Entries Tagged as 'Charity/Volunteering'

Live Band Karaoke at Subterranean to Benefit Association House

December 14th, 2012 · No Comments









Photo from Association House’s Facebook page.





This post got a little lost after I returned from our Hawaii vacation, but here is it finally! The week we got back was the Association House live band karaoke fundraiser. Money from the event went towards child emergency welfare programs. Jess, Sara and I met at Big Star** for a few drinks and some dinner, then headed over to Subterranean for karaoke fun. We sang Shoop by Salt-n-Pepa and didn’t even need the lyric sheet. Probably a bad move at the end, but by then we were really drunk, we also sang Call Me Maybe and basically got the Shepard’s hook pull off the stage. Ha. Time to go home! Really fun night, though! Association House raised $1,145, money that will directly go towards helping kids in crisis situations. I hope they do the live band karaoke again! I’ve been to live band karaoke before (with Chicagoist, with Allison and Susan), but had never actually done it. So fun!

** While we were at Big Star, Margaret Lyons walked in the door. I was so shocked. It was like, “holy crap! what year is it!?!?” I hadn’t seen her for years because she moved to New York and we used to hang out in the Big Star space years ago when it was still Pontiac. We even hosted a Chicagoist party there. So great to see her, if only for a minute or two.

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Pig Out For The House

July 17th, 2012 · No Comments

Pig Out For The House

Harriet Sadauskas, President of Association House, telling us more about the organization.

Pretty good turnout!

Can you spot our friends here?

Mehran played the flamenco guitar

Many raffle prizes.

The BBQ raffle gift included a $50 gift certificate for Smoke Daddy, courtesy of Josh


Paul Baker



Time to pig out!

Two kinds of pulled pork.

I don’t know what those things in the front are, but they were delicious.

Nathan, Rick and Alden. Yes, there was a caricature artist!

Last weekend Association House had a pig roast fundraiser in the back garden of El Cid in Logan Square. For $40 you got all the drinks and food that you wanted for 3 hours. Not a bad deal. And, the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping those in need. Association House is based in Humboldt Park and helps more than 20,000 participants each year through programs in community services, child welfare, behavioral health, out of school programs for kids and teens and El Cuarto Ano, an alternative high school. Jess is on the associate board for Association House so I always try to go to the fundraisers to help out a bit.

We had a fun, relaxed time at the Pig Out. They had roasted a pig ahead of time and prepared two types of pulled pork for us. Unfortunately, the weather did not hold out and about halfway through the party there was a mad dash inside. Luckily, El Cid’s upstairs lounge was open and available for us to continue the party inside. Dallas and I did not win any of the raffle gifts even though I tried to stuff the box for the Ravinia prize! Ah well. Fun time. And Association House raised $2,200!

Squinty Paul Baker


Great view down the street of the Illinois Centennial Monument.

Of course, shortly after everything was moved inside, the rain passed and it was bright and sunny outside again! Isn’t that the way it always goes? So, when we left the Pig Out, Paul, Kate, Alden, Dallas and I went to Longman & Eagle for a few more drinks. Their back patio was not open yet (boo!) but they added a new section in front where we enjoyed some cocktails al fresco.

Dunlay’s on the Square

And after a while at Longman, we headed to Dunlay’s on the Square. Dallas left us after one drink, but the rest of us sat out on the patio until at least 11 p.m. Once the sun set, the weather was so perfect. I did not want to go back inside for anything!

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UPAF’s Ride for the Arts

June 11th, 2011 · 1 Comment

As I mentioned before, last weekend my brother, my dad and I did UPAF’s Ride for the Arts. One of the largest one-day recreational bike rides in the United States, UPAF’s Ride for the Arts has raised more than $7 million for the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), which helps fund 34 performing arts groups throughout Southeast Wisconsin. So a big “thanks!” to everyone who sponsored us. We were able to raise over $100. And if you meant to sponsor us, but didn’t, you still can here.

UPAF Ride for the Arts start line.

Dad & Richard at the start.

Richard and Rachelle at the start.

We selected to do the 25-mile ride. There are also 5, 12, 50 and 75-mile bike routes. I think if it were up to my dad he’d go for the 75! But no way for Richard and I! Since the ride starts early Sunday morning, I drove down on Saturday night. Well, I attempted to. My car broke down on the way there, but that’s another story! On Saturday it was in the 80s or 90s and I was kind of scared for Sunday, but it really cooled down. Dad was complaining he was cold, even!

We got up early on Sunday, after only about 6 hours of sleep (See the part above about my car breaking down. Long story!) and just ate something very light. The grounds of Summerfest were the starting point, so we loaded the bikes onto my brother’s bike carrier thing-a-ma-jigy for the car and headed up. On the way there we stopped for air for the bike tires. I didn’t realize that my tires were very under inflated. When we got there, I took my bike off the rack and it tried it out. It felt so nice riding with inflated tires! haha.

The photos above are of us at the start line. There was a bit of confusion at the start of the race. Where to line up, which way to face. It ended up starting 20 minutes late. We didn’t know why at the time, but afterwards I read this article and found out that they were doing last-minute patches on the bridge route (see below). One thing that I did not mind is that in the confusion we totally missed all of the speeches by the big wigs welcoming us and what not. Let’s just go! Although last year I did like it when they announced we’d all be getting free hotdogs!

Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

Dad on the Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

Don’t know why my brother is doing this.

Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

This year there were two 25-mile routes. One went over the Hoan Bridge and one that stayed at ground level and went through the Historic Third Ward. Since we went through the Third Ward last year, we opted for the Hoan Bridge this year. Plus, who knows if they’ll ever cut off traffic and offer that option again! This was the first legal opportunity to ride on the bridge in nearly 30 years. This was our route.

First Oasis

Getting snacks.


The first rest stop, ahem “oasis,” is at mile 5 at a church in St. Francis. Last year there was play acting for entertainment. This year was drumming. I liked the drumming better. We got refueled on fruit and granola and water and were back on the road.

Riding on from the first oasis.

Oasis Two

Dad at the second oasis.

Dad and Richard at the second oasis.

Big bike at the second oasis.

The next oasis didn’t come until the halfway point, down in Grant Park. There was a guy there with a big, old fashioned bike. I called BS on him riding it all the way through the ride. I thought he was just showing it off at the oasis… but just after we finished the ride we saw him pull in past the finish line!

They stole our matching costume idea!

Richard and my dad.

Belly dancers at the last oasis.

Riding back up towards Milwaukee.. the last oasis was at about mile 20 or 21 and was at the Coast Guard post. There were belly dancers for entertainment here.

At the finish line!

At the finish line. I was feeling pretty good. I was only winded a couple times on the ride and only for a few minutes. I was tired, but I felt a lot better than I did last year.


Free hotdogs and “cheese”

So, at the Summerfest grounds, on to the reward! We got ice-cold Miller beer. Always tastes like the best beer you ever had. There were also a ton of free Sun Chips, Kangaroo pita chips, Rold Gold pretzels, and granola bars. Like last year, we were also promised free hotdogs courtesy of Gahn Meat. We got our pathetic hot dogs and they were ok. Not the best, but hit the spot after the ride. This year we were also promised free cheese. Well, it turned out to be a pack of pretzel or cracker sticks with some processed cheese dip. Kind of a bummer. And ironic, since Sargento is always now advertising how they make such exceptional cheeses, not processed, with high-quality ingredients.

Fiat pace cars

These guys were so happy it was creepy.

The Love Monkeys. My brother said they’re a pretty popular local cover band.

More jugglers

At the Summerfest grounds there were a lot of entertainers. We walked around and checked out all of the displays, jugglers, musicians.

Summerfest Grounds

Until next year…. !

Jessica at Culver’s

Oh, one more photo. Later on we met up with Amanda, Jess, Steph and my mom and went to Culver’s. Compare this photo of Jess at Culver’s with my last photo of Jess at Culver’s. Crazy!

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