My dad began his welcome speech at my sister’s wedding in 2006 by quoting Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of life is showing up.” I didn’t appreciate its significance at the time, but I’ve still never forgotten it. What Woody meant was that those who have an idea or pursuit and just go for it, are already 80% of the way toward their objective. The majority of people strikeout because they never put pen to paper and get started.
Woody Allen’s quote about showing up took on a whole new, unintended meaning for me on Friday. It wasn’t me, or the Green Lady who showed up, it was you. Family showed up. New friends and old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years, showed up. My drinking buddies showed up in force, and put a hurting on those kegs. Co-workers left work early to get there before the doors opened, eager to contribute their time and energy. Brewery owners and industry members, they more than showed up. Fellow beer enthusiasts who only knew my username on BeerAdvocate, TalkBeer, Instagram, or Twitter, they showed up in force. Parents whose kids were helped by Lurie or had experienced the challenges of MRIs themselves, you’re damn right they showed up. People who I'd never met before, but wanted to be a part of this special cause helped pack the bar. One young man didn’t even know about the event, but walked by the outside, saw the crowd, and stopped in. Turns out that he has had multiple surgeries to remove tumors in his leg. He spent the entire night hanging out with us.
Craft beer is a powerful tool, but its recent competitiveness causes us to sometimes lose sight of the reasons why we made this an interest or profession in the first place. Friday however, the passion was at its absolute best. Sometimes there’s nothing stronger than just showing up, and I would encourage you all to continue doing so when you see passion on display. You won’t just make somebody’s day, but they will remember it for the rest of their life. I know that after the kindness you all showed us, I’m done making excuses and will be showing up a lot more often. We proudly raised a stunning $15,308 on Friday night alone, putting the grand total at $25,393 since starting this campaign in April.
Thanks for showing up. I'm forever grateful.
Note: Not all elements of the night have hit the page yet, but they will over the next few weeks. To donate directly, go to: http://foundation.luriechildrens.org/goto/veliky
Awesome news! After announcing my fundraiser Veliky Photos for Lurie Children's Hospital, Melani Domingues, owner of The Green Lady craft beer bar in Lakeview reached out. Melani's daughter experienced multiple MRIs as a child before an eventual surgery. Melani proposed that we double the original goal and hold an event together.
Join us for an evening with friends, both new and old, while drinking great beer for a special cause. 100% of draft beer, raffles, and silent auction proceeds will help fund the renovation of the 5th floor of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, which will feature 4 MRI rooms. The funds being raised will specifically go toward the art installments designed to calm children's fears and provide pleasant distractions, so they are able to complete necessary diagnostic tests. These rooms are cold, sterile, and the large machines are very loud. Transforming these environments can decrease the need for sedation during the challenging 90 minute procedure, which requires laying still. The colorful, engaging scenery will make the room feel warm and appealing to kids of all ages, and reduce the anxiety and stress of having an MRI.
Each room is themed after a different season, so our event will focus on "Spring", where my original raise is for "Fall". Below is an early rendering of the look & feel designed to comfort children going through this challenging process.
RVSP to the Facebook Event:
Draft List (Check Back for updates)
Last Summer, I had the pleasure of meeting an intern at Revolution Brewing named Mitchell Hill. Mitchell was just coming off his 3rd brain surgery, after having the first two as a young child to remove a tumor. That journey included 41 MRI scans along the way, which has helped him lead a healthy life. Mitchell introduced us to this project, so we have combined forces to fundraise for the entire artwork installment on 5th floor of Lurie Children's Hospital, which includes four separate rooms, each with their own MRI scanners. The theme of the rooms will be the 4 seasons.
How you can help?
After helping Mitchell finish off his original MRI room, Alma and I decided to take on an entire additional room using our love of photography, the beer industry, and the friendships we’ve made. We are specifically taking the lead on the room that will feature Autumn. I am asking my friends and beer industry peers to consider one of the following tax-deductible donations to help us make this happen.
The Friends and Family Tier (Any $) - From outside of Chicago, don't work at a brewery, but still want to help? Well that is amazing, thank you! You can donate any amount of your choosing on my Lurie Fundraising page: http://foundation.luriechildrens.org/goto/veliky
The Doug Tier ($250) - Photoshoot of a beer or beers for your brewery
- You provide the sample and I’ll make it come alive with creative photos that you will own the rights to going forward.
- I’ll share my favorite on my Instagram page with a shoutout for your generous contribution. I will not be reviewing the beer but am happy to make an announcement, if desired.
- You are welcome to provide input on the creative direction. Knowing my style, a name or artwork that lends itself to the imagination will assist.
The Alma Tier ($300) - Family photoshoot - Over the last five years, Alma has honed her photography skills by capturing lifestyle images of families around Chicago. You’ll need to be among the first 10 to reach out.
- 30-45 minute photo shoot at a location of your choice
- You’ll get 20 edited, high-resolution images delivered via a secure, online gallery accessible for 30 days after delivery. All final images will be available in both color and black and white.
- You will get the rights to the images to share and print as you wish.
The Beeraficionado Tier ($500) - The Doug Tier, plus a stop-action animation of a beer or beers for your brewery, in addition to a set of still images. See examples here.