Posts Tagged ‘charity events’

Next week you can feel like you’re making a difference with your binge drinking. GiveForward.org, a Chicago-based website that allows people to fundraise online for any charity or cause, is hosting Party for a Reason at one of Chicago’s newest bars, Old Town Social.

The event is technically the pre-party for Run for a Reason, a 5K race to benefit local Chicago charities. For those of us that consider beer pong the most exhausting athletic activity we can fathom, don’t worry: the proceeds from the party will also be going towards Chicago charities. Party for a Reason will take place on Thursday, September 10th at will and feature a two-hour open bar, appetizers, and what’s sure to be a young party-loving crowd.

To get your tickets today, head to http://www.party4areason.com. But wait, there’s more! Use discount code NBC before September 8th and get your ticket for $20!

Party 4 a Reason
Thursday, September 10th
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Old Town Social
455 W. North Ave
Tickets: $25; $35 at the door

For more information on GiveForward, check out http://giveforward.org/


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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

Mike Ditka and Mikayla Sweeney

Mike Ditka and Mikayla Sweeney


Bright lights and big dreams came to life during the 22nd Annual Wish Ball last Saturday. More than 700 guests filed into Chicago’s Union Station – and not to take a train. The space was transformed into an area ripe for bidding, eating, drinking and dancing. Honorary Chair Mike Ditka, former head coach of the Chicago Bears, was on hand to greet guests and show his support for the Foundation. Also on the scene were six “Wish Kids,” sporting big smiles and their Sunday best.

Before the seated dinner, guests perused the silent auction items while making their way through a mini Taste of Chicago, sampling bites from the Park Grill, cibomatto, Blue 13, La Madia, Morton’s and Mike Ditka’s. Emceed by Peggy Kusinski of NBC 5 Chicago, the night included a special show by performers from The Second City and Barack Obama – um, that would be our very own Street Teamer Reggie Brown!

Peggy Kusinski (NBC 5 Sports) and Reggie Brown (NBC 5 Street Team)

Peggy Kusinski (NBC 5 Sports) and Reggie Brown (NBC 5 Street Team)

The live auction raised some serious cash for the Foundation with enticing items such as a private dinner party at the winner’s home, prepared by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard ($10,000) and an opportunity to race a Ferrari 355 Challenge race car ($12,550). At the end of the evening, guests enjoyed dancing to the Bluz Brothers Band and sampling sweets from a dessert table donated by the Affina Hotel.

Proceeds from Wish Ball 2009 will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, helping to grant nearly 150 of the 700 wishes the Foundation will give this year to Illinois children facing life-threatening medical conditions. This event is made possible by support from generous sponsors, including sponsor GATX Corporation and Platinum Sponsors Baxter, Macy’s, PotashCorp and Unum. Since being founded in Illinois in 1985, the Foundation has granted more than 8,000 wishes. For more information, visit  www.wishes.org or call 312.602.WISH.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

If you’ve watched ESPN at all in recent years, you’ve certainly noticed the proliferation of poker programming. Poker’s popularity is tremendous and on Thu night, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Sun-Times columnist/film critic Richard Roeper and former Chicago Bear Chris Zorich came together to host “Aces UP!” celebrity poker tournament to support Urban Prep Academy, the only all-boys public charter high school in the state. Players came to Fulton’s on the River on Sept 18th to take on the stars of Chicago’s media, entertainment, civic and sports scene in Texas Hold ‘em; for a prize pool of more that $15,000. In addition to the three hosts, celebrity participants included former Chicago Bear Jerry Azumah, “Dodgeball” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Actor Chris Willliams, Chicago Tribune sports columnist Teddy Greenstein and NBC5’s own Natalie Martinez. The event was organized by Urban Prep founder Tim King. “Ninety percent of the students come from low-income families and while it is a tuition- free school, the programs we have at the school necessitate raising funds to support our projects,” King said. The proceeds raised by this event (more than $100,000) will help provide a college preparatory education for the school’s students. “We’ve got some real problems here in Illinois in the way we fund our education, so for someone to come out and start their own charter school and do such a phenomenal job with it is something I’m really excited to be a part of,” said treasurer Giannoulias, who King introduced to the room as “the next Governor of Illinois.”

When the six-hour and 200+ player tournament was over, the final three champions: Matthew Golden, Spilios Venetsanopoulus, and Dan Rosenbloom decided to split the $15,000 pie. “We want people to come here and have a great time, great food, great drink, but also play some pretty serious poker and we had some real good competition last year,” Richard Roeper told me during an exclusive chat before the tournament. Although the stakes will be somewhat high, the competition here was nowhere near as cutthroat as what’s on ESPN2. “When you’re playing a charity event, as opposed to what’s on television, the idea is just to have a lot of fun,” said former Notre Dame star Chris Zorich.

For more Chicago Sports analysis and discussion click here.

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