On Friday, September 14th, I had the pleasure of hosting the Reality TV for Charity party at A New Leaf. I am on the Board of Directors for Active Chicago – the charity hosting the event. Active Chicago was founded by Survivor: Fiji contestant Mookie Lee. I have known Mookie for over seven years…we met in college when our respective fraternity and sorority had football block at the University of Illinois. After gaining notoriety on Survivor, I was happy to learn he was starting a charity and using his exposure in a positive way. I was honored when he asked me if I would help him start a charity to sponsor underprivileged children to fund their extra-curricular activities. Other board members who made this event happen are Tom Raleigh, Marissa Pallan, Troy Chafin, and Hadi Saeid.
Images: Reality For Charity
In order to raise awareness of our charity and cause, we decided to throw several promotional bashes throughout the summer. Our big event, however, was on Friday, September 14th at A New Leaf. We had several reality stars come to support our charity: Alex Angarita and Edgardo Rivera from Survivor: Fiji, Sarah Blank from Big Brother, Nadia Underwood from Beauty and the Geek, Matt Lorenz from Bravo’s Top Design, Becky Lee from Survivor: Cook Island and Aimee Trottier and Michael Laungani from The Apprentice.
Active Chicago partnered with The Parkways on this event and was also honored to have sponsorship from the following: XA, 24/7 Chicago, Snow Queen Vodka, Miller Lite, Capmark, Smartwater, Vitamin Energy, Pink Yellowtail and Phil Stefani Restaurants.
One of my favorite boys DJ Rock City got the crowd dancing with his funky beats and Dance 2 XS performed two amazing dance numbers! This troupe is actually going to tour with Justin Timberlake so you can only imagine how good they are!
We set up the party so the guests would feel like they were on their own reality show. 24/7 Chicago, a new, hip entertainment television show, filmed confessionals upstairs that mimicked the popular tactic seen on the king of all reality shows, MTV’s The Real World. Exhibit, an amazing Lincoln Park boutique also provided gift bags after guests confessed their deep secrets to the camera. With all the cameras flashing, it was hard not to feel like a star or in the middle of a new season of a reality show.
Guests had a blast confessing their secrets of the city and maybe some funny things that happened to them at the party. It was wonderful to get together all the reality stars to do something positive for children. Stay tuned for some more cool events from Active Chicago. We’re just getting this started! Please check out www.activechicago.org for updates!