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
What better way to spend Father’s Day weekend than experiencing the fun of boating? If you missed the Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show last year, don’t miss out this year! Chicago’s premier boating event returns to the new, state-of-the-art marina 31st Street Harbor, June 13-16, with hundreds of the newest boats and marine accessories for sale, on-water activities, education and daily entertainment. Plus, anyone can get their feet wet for only $10, and kids 15 and under get in free!
Check out a few ways you can dive into summer fun at the boat show:
So lather on the sunscreen, slip on your boat shoes and head on down to the boat show!
- Meghan Edwards, Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show
Tags: 31st Street Harbor, acrobatic diving, Banana Boat rides, boating, Chicago Bike Week, chicago yacht club, Chicago’s premier boating event, Discover Boating course, education, Father's day, Father's Day Chicago, Father’s Day weekend, fitness, floating water mats, Flyboard, Fred’s Shed, free sailing lessons, jet skiing, kayaking, on-water activities, paddlesports, powerboat, Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show, snowboarding, Stand Up Paddleboarding, state-of-the-art marina, Try it Cove
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
Where are all my eco-friendlies at?! Sammi, here to talk nothing other than the Green Festival coming to our beautiful windy city on May 18th & 19th at Navy Pier. Let’s kick off this spring weather with one the largest (24,000 participants in 2012) and most diverse festivals including education, shopping, food and loads of fun activities!
At the festival expect to experience everything green including: a vegan and organic food court, the Sierra Club Green Cinema, fashion exhibits, workshops, music, dancing, yoga, an organic beer and wine garden, speakers, educational activities and so much more! Green Festival will also feature the Green Marketplace, where you can buy goods and services from our local Chicago businesses.
Not only are you able experience all the fun, but also you don’t have to worry about making a carbon footprint by negatively impacting the environment as a result of the event. While the Green Festival is working towards a zero waste event, they have a 90% Resource Recovery Rate. All vendors practice these standards to ensure sustainability; food vendors use composting for scraps. Expect to see resource Recovery Stations with volunteers to answer any questions you may have.
Tickets range from $10-$32 dollars, but if your 18 or under or bring four cans of food to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, expect FREE admission! Check this out for more ticket information.
Last year, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. spoke at the event and left us with these wise words, “Green Festival is not an event. It is a lifestyle.” On that note, see you all there!
Tags: 2013 festivals, 90% Resource Recovery Rate, an organic beer and wine garden, buy green goods, chicago festivals, composting, dancing, diverse festivals, eco-friendly, education, environment, fashion exhibits, food, greater chicago food depository, green, Green Festival, Green Festival Chicago, Green Marketplace, green services, green vendors, Local, local Chicago businesses, Music, navy pier, organic, Recovery Stations, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., shopping, speakers, sustainability, the Sierra Club Green Cinema, vegan and organic food court, workshops, yoga, zero waste event
Hey Chicago! I’m Kendall Rozell, the newest addition to Billy Dec’s intern team at Rockit Ranch Productions. I have never been too keen on going for a run – the part that really excites me is listening to my favorite type of music, electronic dance. So when the new trend of the Rave Run started spreading around Chicago, I knew I had to join in!
While running can be very serious and solitary, why not change it up by running in a 5k with glow sticks and dance music but still benefitting great causes? This running season the Chicagoland area is being treated to three different glow-in-the-dark races
On Saturday, April 27th join runners from all over Chicago at Grant Park for The Rave Run. Where adrenaline pumping music and special effects lights will pave the way of the course. The Rave Run focuses on being happy and healthy as you run into a nocturnal world of lights. The proceeds go to benefit local Chicago charities that are announced closer to the date of the race.
If you can’t make it then, try Living Social’s Glow-in-the-Dark 5k Dance Party on Saturday, June 1st at Soldier Field! This race allows you to run around the stadium, and then join all the other participants for an after-party on the field, where the Bears play! The proceeds help Mercy Corps and d.light bring 500 solar lanterns to schoolchildren in Somalia, so they can read and study at night. So run in lights for lights!
Finally, on Saturday, June 15th try running again in Grant Park for The Glo Run. It’s the same deal, a 5k at night with great music and lights! The proceeds benefit Back on My Feet, which uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change how they see themselves!
It doesn’t matter which one you choose because they all have one thing in common…glow swag, dancing, and after parties. Celebrate your love of running with these new, innovative, charity-driven races! If it can get me running, then I’m willing to bet these are going to be fun! If you have any additional questions visit The Rave Run, Living Social, or The Glo Run for more details.
Tags: Back on My Feet, billy dec, charity, chicago, d.light, dance, dj, electronic dance, Glo Run, glow in the dark, glow sticks, grant park, house music, intern, lights, Living Social, Mercy Corp, Music, neon, rave, Rave Run, rockit ranch productions, running, Soldier Field, Somalia, techno
Hey eco-friendlies! This is Cassy from Ripple Public Relations, and I have the scoop on an awesome event coming up in honor of Earth Day. The Green Exchange in Logan Square (2545 W. Diversey) is celebrating Earth Day on Monday, April 22nd from 5-9pm with an evening chock-full of food, drinks, fun classes, speakers, and live music!
I know what you’re thinking, “class” doesn’t sound very fun… but what if I told you there was a class on how to brew your own beer?! That’s what I thought. The “Homebrewing 101” workshop will be hosted by Chicago’s newest craft brewery, Ale Syndicate. There will be two workshops from 5-6pm and 6-7pm, and they are included in the ticket price! You do have to be 21 years old, and it’s first come, first served.
Additionally, from Season 1 of NBC’s “The Voice”, talented singer Rebecca Loebe will be performing live at 7pm at the Greenhouse Loft! Loebe is in award-winning singer and songwriter from Atlanta, with a musical style of intimate folk mixed with jubilant pop.
The Green Exchange is America’s largest green business community, and it is totally environmentally friendly. Home to over 20 green businesses, the 270,000 square foot building has amazing features, like a 41,329-gallon rain cistern that captures water and reuses it, an organic garden, even live chickens and honey bees!
Let’s celebrate this beautiful Earth we live on!
- Cassy Murphy, Ripple PR
Tags: Ale Syndicate, As You Are: A Decade of You Are Beautiful, atlanta, Beer, craft brewery, earth day, eco-friendlies, environment, folk, green, Green Exchange, Greenhouse Loft, homebrewing 101, honey bees, Logan Square, NBC, organic garden, OWN, pop, Rebecca Loebe, Ripple PR, Ripple Public Relations, Singer, songwriter, The Voice, workshop
Good news brides to-be! The Martha Stewart Wedding party is making it’s first ever stop right here in Chicago! So don’t worry if you still have things to check off your to-do list, this event has got you covered-and all under one roof! Before diving into the rest of the details, mark your calendars for Sunday, March 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and join Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, Meghan Andalman, founder of Lovebird Events and Claudia Hanlin, founder of the Wedding Library, for a day of inspiration and fun!
Alright, now what to expect? This premiere wedding event features expert panel discussions and Q&A’s, celebrity speakers, raffle giveaways, sweets, and drinks, a Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Lounge and more for brides and grooms-to be! Some topics of discussion will be how to personalize your wedding and how to transform unusual locations into the wedding of your dreams. There will also be over 50 vendors present for DJs, bands, accessory retailers, invitation designers and much, much more! For a more detailed version of who will be there, visit Lovebird’s Blog, The Nest.
The party will be held at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago and tickets are priced at $65 for a single or $110 for a couple. Hurry and purchase your tickets online here and don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend this top-notch wedding event!
Tags: event planning in Chicago, invitation design, Lovebird, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Wedding Party, Martha Stewart Weddings, premier wedding events, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, The Nest, Wedding Library, wedding planner, wedding planning in Chicago, wedding vendors in Chicago, weddings in Chicago
Emily Reusswig from Redmoon inviting you to ignite your passion for the arts at our annual gala benefit, Spectacle Lunatique, March 9th! Prepare yourself to experience four blockbuster spectacle moments, 1,874 candles, 164 performers and 31 wild happenings throughout seven hours of celebration at Redmoon’s 12th-annual Spectacle Lunatique.
Redmoon, Chicago’s very own transformative creative force known for producing once-in-a-lifetime over-the-top artistic events, proudly presents our famed, annual gala benefit March 9, 7 PM — 2AM.This event also will debut the theater’s new space as Redmoon moves from their current West Loop location to occupy a 57,000 sq. ft. building at 2120 S. Jefferson in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The move is Mayor-approved, so you know it’s a must-see.
Themed “Starting the Fire,” the evening will have a primal, earthy, “ritualistic” feel and seek to ignite Chicago with spirit, passion and participation in the arts. Tickets range from $75 per person to $2,500 for a group VIP experience, and packages may be purchased on our website here!
Here’s a taste:
Funds raised will support Redmoon’s original and unique events of a massive scale in landmark locations for all of Chicago, and the inaugural year of Redmoon’s Spectacle Academy impacting youth and emerging artists throughout Chicago.
Come one come all!!!
Fat Tuesday: the last day to indulge in richer, heartier foods before the fasting of Lent begins. Or, for some, it’s an excuse to throw your diet out the window and eat whatever you want only to then give up “the bad things” for 40 days and nights(ish) – no judgment. New Orleans is known for their Mardi Gras celebration: masks, drinking, parades, music, drinking, parties, drinking…you get the point. In Chicago – and other areas with large Polish communities – Fat Tuesday is also referred to as Pączki Day.
Pączki (pronounced PONCH-key) are a traditional Polish pastry that originated as a way to use up stores of lard, sugar and eggs before Lent began. Let the records show that pączki day in Poland is actually traditionally celebrated on the Thursday before Lent begins; but that can be our little secret, I won’t tell anyone if you wait to indulge on Tuesday. I’m Polish and pretty proud of my roots – I’ve also enjoyed a pączki or two in my day – so I feel it’s only right that I give you all a list of the best places to get some of your own for Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Tuesday in Polish).
By far one of the most popular Polish bakeries in the city, Oak Mill starts taking orders for pączki in January. Ordering ahead is pretty much your best bet for getting what you want, if you’re walk-in expect to wait in long lines (at all of their locations).
8012 N Milwaukee Ave Niles, IL 60714 – 5753 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60634 – 5747 S Harlem Ave Chicago, IL 60638 – 4747 N Harlem Ave Harwood Heights, IL 60706 – 2314 E Rand Rd Arlington Heights, IL 60004 – 2204 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60647
With over 10 years of experience and a loyal customer-base, Delightful Pastries has been cranking out delicious European pastries to the delight of every sweet tooth in the city. They take a fun spin on their pączki – they make some of them with liquor! Liquored up flavors include vodka/vanilla bean, Patron Cocoa XO/chocolate custard and orange liqueur/passion fruit jelly.
131 N Clinton Ave Chicago, IL 60601 (at the French Market) – 1710 N Wells St Chicago, IL 60614
IN THE SUBURBS
Definitely one of my favorite European bakeries in the suburbs, Jarosch’s pastries are amazing and their pączki do not disappoint. Be smart and call or fax in your orders early because come Pączki Day, the line will be out the door.
35 Arlington Heights Rd Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Central Continental takes a fun spin on pączki with flavors like Black Forest, Caramel Turtle, Island Piña Colada, Italian Cannoli and dozens more. Don’t worry, traditionalists, they still have all of the “normal” pączki flavors too.
101 S Main St Mt. Propsect, IL 60656
Whether you celebrated Pączki Day on Thursday or you’re looking forward to celebrating on Tuesday, I hope the above options give you plenty to drool about over the next couple of days and that you find yourself some delicious pączki to indulge in.
Oui oui! Bonjour!
Want to travel to Europe without leaving Chicago? (well, actually, no I’m sure we would all rather be in Europe!) But hey! Let’s save ourselves some money and head to the Chicago French Market for the FREE Eurofest event this Saturday!
There is really something for everyone here- Yes, it’s true you will find me sampling some tasty European culinary treats such as olive oils and vinegars from Oh! Olive, tea tastings from Bello Tea, and, of course, French Macarons from Vanille Patisserie, BUT it doesn’t end there. Come out and see all the artisan vendors such as City Fresh Market, Wisma, Lavazza Espressions, Flip Crepes, Raw, and Spicy Monkey Soup Company. Trust me, you will be satisfied! And as if that isn’t alluring enough, there is still a lot more to offer! There will be demonstrations to be viewed, European music to be enjoyed, and shops to be explored!
The French Market alone is something worth checking out, with 30 specialty vendors all in one spot offering everything from fresh European inspired ingredients to take home with you to cook up that special meal you have been craving from the motherland, or to just grab a quick and scrumptious on the go meal any time of the day!
So why not grab your bff or significant other and transport to another country for a few hours?? And don’t forget your appetite… See you there!