to watch many of your favorite celebs at Wiffle for a Diffle! See you there – Amy Wright

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Billy Dec talks to Jonathan Brandmeier on WGN Radio about Blackhawks, Stanley Cup, Piven Theatre Gala w/Joan Cusack at Rockit and Sunda and MORE!

Art, baseball, basketball, blackhawks, celebrities, charity, chicago, chicago bears, cubs, Education, Food, Football, Fundraiser, General, Music, Networking, nightlife, Radio, restaurants, sports, Theater


Billy Dec visits Jonathan Brandmeier at WGN Radio to talk about the Annual Piven Theatre Gala he’s hosting with Joan Cusack, July 13th! Support art and theatre in Chicago with a dinner at Sunda at 6pm, then a party at Rockit Bar & Grill at 8pm.

Then Billy and Jonathan get into the Blackhawks crazy visit to Rockit Bar & Grill with the Stanley Cup! Topics they covered; champagne showers, Kane’s favorite Rockit Pockits are 50% off when you wear Hawks gear, unicorn heads, Billy chipping a fan’s tooth with the Stanley Cup, Jimmy Buffet, cops clearing out Hubbard St, the difference between 2010′s win and this year…..and more!

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Hot Stove Cool Music Concert to Feature Poi Dog Pondering, Parkington Sisters, Brede Baldwin & Kay Hanley at The Metro Chicago

baseball, blackhawks, celebrities, charity, chicago, cubs, Education, Fitness, Fundraiser, General, Networking, nightlife, sports

Len Theo Billy BobBrenly
I’m thrilled to share an event with you that I’m really looking forward to, which will help a number of youth nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area. Theo Epstein (Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations) and his brother Paul Epstein’s “The Foundation to Be Named Later” is bringing Hot Stove Cool Music back to Chicago this Friday at Metro Chicago, and we hope you can join us for this unforgettable event! A limited number of tickets are still available by visiting or by clicking here.

This is the second time this popular event will be taking place in Chicago, while it has been occurring annually in Theo’s old home of Boston since its inception more than ten years ago. When Theo became a part of the Cubs organization, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to expand this terrific cause by bringing it along with him to Chicago. This year, we have a variety of talented musical acts taking the stage – all in the name of charity.  Dropkick Murphys’ front man Ken Casey was just added to the musical lineup, which will make this event even more fantastic. Also performing will be Poi Dog Pondering, Brede Baldwin, Jimmy Chamberlin from The Smashing Pumpkins, the Parkington Sisters, Scott Lucas from Local H, the Hot Stove All Stars featuring Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons and former Letters to Cleo vocalist, Kay Hanley.

Joel Murray Mike O'Malley Jeff Garlin Theo Epstein

Hot Stove Cool Music is not just a concert, but a night of celebrating music, baseball, and giving back. Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper will also be in attendance, as well as comedian Joel Murray – a Chicago favorite! – who will emcee the night. And we’ll take a brief break from the music to auction off an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime prize – two tickets to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup in Chicago on June 22 to see your Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins!

With your help, we hope to raise money for multiple Chicago nonprofit organizations, including the Chicago Children’s Choir, City Year Chicago, Girls in the Game, Family Reach Foundation, Chicago Wapiti RFC, Late Night Peace Basketball League and Garfield Park Little League. A portion of this year’s proceeds will also go to the Boston Marathon victims’ One Fund Boston.

The Foundation To Be Named Later was launched in 2005 by Theo and Paul, with the mission to raise funds and awareness for nonprofit agencies who work on the front lines to serve disadvantaged youth and families. The Foundation invests in programs that teach leadership, education and healthy development of families. Throughout its existence, we’ve been able to give more than $6 million in grants and in-kind donations to more than 220 nonprofit organizations, and sent approximately 3,500 children to Fenway Park for a ball game. The Peter Gammons/FTBNL College Scholarship is the signature program of the Foundation, and has sent more than 30 young people with high financial needs and high educational potential to the college of their choice. Each Gammons Scholar receives an adult mentor and a laptop computer to ensure college success, and it’s a program we are all proud to support.

Theo, Paul Epstein, Peter Gammons

We hope you can make it out to Metro Chicago this Friday, June 21 for an amazing night of music, baseball and giving back, all to help support disadvantaged youth and families in the Chicago area. Again, a limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting

See you all there!   -Allyce Najimy, The Foundation To Be Named Later CEO & Executive Director

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