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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

Last Saturday, my teammate Kristin, and I explored Chicago in the World’s Largest Urban Adventure Series, City Chase Chicago, and Matt was there to catch the excitement on camera! From jumping hurdles, to strutting the catwalk, the race challenged our bodies, minds and… well, sneakers. The race started at 10am on Saturday, August 22 and concluded promptly at 4pm. We went “all out” for 6 hours straight and now, 3 days later, we are still sore. But it’s that good kind of “I did something really awesome and it’s totally worth it” sore, you know?

Watch the adventure unfold here!

PS: Thanks again to Chicago Sport and Social for sponsoring our registration for the City Chase and to The Joynt, Retro Club and Piano Bar, for sponsoring the video coverage. Sponsors rock!

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

Last Saturday and Sunday the City of Chicago, once again, put on it’s yearly Air and Water Show… And once again, I was amazed, impressed and happily proud to be an American. Though Sunday turned out to be freckled with rainstorms, the show continued, and we were generously rewarded for being such “troopers” in waiting out the rain. We we all given just one more reason to love… Sweet Home Chicago!

Stay tuned for more staycation ideas and my upcoming show, Staycation Nation!

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

The fun never stops in Chicago and this past Cinco de Mayo was another full night of fun! Youth Technology Corps is a local non-profit that came from extremely simple beginnings. Founder Dave Finkel gave some computers to some inner-city Chicago teens, who then figured out how to refurbish them on their own! This program now has the original teens doing outreach and being mentors in other countries like Mexico, thus the tie in with Cinco Del Soul.

As you can see, the event was skillfully executed with me as the host emcee for the night! Special thanks to Katie Bormaster, who invited me to participate and planned the entire event, including the video production! That girl called in a lot of favors with her very talented friends!

To find out more about YTC or to donate, click here.

PS: Can you hear me losing my voice?

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

Any given night of the the week, The Joynt has something great going on and Monday nights are no exception. Last week, though still tired from the weekend, I went in to The Joynt thinking I would sit quietly and simply enjoy listening to one of my new favorite bands. Well, it wasn’t long at all before I had hopped up out of my seat an on to the dance floor! I couldn’t help it! Eyes Manouche will help you find energy you didn’t know you had!

From the website:

Gypsy jazz, aka Gypsy swing and jazz manouche (which means literally “traveler jazz”) is a Paris-based style of music that memorably blends traditional Roma (gypsy) forms (which are already a hodgepodge of various cultures) with elements of American jazz and swing. With its chugging rhythms, sweeping melodies and inventive improvised stretches, this enormously popular and profoundly influential instrumental tradition is as nearly synonymous with the French capitol as accordion-led bal musette, to which it also owes a considerable debt.

The guys are amazing and I managed to stop dancing long enough to record these little samples for y’all. Enjoy. I hope to see you at The Joynt on a Monday night!

Adis Sirbubalo: Accordion, Nikola Dokic: Guitar, Robert Palos: Guitar, Cole Blodget: Bass, Daniel Crane: Drums

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JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

Looking for a great time of live music and rock and roll on a Tuesday night? Well, look no further than The Joynt featuring Fatt Finger! This 6-piece band plays both originals and covers from a variety of rock genres AND they are just a good group of guys. They play from their heart and put on a great show! Bring your friends and come dance the night away to hits ranging from Black Crowes to Tom Petty to Sublime! I’ll be there and hope to see you!

Here’s a quick little “taste” of Fatt Finger at The Joynt last week.

Want to know more? This is a “Meet the Band” video. I get the guys to chat with me a bit without the instruments. I always find it so interesting to talk to musicians.

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

It’s funny how life has a way of teaching us. It brings us the lessons that we need exactly when we need them. Then, it is our choice, whether or not we use that insight, as we navigate through life.

How many of us were speechless and reminded not to judge a book by its cover when we heard Susan Boyle sing on “Britain’s Got Talent” this season? I personally got goosebumps and teary-eyed.

Or how inspiring is it to you to know that the man in this video, is the same Michael Jordon that didn’t make the Varsity basketball team the first time he tried out? That’s right, but good ol’ MJ wasn’t about to let that stop him!

And when I met Mike Berkson, I was inspired again. I met Tim Wambach, the president and founder of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation (KOKO), at the Share the Love Date Auction. After chatting with Tim for a just a few minutes about the foundation, I wanted to know even more. Tim told me if I really wanted to understand, that I should talk to Mike. So I did.

I met Tim and Mike at The Gage (LOVE that place!) and we talked about life for well over an hour. I was so moved by our chat, I called family and friends that afternoon and told them how much I loved them. I reminded them how fortunate we all really are and about my renewed perspective. Mike can’t even scratch his own nose, and yet he finds meaning, purpose and gratitude for life.

We can all find reasons to be happy. Obstacles can be opportunities, if we choose to see them. When we think we’ve been knocked down, we can wallow in the dirt, or we can get up. We can brush ourselves off. We can choose our focus… and we can “Keep On Keeping On”.

PS: Help us spread the word about the Keep On Keeping On Foundation (comment, forward, digg, linkback), volunteer or donate!

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

It was a HUGE success! Arthur Murray’s Fourth Annual “Dancing with Chicago Celebrities” raised $67,000 for the Chicagoland Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®,and what a fun way to do it! All of the toe-tapping fun went down on Friday, March 13, 2009, when Chicago celebrities paired with Arthur Murray professional dance instructors at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The winning team included Dana Kozlov, Assignment Reporter from CBS 2, and her Arthur Murray partner Edgar Chavarria. The MVP went to Robbie Ventura, who along with his team raised the most – $4,680. Other celebrities competing included Pat Cassidy, Radio Personality on WLS 890 AM, Lourdes Duarte, Assignment Reporter for WGN 9, Daryl Hawks, Sports Anchor and Reporter for NBC 5, Evelyn Holmes, Assignment Reporter for ABC 7, and Katie Lorenz, Miss Illinois 2008. The night’s emcee was NBC 5 Sports Anchor, Mike Adamle. WGN Anchor Dina Bair, NBC 5’s Meteorologist, Ginger Zee and ABC7’s Traffic Reporter Roz Varon also returned as alumni.

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