It was an exciting evening filled with baseball, comedy and rock ‘n roll at Chicago’s Metro on June 21 where Poi Dog Pondering, Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys, Brede Baldwin, Parkington Sisters, Scott Lucas (Local H), Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) and the Hot Stove All Stars joined Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and Hall of Fame Journalist Peter Gammons to raise more than $150,000 for charity at the second annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert. Cubs’ broadcaster Len Kasper lent his famous voice to the musical/comedy ensemble, which also featured the emcee talent of actor/comedian Joel Murray.
Members of the Chicago Cubs were also on hand for the event which supported Chicago-area nonprofit programs funded by Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later, as well as the Boston Marathon victims’ One Fund. Prior to the main event, Epstein and twin brother Paul, hosted a pre-concert VIP party, where concert goers mingled with the evening’s acts, all in the name of charity. The concert featured a live auction full of signed sports memorabilia and entertainment experiences.
“Tonight was exactly what I hoped it would be,” said Gammons. “It was truly an inspiration to see so many talented artists coming together to support such worthwhile causes. I am humbled by the outpouring of support and grateful that we’ve been able to continue supporting deserving youth through baseball, music and giving back.”
The show kicked off with a performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir and continued with several home-run performances including Brede Baldwin, Parkington Sisters, Scott Lucas and Kay Hanley. Ken Casey brought his brand of Boston Irish punk to Chicago with a solo performance that rocked the crowd. Headliners and modern day bohemians, Poi Dog Pondering, put on a rock ‘n soul filled set, playing hits that spanned the band’s 25-year career. The Hot Stove All Stars, who have been a staple of the Hot Stove Cool Music series since 2000, took the stage with regulars Gammons and Epstein, and special guests Jesse Dee, Chris Cote, Will Dailey and Jimmy Chamberlin of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Hot Stove Cool Music was founded in 2000 by Gammons and former Boston Herald sports writer Jeff Horrigan. The biannual event, which made its second appearance in Chicago this summer, has since raised more than $6.5 million for Theo and Paul Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later and the Jimmy Fund. The Foundation To Be Named Later was founded in 2005 by Epstein and his brother Paul as a means to create positive opportunities for disadvantaged children and families.
(For more information on Foundation To Be Named Later programs and events, or to make a donation, please visit http://www.foundationtobenamedlater.org/.)
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