We’re all familiar with the well-known cultural destinations in the Windy City – the museums, Wrigley Field, Millennium Park — but there is one little-known gem in Chicago’s River North neighborhood that every Chicagoan needs to put on their to-do list.
Open Books is a cultural experience unlike any other. A rainbow wonderland of books, the store is a vibrant, fun, creative place for guests of all ages to read and play. Adult visitors can browse through a selection of 50,000 books and relax on the oversized couches, while kids can flip through the 10,000 children’s books and play in the children’s corner. You can feel good about your purchases (books average between $3 to $5), because sales directly support Open Books’ literacy programs for thousands of students across Chicago. And the amazing book deals are just the beginning – 2013 will include in-store character events for kids, author visits, writer’s workshops and more.
On June 22nd and 23rd Open Books will host its summer Half Off Sale, which means every used book in the store will be 50% of the usual price. More of an eater than a reader? Then be sure to check out a very special book release celebration coming up on June 30th. The legendary Doug Sohn, owner and cashier of Chicago’s well-loved Hot Doug’s, will be on-site at 10am to sign books and discuss his entrance into the literary world….and, yes, there will be refreshments.
For more information about Open Books, visit here.
-Open Books Bookstore Team
Tags: author visits, book deals, book release celebration, Chicago book stores, Chicago literacy programs, Chicago’s River North neighborhood, children's books, children’s corner, cultural destinations, Doug Sohn, events for kids, Hot Doug's, literacy programs, museums, Open Books, reader, summer Half Off Sale, writer’s workshops
Here in Chicago, it’s not always easy for students to find the resources they need to make life and career decisions. As the Chair and President of Skender Foundation, I, along with so many others want to help Chicago’s students and their families achieve their goals. Our foundation is continuing its ongoing commitment to education and well-being this year through our Summer Eclipse event and we want you to join us!
Enjoy cocktails, silent auctions and fun at Studio Paris at Paris Club (59 W. Hubbard) on July 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.! Our charity partner Chicago Scholars will ensure that while you enjoy your evening, local high school juniors will enjoy the benefits of mentoring and scholarships that will help them get into and through a four-year college of their choice. Chicago Scholars has assisted more than 1,000 students in enrolling in and completing college. They select students who show academic promise as well as integrity, character, leadership and community involvement. Other deserving Chicago area charities will also benefit.
Last year, Summer Eclipse raised $200,000 for various charities in the Chicago area, and this year we hope to top that figure. The event will include French-themed refreshments, a photo booth and a great view of the Chicago skyline from one of the city’s top restaurants. Just like last year, we’ll have live-updated fundraising goals and lots of unique silent auction items. We can’t wait to see you there! Buy your tickets here!
-Cheryl Skender, Skender Foundation chair and president
Tags: career decisions, chicago events, Chicago foundations, Chicago resturants, Chicago Scholars, college, education, mentoring, Paris Club, scholarships, silent auction, Skender Foundation, top restaurants
34-year-old Kristin McQueen may be recovering from brain surgery, but cancer treatments on the last thing on her mind – She has reached the finals in the Ironman Foundation’s “Kona Inspired – Anything Is Possible” contest.
McQueen, who has fought thyroid cancer for a decade, recently underwent her 10th brain surgery, her 15th surgery overall. Treatment side effects have ranged from facial nerve damage, vertigo, and partial airway use from vocal cord paralysis.
McQueen’s coping mechanism is racing. Since diagnosis, she has completed 9 Ironmans, 17 marathons, and countless other races, all while fundraising for the American Cancer Society – raising over $122,000.
Says McQueen: “My main purpose is to raise money so that nobody else has to go through what I have. Along with that, I want to show people that you can’t just give up when life beats you up a little… I know that things can be taken away in an instant. Training is a blessing and racing is my expression of gratitude for life.”
McQueen’s dream? To tackle the Ironman World Championship. Only available to athletes who qualify, the Ironman Foundation introduced a contest, entitled “Kona Inspired – Anything Is Possible,” to allow a handful of committed athletes join the field.
To participate, each contestant provided a 90-second video explaining why he/she embodies the Ironman Mantra “Anything Is Possible. Now, Kristin has reached the finals. She has from June 5th-15th to get her video to the top two of 15, based entirely upon public votes. Since you can vote daily, one McQueen supporter has even designed a calendar reminder for download. McQueen’s video is posted at here.
You can help by VOTING daily June 5 – 15th and SHARING Kristin’s story with your friends!
- Tracy Jensen
Tags: American Cancer Society, cancer survivors, cancer treatments, fundraising, Ironman, Ironman Foundation, Ironman Foundation’s “Kona Inspired - Anything Is Possible”, Ironman Mantra, Ironman World Championship, Kristin McQueen, marathons, racing
***UPDATED Monday, June 10th, 2013. Rashied Davis will host this year’s “Cocktails for Education” again at Rockit Bar and Grill – Tuesday June 11th from 6-9pm. For more info and tickets, click HERE!***
Fans of the Bears, helping the community, Education, great food & drink, meeting amazing people… This event is for you!!! Chicago Bears’ Rashied Davis has supported my philanthropic events for art, theatre, feeding poor.. for years.. and I am honored to help him get the word out about how his huge heart has taken it to the next level by hosting his own huge party for a wonderful cause on Tuesday May 17th from 6-8p at Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W. Hubbard)!
This amazing event will support Rashied Davis Charities’ efforts to “teach students how to overcome obstacles to success through inspiration, preparation and discipline.” They help empower the fundamentals of reading, writing and speech to underserved kids teaching them how to apply tools to problem solve, communicate properly and just be an all around contributing member of society. I’m fully on board w/their mission, I have often talked about how communication leads to relationship building which leads to personal growth and opportunities.. And I’m always behind a fun time to help accomplish all of that!
So join us May 17th! You can mingle with a bunch of Chicago Bears like Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Anthony Adams, Jerry Azumah, Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox… different local celebrities, media, and all around fun supporters from everywhere who just care like you… cocktails, appetizers, silent auction & more… Get your tickets now: http://rashieddavischarities.org/homepage.aspx and I’ll see you there!
Tags: alex brown, anthony adams, bears, bears 2011, billy dec, charity, charity events, chicago, chicago bears, chicago event listing, chicago summer events, earl bennett, football, fundraiser, jerry azumah, johnny knox, lance briggs, rashied davis, rashied davis charities, rockit, rockit bar, rockit bar and grill, silent auction, sports
Nobody chooses to be homeless; it’s what happens when you hit rock bottom. In response to the rising number of homeless Chicagoans, Run Home Chicago, a 5K race and Kid’s Dash, aims to end homeless in our city. We are striving to meet this enormous task at hand, which is to provide homeless Chicagoans with shelter, sustenance and services, while also raising awareness of our homeless community, research associations and other non-profits. Our race is this Sunday, June 9th at Soldier Field at 8AM.
Chicago’s very own Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Steve Harvey have signed on to our cause to end homelessness and empowering people on their paths to achieving social, emotional and economic independence. Our race emcee, Andrea Metcalf, the emcee for our race, will motivate runners and kick-off the 5K and following the race, enjoy snacks from Plum Market, Home Run Inn, Skinny Pop, Zico Water and more.
For women, adolescence and mothers with children affected by homelessness, the burdens of finding adequate shelter, food and basic resources, on top of sustaining a line of income and coping with complex emotional repercussions, is incredibly daunting. The Primo Center for Women and Children, a nonprofit housing shelter located in our city and primary host of Run Home Chicago, believes that no woman or family should have to go through this process alone. The Primo Center provides a unique and ambitious program geared towards supporting and empowering women and children in the Chicago area.
Are you ready to run? Sign up for the 5K now!
Tags: 5K Chicago. 5K, Andrea Metcalf, Chicago programs, economic independence, empowering women and children, Home Run Inn, homeless Chicagoans, Kid's Dash, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Steve Harvey, Plum Market, Primo Center for Women and Children, Run Home Chicago, runners, services, shelter, Skinny Pop, Soldier Field, sustenance, Zico Water
Click here to listen to the interview: Billy Dec & Joan Cusack Host Piven Theatre Workshop Benefit – WGN Radio
The Piven Theatre Workshop Gala Returns
Piven Alumna & Award-Winning Actress Joan Cusack and Billy Dec Co-Host
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Join award-winning actress and Piven alumna Joan Cusack and Emmy Award winning television contributor and Rockit Ranch CEO Billy Dec, on Saturday, July 13 for a red carpet evening of celebration and reunion with fine dining, cocktails and a spectacular live auction. All proceeds will benefit the Piven Theatre Workshop’s scholarships and outreach programs.
From 6pm-8:30pm, guests will enjoy dinner at the award-winning Sunda (110 W Illinois) with a live auction of exclusive items. From 8pm-11pm, guests are invited to attend the Gala at Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W Hubbard) for signature cocktails, appetizers, sweets and an exciting live and silent auction.
Exclusive auction items include set visits to Mr. Selfridge with round-trip airfare, New York packages with tickets to hit Broadway shows, Saturday Night Live tickets, A VIP package to Jimmy Kimmel Live, Courtside tickets to a Lakers game and more.
In 1971, Byrne and Joyce Piven founded Piven Theatre Workshop, a small acting school in Evanston, Illinois. The nationally acclaimed school and professional theatre stands as a testament to the Pivens’ enduring vision to train, nurture and mentor generations of students and artists, including hosts Joan Cusack who studied improvisation and Billy Dec, who not only took classes with Joyce Piven, but also acted in their last production “The Good Doctor” and was honored with the Byrne Piven Award for Community Service. Proceeds from the night will help continue to nurture students and artists in the programs.
For tickets, visit http://piventheatre.org/. Sunda VIP Dinner tickets (includes Rockit Bar & Grill Gala): Single ticket $300.00 ($250 deductible), Couples ticket (2) $500.00 ($400 deductible), Table of 10 $2500.00 ($2,000 deductible). Rockit Bar & Grill Gala ticket: $150.00 ($100 deductible). Please note, limited seating is available at Rockit Bar & Grill.
Event sponsors include Rockit Ranch Productions, Sunda Restaurant, Rockit Bar & Grill, The Underground, The Peyton Family Foundation and Grey Goose.
ABOUT PIVEN THEATRE WORKSHOP
Piven Theatre Workshop has excelled as a leader in the arts community for 40 years, maintaining a distinguished legacy in the training of children and adults in the theatre arts. Annually, between onsite and off-site programming, the theatre trains over 1,000 students, provides approximately $30,000 in need-based scholarships and maintains a professional theatre and numerous outreach programs throughout the Chicago area. Piven Theatre Workshop is located at 927 Noyes Street, Evanston, IL. Visit them online at www.piventheatre.org, on Facebook at “Piven Theatre Workshop” and on Twitter @piventheatre.
Tags: Alumni, benefit, billy dec, chicago, fundraiser, jeremy piven, Joan Cusack, joyce piven, piven, piven theatre workshop, rockit, rockit bar and grill, rockit ranch, rockit ranch productions, sunda, theatre
Hey Chicago! This is John Losurdo from St. Charles, but you might know me better as Johnny L. I am a 17-year-old cancer survivor.
At 4 weeks old, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer. Since then, I have endured chemotherapy, surgeries, biopsies, transfusions, and everything in between. Growing up with cancer was anything but normal, and kids teased me by calling me “Cancer Boy.”
Through my hardships, I found an outlet in music to help escape the world. I recorded “Fearless,” a song dedicated to overcoming cancer as well as any type of discrimination for being different. The proceeds from this song, available on iTunes, will go to Children’s Cancer Research. Every kid deserves a fighting chance, and hopefully with this money we can even find a cure.
This past year I have focused on giving back. A group I am proud to affiliate with is Gilda’s Club. They provide incredible support programs to anyone affected by cancer. The evening of June 6, Gilda’s Club will host their summer concert event, GILDAPALOOZA, at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville. It will be a night filled with games, music, and socializing. Come join the fun to help support this worthwhile cause. Proceeds will help Gilda’s Club help EVERYONE!
I would love to see you there, because I will be helping to kick things off with a performance of one of my newest songs, Diagnosis…
I love Chicago because it is a world class city filled with world class people, and it inspires my music every day. Follow me on my Facebook and Twitter pages to stay updated– my album, “Different Colored Eyes Same Vision” drops soon.
Peace, Love, and Forever Hope!
Tags: available on iTunes, cancer survivor, Chicago cancer awareness, Chicago cancer outlets, Children’s Cancer Research, cubby bear, Diagnosis, Different Colored Eyes Same Vision”, GILDAPALOOZA, Gilda’s Club, Johnny L, Music, Performance, wrigleyville, “Fearless”
Laughter is the best medicine! No, really…it’s been proven (kind of). Chicago is the best place to find laughter with our awesome improve comedy scene. And, coming up is a night of hilarious comedy at the 3rd Annual Laughing Hearts Comedy Night on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30pm at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont Ave). 100% of the ticket proceeds go to the American Heart Association!
I have been raising money for the Heart Association since I was a little girl going door to door. Through participating in the Chicago Heart Walk since 2004, I’ve raised over $21,000. All of this is in memory of my wonderful Mom, Tracey, who passed away of heart disease in 2003. She was the first person in our hometown to have open heart surgery… at the age of 15! My mom was an advocate of the AHA and coordinated many events on its behalf. After doing the heart walk for a few years I thought….what else can I do to raise money? I’m a graduate of the second city conservatory, I love to laugh and make people laugh, and with those passions Laughing Hearts Comedy Night was born!
Performers include Off Off Broadzway, Rabbit Rabbit, ComedySportz and stand-ups Adam Burke, Maria Wojciechowski, Monique Madrid and Corey Rittmaster. There’s also a silent auction with awesome items like Blackhawks tickets, Cubs tickets, bottle service at Ay Chiwowa, restaurant gift certificates, acting classes, theater tickets, portrait sessions, and a ridiculous big basket of booze from Beam! Check out the site and like the LHCN Facebook page for tix & info, and make plans to attend! It’s good for the heart! See you there!
- Patricia True Agos
Tags: 3rd Annual Laughing Hearts Comedy Night, acting classes, Adam Burke, american heart association, Ay Chiwowa, Beam, Blackhawks tickets, bottle service, Chicago Heart Walk, Chicago improve, ComedySportz, Corey Rittmaster, Cubs tickets, heart disease, improve, improve comedy scene, laughing hearts comedy night, Maria Wojciechowski, Monique Madrid, Off Off Broadzway, portrait sessions, Rabbit Rabbit, second city conservatory, Stage 773, theater tickets
When I was a kid, I had the best time at camp (I’m sure you did too!) – which is why I’m co-chairing this year’s Campfire Ball at Venue One, benefiting Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. and its One Step Camp for kids with cancer.
We’ll have fun camp-themed foods like tater tots, mini grilled cheese, s’mores and some spiked bug juice to give it a grown up twist! Thanks to Hub 51, Bub City, Theory, Stout, Bridgehouse Tavern and Cork Catering, these bites will be extra tasty. Plus, music by DJ STEP, a digital photo booth, a wine raffle, silent auctions, and a full open bar will keep you busy and entertained all night long. Our thanks to Goose Island, Svedka, and TY-KU for making sure the bar is stocked till the end! Tickets are just $100 in advance and $125 at the door.
For every $1000 we raise, we send one kid to One Step Camp for a week.
What’s so special about camp is that the kids are either currently in treatment or survivors of Leukemia and other cancers, and they’re able to build a huge support system while just enjoying the joys and fun of summer camp. For a couple weeks they get to relax and forget about the rest of the world and just be kids.
All counselors and medical staff volunteer their time to create this safe and fun camping experience for the kids. And, all kids are able to attend camp regardless of what they can afford because of Campfire Ball. Last year, we raised $115,000, sending 115 kids to One Step Camp!
I learned about camp through my brother, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in high school. His nurse recommended One Step, and after he stepped foot on campus as a counselor, he couldn’t stop talking about the water fights, snipe hunts and endless candy eating! Because of him, I support One Step camp in two ways: with the kids, as a volunteer counselor (this year will be my 8th summer and I can’t wait!), and with my friends and yours, by going to Campfire Ball.
We’re hard at work putting the final touches on the big day and we hope you’ll be there! Camp is truly the most amazing place with the most incredible kids. The host committee plus my co-chairs, Chris Eilers, Jordi Izsak and Michelle Weiler hope you’ll join us to make this Campfire Ball the most fun yet!
- Rachel Drescher
Tags: benefits for children, Bridgehouse Tavern, Bub City, Campfire Ball, Campfire Ball 2013, charity, Chicago charity, Chicago summer camp, Children's Oncology Services, Cork Catering, DJ STEP, goose island, hub 51, One Step Camp, Stout, summer camp, survivors of Leukemia charity, Svedka, Theory, TY-KU, Venue One, wine raffle
Ready to do some good, Chicago? We’re Jessica and Amanda, and we’re working with Groundwork Opportunities (GO) to help put an end to world hunger. Swing by River North’s Rockit Bar & Grill on May 16 from 6:00-8:00pm to drink, mingle, and support GO’s incredible mission: investing in groundbreaking ideas, empowering local leaders, and engaging communities to create a world beyond poverty.
All the proceeds of this event will go directly to a small village in Malawi, Africa, allowing them to purchase agricultural equipment, seeds, and any other necessary materials to start a farm. The fundraising goal is $5,000, which is enough to cover everything the village needs to begin growing food and providing jobs.
The event includes two hours of unlimited beer and wine, as well as two specially crafted cocktails. Food will also be available at a 50% discount. Cubs and Sox tickets, signed Blackhawks memorabilia, one-month fitness memberships, and several other items will be available through a silent auction.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. To purchase tickets, click here. You can also watch our video or donate here. If Chicago can help a village in Malawi, who knows the impact that the ripple effect will have!
Tags: africa, blackhawks, charity, cubs, empowering local leaders, fight hunger, GO for Malawi, Groundwork Opportunities, hunger charity in Chicago, local charity event in Chicago, Malawi, river north, rockit bar & grill, silent auction, Sox, world hunger