Posts Tagged ‘event’

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.

Read Full Post »

JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team
Chicago Inaugural Ball at McCormick Place
Chicago’s celebration for President Obama
Tuesday, January 20 @ 7pm $175

“If you can get to DC, GO!” says the website for Chicago’s Inaugural Ball honoring President Obama. That’s right; once again, Obama’s grassroots campaign members are self-organizing and hosting an authentic ball experience right here in the president’s home town. From dinner to comedy, champagne to dancing, this night promises to be a presidential celebration like only our beloved city can do!

If you haven’t noticed, Chicago is SUPER stoked to see the president take office on Tuesday, so brace yourself for a par-tay! The buzz has been building and one can faintly hear the champagne toasts already! What’s more is that I’ll be there shooting a video of the event, and I will definitely need some dance partners! So come on out and cut a rug for the new president! You’ll have a great story for when you get back to work… on Thursday.

Cash bar. Formal attire.

McCormick Place
2301 S Lakeshore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
South Loop

Check out Jen
Chicago.com for sweet videos!
Search Facebook for JenChicago!

Read Full Post »

JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

They had to wedge me outta there.

Cookies, cake, champagne, burgers, wine, crabcakes, and cheese as far as the eye can see…

I already knew that Morton’s can cook a steak. Now I definitely know that Morton’s knows how to throw a party!

Videography: Michelle Molina

Read Full Post »

Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Tea

Earlier this month Megadeth’s monster metal Gigantour came to Chicago for a visit to the Aragon Ballroom. This year’s ticket included High on Fire, Job for a Cowboy, Children of Bodom, In Flames, and was topped off by a lengthy set from Megadeth. Gigantour 2008 brought a manageable quantity of bands which gave fans more time to settle in and enjoy as opposed to previous festival style years.

The evening went by fast with little down time between sets and even less interaction from the performers. Perhaps the distant and to the schedule theme of the night was brought on by the Aragon’s giant looming stage or the spacious barricade penning fans far from the bands. The 2006 tour at the Congress Theatre proved to have a more unified feel with a low stage and smaller pit allowing some eye contact and keeping the possibility of throwing a hand in the air to be greeted by a metal hero an option.

See Photos from Gigantour 2008Children of Bodom

Although the distance in the air was unsettling, the bands were on there A game when delivering the goods. High on Fire brought some dirty rock and roll in the vein of Motörhead to get the early birds rolling, while In Flames delivered near perfection to a crowd who expected nothing less. Aside from a string tasting Alexi Laiho, a dread whipping Anders Fridén, and a really cool winged flying v covered in blood splatter (courtesy of Dave Mustaine), there just was not much action going on. The music sounded great, but next year bring this one back to the small stage so we can feel Gigantour and not just hear it.

(Type “Maureen Vana” into the search bar at the top of this page to see my past concert photography and reviews)

Read Full Post »