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

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Second Annual Playing It Forward Ping Pong Ball

celebrities, charity, chicago, Fundraiser, General

I’m Carrie, founder of the Jackson Chance Foundation and lucky mom of Jackson and his little brother Max. We were blessed to have Jackson in our lives for 10 short, but amazing months and now have our very own angel.  I am still Jackson’s mom and I now take care of him & his legacy via the Jackson Chance Foundation (JCF).

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We are working on our Second Annual Playing it Forward Ping Pong Ball this November 6th at Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. This event is gong to be crazy fun! This year, celebrities and athletes will duke it out at the Ping Pong Ball and compete against one another in a fun, light-hearted Rocks vs. Jocks ping pong tournament that will be referred by the one and only Billy Dec!  Chicago Bears players David Bass, Cornelius Washington and Jordan Mills are just a few of the impressive names on the tournament’s roster.

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An amazing silent auction will take place, offering over 75 unbelievable prizes such as a private day with Michelin-starred Moto’s Executive Chef Richie Farina, Chicago Blackhawks glass tickets, five nights at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui in an Ocean View Room, or five nights all inclusive at Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana, among many other prizes.

Know anyone getting married? I’ve never seen a package quite like this one. It includes the venue & catering for 150 guest, dress, veil, flowers, photographer, wedding bands, DJ, planner, hair & make up, & more!

The best part is not only is this an amazing event but all proceeds go to the Jackson Chance Foundation and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Jackson spent all but 48 hours of his short life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  After Jackson’s death, my husband Terry and I asked ourselves what we could do to help other families with children in the NICU. The answer was immediate: ease the burden of the astounding parking fees that are preventing too many families from visiting their children.

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Like all parents of critically ill children, we were told by Jackson’s doctors that visiting our child everyday was just as important to his health and recovery as the medical care he received. We were fortunate enough to have the resources to make this possible, spending every day with our son.

But not every family is so fortunate. In fact, we soon found that the reason so many other babies in the NICU were being cared for by hospital staff came down to something as simple as parking. Parking at NICUs is a major hurdle for new parents ranging from $4,200/month in New York City to $1,800/month in Chicago. The 44-bed unit of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is a state-designated Level IV NICU, capable of caring for the smallest and sickest of newborns. The average length of stay for a baby in the NICU is 28 days, with the majority staying months at a time.

JCF has partnered with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to launch the NICU Transportation Program – which provides complimentary transportation (parking, CTA/Metra vouchers) to all families for each day their child is in the NICU. Prior to the NICU Transportation Program, monthly or daily parking passes did not exist, and families did not have access to in and out privileges. The Program is fully funded by JCF.

All of this was inspired by my first born, Jackson Chance. What an amazing little guy…

Hope to see you there!

If you cannot attend the event, you can still bid on these packages online beginning Sunday, November 2nd until 9:00 pm on Thursday, November 6th. For more information about the online auction and to purchase even tickets, visit jacksonchance.org

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Commit2Change

charity, chicago, Fundraiser, General, Holiday

Commit2Change

“Going to school is like walking through a magic door to your dreams.”  Malala Yousafzai

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As you may know, education for young girls in some countries is a considered a luxury, even an out-of-reach pipe dream, that is often withheld to keep women down.  Malala Yousafzai‘s Nobel Peace Prize last week is a testament of hope to constant battle that girls around the world face.

I recently quit my career in advertising to pursue my own dreams in event design and management, and take some time to give back to the community in ways that I wasn’t able to before because of time constraints.  I found a locally- founded organization, Commit2Change, to team up with.

Our organization’s mission is to provide secondary education and housing for orphaned and abandoned girls in India.   Commit2Change works with a number of centers in India to give our girls that same hope so that they can dream of a better future.

Here is a link to our website to learn more about Commit2Change, see our girls and the impact our supporters have on their lives.

http://www.commit2change.org

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This Friday, October 17 is our Fourth Annual Fundraising Gala.  This year’s event is a Costume Ball at Morgan Street Studios in Fulton Market (456 N Morgan).  The event runs from 7:30pm – 11:30pm.

Delicious food and tempting signature cocktails are sure to delight – we’ll have food catered by Food First and a designer dessert table by Frost Cake Designs.  We will also have pop-ups food stands by Taco Joint, Glazed and Infused, and Pranzi.

We’ll have DJ Rob Nice, DJ for the Chicago Bulls, spinning all night, and I guarantee that Halloween favorites like Thriller and the Monster Mash are on the must-play list.

Of course, no costume party is not complete without a photo booth to capture ghoulish and gorgeous costumes, so be sure to get fancy.

And finally, we’re going to have a fantastic silent auction, with items donated by our amazing neighborhood partners:

 

  • Chicago Bulls
  • ·      Chicago Blackhawks
  • ·      Noble Grape
  • ·      RPM
  • ·      Beatrix
  • ·      Paris Club
  • ·      Stella Barra and Summer House
  • ·      Hub 51
  • ·      Blowout Junkie
  • ·      Zanies Comedy Club

 

Tickets are $150 with pre-sale tickets and $175 at the door.  To purchase tickets, you can visit our EventBrite page here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/commit2change-4th-annual-fundraising-gala-tickets-13172524375

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Coors Light and the NHL Stadium Series Builds a 40,000 pound Ice Mountain in Chicago for Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins!

blackhawks, chicago, sports

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Hi there! It’s Atorina Z. from Billy’s office, here to give you a reason to celebrate this weekend! Let’s start with the most obvious. How about that heat wave?! With highs above zero we definitely have a reason to come together in our bathing suits!

Okay, maybe not bathing suits, but where there are bathing suits, generally there’s beer. Coors Light for me, please! Now add Chicago hockey fans to the mix, a 30-foot tall, 60-foot wide, and a 40,000 pound ice mountain filled with beer-cooling Chill Pucks, and what do you get?! A true Chicago experience, namely: “The Coors Light Clusterpuck Event!

What’s great is that the Coors Light Explorers have teamed up with the NHL to help bring the cold to Chicago. Yes, more cold, but nothing we can’t handle. This event is taking place the weekend before the Blackhawks vs. Penguins game which is coming to Soldier Field on March 1st. This is all part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Game taking place across the country.

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Come out to the ice mountain celebration on Feb. 22 and embrace the cold. Sold out tickets to the March 1st game along with other awesome prizes will be available to the first 500 attendees! Check out this Vine video from the most recent L.A. event.

For more information check out http://www.facebook.com/coorslight.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Thanks,
Katie Betken

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Champs for Charity Good for Players & Fans

Uncategorized

It’s a tough time to be a hockey fan. The ongoing lockout doesn’t seem to be near an end at all, games are being canceled handfuls at a time, and the list of players signing overseas continues to grow.

Despite the lockout, players from around the league have been arranging charity games.  Last Friday, Adam Burish, former Blackhawk (and current San Jose Shark) arranged Champs for Charities at Allstate Arena with an all-star roster that benefitted Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana – a charity close to the Blackhawks organization.

The game certainly did not disappoint the fans.  If anything, it left us all wanting & longing for more. The all-star roster was split into 2 teams: Team Chicago (all current/former Hawks, except for Joe Corvo) vs. Team World (basically players with no ties to Chicago, except for Daniel Carcillo).

Team Chicago consisted of Patrick Sharp, Andrew Ladd, Jake Dowell, Troy Brouwer, Jamal Mayers, Craig Adams, Adam Burish, Patrick Kane, Jim Vandermeer, James Wisniewski, Brian Campbell, Joe Corvo, Craig Anderson and captained by Jonathan Toews.  Team World was made up of Bobby Ryan, Greg Campbell, Jordan Staal, Daniel Carcillo, Mike Brown, Antti Miettinen, Shawn Thornton, Ville Leino, Jared Boll, Ryan Suter, Alex Goligoski, Tom Gilbert, Niklas Backstrom and captained by Kimmo TimonenRobbie Gould, from the Chicago Bears, was the celebrity coach for for Team World and Ryan Dempster, former Cubs pitcher, for Team Chicago.

The game was everything fans wanted: fun, light-hearted and high scoring.  During the 3rd period Danny Carcillo jumped over the boards of the Chicago bench and started “fighting” with Dempster. The final score was a tie: 15-15.   To determine a winner there was a 5 round shootout with Daniel Carcillo being the final shooter; if he made his shot, World won, if he missed the shootout continued. Carcillo made his shot and proceeded to taunt the Chicago bench at which point Toews jumped over the boards and tackled Carcillo.

In the end, the night was a complete success raising a total of $323,500 for RMHC-CNI –  $73,500 over the initial fundraising goal set for the event – and the fans got to see some of their favorite players hit the ice.  Go here to see the entire set of pictures from the game.

-Alex Chwastek & Grace Sweeney

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Make A Wish w/ Jordan, Daley, Corgan, Urlacher, Blackhawks, Rockit Ranch & more!

Art, basketball, blackhawks, celebrities, charity, chicago, chicago bears, fashion, Football, Fundraiser, General, Homepage Feature, nightlife, sports


The Make A Wish Foundation of Illinois is celebrating their 25th Anniversary of their Gala the “Wish Ball” this Saturday May 21st by honoring 25 people and organizations that they have deemed “Leaders In Joy!”  I am beyond honored to say that I am among this humbled group along others like Michael Jordan, Mayor Daley & Maggie Daley, Larry Wert, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Brian Urlacher, the Chicago Blackhawks and more. Since 1985 Make A Wish has been granting special wishes to children facing life threatening illnesses giving each child the power to decide the nature of their wish, providing a sense of renewed faith, courage and self-confidence. These are not in any way “last wishes” but experiences that remind the wish kids that although everything in their world seems to be falling apart, there is still good and magic out there, and I love that message.

As much as there are “Leaders In Joy” being honored, to me this event will be way more about celebrating the work that the Make A Wish team has done by granting nearly 10,000 wishes across the state! One of those wishes was for an awesome little girl, Sydney Martin, (in picture above) that I had the pleasure of meeting last March when helping her present her necklace jewelry line in a run-way show. I blogged about Sydney right after not only because I was extremely moved by her story, but also I was excited about her talents & future.  She was diagnosed in 2007 with an extremely rare blood disease called Langerhan’s Cell Histicytosis (LCH), and started her own necklace line she has used to raise over $120,000 for LCH research.  I’m just inspired by that, and feel like I got just as much out of helping, as she may have received by being granted a wish.

Because of the wonderful feelings and giving all the way around, I’m really looking forward to honoring her, the many many other kids like her, and all those that have been an important part of building the Illinois chapter in to the largest and most well-known wish-granting organization in the region.. to be included in that is something I will always cherish.

For more information about the Make A Wish Foundation and this year’s Wish Ball – please take the time to visit www.wishes.org.

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Ellen Live TBS Show at Chicago Theatre!

Art, blackhawks, celebrities, chicago, Comedy, General, Music, nightlife, Theater

I love to share awesome prizes, tickets, vip passes…to all the experiences I get invited to w/ all my friends and followers on facebook and twitter (click on them to get in on it!). Yesterday I made up a fun lil contest to take a couple fans to Ellen’s amazing live show at The Chicago Theatre…you got to see these pics & read this review that one of the winners wrote, it’s awesome!

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Blackhawks, Stanley Cup, Cubs vs Sox…Chicago Celebration Pics!

blackhawks, chicago, nightlife, Pictures

Crazy weekend from Blackhawks to Cubs/Sox… and as you know, I always try to share the chicago behind the scenes here… so enjoy a quick look at some of my pics… from pre-parade celebration last Thursday night that all started at rockit.. until 5a yesterday morning!

And btw, sorry to all who couldn’t get to see the cup in Wrigleyville after the game as the players had texted me they had planned… said the city/cops felt after last weds it could just get way too mobbed w/cubs v sox crowd on top of it all…probably right… thank you players for letting me know as soon as rerouted w/in minutes of game ending (which I immediately forwarded on to all on facebook & twitter) so didn’t have to wait around… you all rock… sure everyone in chi will see it this summer all over town.. as it’s “a chicago thing” now! look at some of my pics

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video of me shooting the puck at blackhawks game 5 nhl stanley cup finals!

blackhawks, celebrities, chicago, General, nightlife, sports, Video

Just had one of the coolest experiences ever and wanted to share with you!! Check this video out of me picked to “shoot the puck” on the ice at united center sunday night during the blackhawks game 5 of the Stanley cup finals in front of 22,000+ screaming fans!  And on such an important game!  One more win to go and we break the longest current Stanley cup drought of 49yrs!

As you see in the video, my buddy billy bush from “access hollywood” thinks its going to be game 7 (fyi if so, he’s flying back and the 2 of us are throwing the after party- follow me on twitter for the details!), but I think its going to happen game 6! They are on fire! go blackhawks!!!!!!

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