Saturday, August 26, 2006

"hello chile" benefit a success

Sunday, August 13th at the Empty Bottle in Chicago we hosted Hello Chile to raise funds and collect photography equipment for Voluntarios de la Esperanza (VE). Well over 100 people attended the show which included live music, a local artist print sale, and a raffle. Thanks to everyone who came and helped with the event, we raised just over $1000 for VE. All proceeds from the event will help VE produce more educational and social programs for disadvantaged youth in Santiago, Chile. We were also able to introduce VE to Chicago through the benefit and the press promoting it-- please check out the interview on Chicago Public Radio's Worldview. The digital camera count is currently a tentative 7 (as I am still checking out compatibility and cord situations) but this quantity is definitely enough to start some photography classes. To all who came, I really appreciate that you did. Thanks.

I'd like to say thank you to all of the visual artists that donated prints to the print sale. The layout of the Empty Bottle seemed a perfect fit for the type of event that Hello Chile ended up being. With the front door leading into a quieter gathering area, guests were able to collect information on VE, drop in a few raffle tickets and browse the rather extensive print sale before entering the music and bar space. All the artists proved incredibly generous, and I offer an enormous thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you to: Bernie McGovern, Patrick Tianen, Sarah Ferone, Scott Strazzante, Lindy Drew-- all the way from Chile! Michelle Schackmann, Steve Johnston, Saverio Truglia, Scott Polach, and Shauna Bittle. Thank you!

To all the musicians I extend my gratitude as well-- Beardog, Big Buildings, The Modern Temper, your energy flew from the stage like some sort of highly contagious disease that I seemed very eager to catch. And Shelley Short and your band, you played a perfect set to take a second and breathe a beer or two after the chaos of the night. Thanks to you all, many of whom I had never even met before. I'd also like to say thank you to all of the special visitors before the event started, and to Michelle Schackmann who helped keep details from slipping through the planning process and promoted with zeal. Michelle has also been accepted to VE and will be leaving for Santiago at the same time as me.

Check out the rest of the photos here on my flickr account. And if you couldn't make it to the event, feel free to make a secure contribution on my donations page. All proceeds still benefit VE and its endeavors.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

chicago public radio's Worldview features VE

Today on Worldview's Global Activism Series Jerome McDonnell invited me to discuss VE's mission and current projects in Chile. We talked about the origin of VE, why the non-profit started, and the upcoming Hello Chile benefit show at the Empty Bottle this Sunday. Give it a listen, especially if you are interested in volunteering or donating.

Reminder: please come to the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave, this Sunday at 9pm to support VE and help raise funds for its programs.

There will be live music, including Shelley Short, The Modern Temper, Big Buildings, and Beardog. We will also be raffling off a gift certificate to Nacional 27 valued at $300, passes to a documentary about Chile's Salvador Allende and a free membership to the Gene Siskel Film Center, and
a gift basket of spa products courtesy of Benefit Spa. All donations are welcome; don't forget to bring any new or used point-and-shoot digital cameras with their cords to the event.

VE is an NGO that is run solely on the donations raised by volunteers. Voluntarios de la Esperanza (VE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to bringing equality of opportunity to Chilean children and ending cycles of poverty and child abuse. While VE does not run the children's homes and shelters in which it places volunteers, VE members play a vital role in initiating much needed educational and social programs for the disadvantaged youth involved with the organization. The event this Sunday, Hello Chile, will do more than help bring photography to Chilean kids-- the funds collected will enable VE to become a stronger and even more productive force in Santiago and eventually outside of the city as well. An interinstitutional soccer league, literacy program, and school supplies drive are only some of the projects implemented by VE to improve the lives of hundreds of underprivileged children in Chile. Please visit VE's website for more information.

Please come! Bring everyone you know.