Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah joined more than sixty friends, family and supporters recently at soon-to be opened West Loop eatery Kabocha (952 W. Lake)to raise awareness for his namesake charitable organization, Noah’s Arc Foundation. Guests sipped specialty cocktails and snacked on an array of tasty bites from Kabocha’s Chef Shin Thompson while mingling with the basketball star and his mother/expressive art therapist/sculptor and foundation co-founder Cecilia Rohde.
During a short presentation in which smiling faces of children at NAF-organized camps and programs beamed from the screen, Noah reflected on the work his charity had done over its first two years. “When I think about those kids, they give me strength,” he said. Rodhe also said a few words, thanking partygoers and extolling the necessity of arts education and artistic expression for those children most in need. Noah’s Arc Foundation was founded in 2010 by Noah and Rodhe to help engage children in positive self expression through arts and sports.
Guests in attendance got a sneak peek at Kabocha, Chicago’s first Japanese brasserie. Hors d’oeuvres were modeled on dishes one can expect to find on the menu when Kabocha opens soon and included tuna and hamachi tartare, Kabocha squash and corn soup, and rabbit dumplings with Thai basil. Some notable names came out in support, including artist and author Beth O’Donnell (mother of Kabocha co-owner Ryan O’Donnell), Nancy Crown, Caroline Crown, and “Check Please!” creator and executive producer David Manilow. Through art and sports programming, NAF provides youth with diverse opportunities that encourage them to engage in positive self expression and avoid turning to violence. For more info, please click here!) www.noahsarcfoundation.org