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

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PAWS Chicago Fur Ball

Animal, charity, chicago, Fundraiser, General, nightlife, Uncategorized

Attention, animal lovers! If you’re anything like me, you probably experience a little bit of guilt or sadness over leaving your pet at home while you go enjoy a nice dinner or attend an event in the city. I’ve got good news for you! PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest No Kill humane organization is throwing their 11th Annual Fur Ball on November 15th.  So, what does that mean for you and your furry friends?  You’re all invited!

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The Fur Ball will feature a pet-friendly red carpet (that’s right!), cocktails, dinner, dancing, and pet spas to pamper your pooch.  Along with that, there will be live and silent auctions, raffles, special guest appearances, and plenty of furry adoptable animals. While you’re enjoying the dancing and auctions, your pets can indulge in a gourmet buffet and relax in the pet-sitting area courtesy of Paradise 4 Paws.

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The event attracts nearly 800 guests and has been attended by many of PAWS Chicago’s celebrity supporters such as Billy Corgan and Nate Berkus. For a full breakdown of the event timeline, to purchase tickets, or to show your support for PAWS Chicago, visit http://furball.pawsevents.org/. All proceeds go towards supporting PAWS Chicago and saving homeless dogs and cats.

Presented by A. Marek Fine Jewelry, The Drake Hotel, and Chopper Trading.

See you there,
Lauren Pedersen

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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 www.metrochicago.com 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 www.metrochicago.com.

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

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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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Chicago's KAZY Rocks

Art, chicago, Music

hey all, as always, thanks for sending in all the local talent suggestions! This week I’m highlighting some local rock talent known as “kazy” that I got from a facebook friend who turned me on to this video I liked called “choke!”
this chicago rock crew is getting a ton of followers lately decribed as sounding like Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead, all of whom I dig. Catch kazy’s upcoming shows in Chicago soon before they blow up too big! info on http://www.myspace.com/kazymusic. Enjoy!
hey all, as always, thanks for sending in all the local talent suggestions! This week I’m highlighting some local rock talent known as “kazy” that I got from a facebook friend who turned me on to this video I liked called “choke!”
this chicago rock crew is getting a ton of followers lately decribed as sounding like Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead, all of whom I dig. Catch kazy’s upcoming shows in Chicago soon before they blow up too big! info on http://www.myspace.com/kazymusic. Enjoy!

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Chicago Music Awards this Weekend!

celebrities, chicago, General, Music

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In the 29th year since it’s inception, the Chicago Music Awards has featured and honored some of the most acclaimed artist in the history music, including : Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins, Lou Rawls, Chaka Khan, Robert Townsend, R Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Curtis Mayfield, Buddy Guy, The Mighty Dells, Jerry Butler, Oscar Brown Jr., Albertina Walker, Ramsey Lewis, Dick Buckley, Sir George Solti, The Chi-Lites, Pop Staples, Patty Jo Timmons and Von Freeman – to name a few.

The CMA’s were founded by Ephraim Martin of Martin’s International Culture (who also produces the International Reggae & World Music Awards). He originally set out in the early ‘90’s as a not-for-profit group trying to promote African/Caribbean music, arts and culture. Not before long, he realized that there was already a wealth of all kinds of great culture and music right in his own town of sweet home chicago, thus the CMA’s we born.

The Chicago Music Awards take to the stage again this Sunday the 24th at the Alhambra Palace where you can see Chicago’s own Wilco and Jeremih perform live. Check out info and get your tix at www.martinsinterculture.com

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