Have you ever been able to talk to someone and hear their heart through their words?
Tonight at the Laugh Factory I have the privilege of co-hosting another fundraiser along with Betsy Shepherd of Connected Communications “Pour “ Laughter and Libations ", supporting The Gridiron Alliance…and while these never get old they definitely get “familiar”. But this one I’m looking forward to because of a recent interview with the co-founder of the organization Deacon Don Grossnickle on the Charity Chat Online podcast I co host with Theresa Carter (The Local Tourist)
Growing up in church ( in the "aggressively religious" South no less) , you learn that the title of “deacon” immediately commands respect. It says you are a person of faith, dedication, and a nurturer of others. I always saw deacons as role models and the “captains” carrying out the church’s purpose. In listening to Deacon Don and his dedication, care and passion for his cause made me want to meet this man.
The Gridiron Alliance takes up the very difficult challenge on helping young athletes have a life when there’s has seemingly ended after being paralyzed while playing sports. Deacon Don spoke passionately about being there the moment the athlete wakes up to shock that he’s unable to move. The Gridiron Alliance is dedicated to bringing people together to help young athletes and their families to deal with the aftermath of their catastrophic injury.
Unique to the Gridiron Alliance, is our core belief that nobody understands the trauma resulting from a paralyzing sport injury more than someone who has gone through it. The Gridiron Alliance has enlisted several young football players who each became paralyzed as a result of a high school football injury. These young men are keenly aware of the emotional and physical rollercoaster the newly injured players face. More than most, they understand the value of enlightened coaching and team support. From this framework, they become a foundation of strength, hope and understanding to inspire, support and motivate the newly injured athlete. Because these unique and specialized coaches are veterans of the battle that few have experienced, they are called “Gridiron Warriors.” Coupled with other professional and paraprofessional outreach programs, the Gridiron Warriors can touch, move and inspire the newly injured player and assure them that while their life may never be the same, it can be extraordinary.
Tonight’s event will bring out some great Chicago Celebrities and media personalities performing stand up comedy to support the alliance. Hosted by WGN Sports Pat Tomasulo , Scheduled to appear Amy Jacobson ( WIND-AM Radio) , Peggy Kusinski( NBC Sports), Steve McMichael (Super Bowl XX Champion), Jarrett Payton ( Walter & Connie Payton Foundation) ,Tim Smithe ( Walter E. Smithe Furniture), Eddie Volkman ( KHiTs Radio), Jenniffer Weigel (Chicago Tribune Columnist )Rafer Weigel ( ABC Sports).
And as with previous “Pour” events, tastings will highlight the evening. Enjoy samples from Coco and Amoremia Restaurants, St. Claire Green Tea Vodka, The Naked Grape, and Jarrett Payton Beer
Most importantly, come out and support another charity doing great things. Personally I’m looking forward to meeting Deacon Don and helping another worth cause, a familiarity that will never grow old with me.
“Pour” Laughter and Libations Supporting The Gridiron Alliance
Wednesday May 16th 6PM
The Laugh Factory
3175 North Broadway
Tickets $25 in Advance $40 at the door
Tags: 220 Communications, Amoremia, Amy Jacobson, Betsy Shepherd, Coco, Connected Communications, Gridiron Alliance, Jarrett Payton Beer, Pat Tomasulo, Pour, Social Awareness, St. Claire Vodka, Steve McMichael, stop look listen, The Naked Grape