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Are you a home cook who has dreamed of writing your own cookbook and/or getting yelled at by Gordon Ramsay? Today is your lucky day. Fox’s Masterchef is coming to town September 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to the Prescott Hotel to hold auditions for its sixth season. Learn More. 

Are you a home cook who has dreamed of writing your own cookbook and/or getting yelled at by Gordon Ramsay? Today is your lucky day. Fox’s Masterchef is coming to town September 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to the Prescott Hotel to hold auditions for its sixth season. Learn More. 

Philanthropy Friday with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Let’s help our dear friend Jen reach her fundraising goal! See her letter below…

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Friends and family,
One and a half years ago I had a stroke.  Three days I don’t remember.  I had a hemicraniectomy and started off with complete right-sided hemiparesis.  I had apraxia and expressive aphasia, but have come a long way.  So many institutions, doctors, nurses, and therapists have helped me during my recovery: in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Every day I continue to go to therapy: physical, occupational, speech, acupuncture, etc.  My right arm remains weak but I am getting stronger and can now go hiking and climb stairs with ease.

I am participating in SkyRise Chicago, the planet’s tallest indoor urban stair climb and hand-cycle event, at the Willis
(Sears, for god’s sake) Tower on November 2, 2014. SkyRise Chicago benefits the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the #1 rehabilitation hospital in America. This is where I spent nearly 2 months for intensive speech and other therapy last fall. These programs made a huge difference for me, and I want everyone to have access to such outstanding care. I have set a fundraising goal of $2000 and ask your help in meeting my goal.

SkyRise Chicago is the only stair climb open to individuals of varying physical abilities in the world. Every dollar raised will support RIC’s cutting-edge patient care and innovative research, offering their patients the greatest hope for the future. RIC has helped thousands of men, women, and children (including myself) achieve ability to live their lives to the fullest. 

Thank you for your support. 

Love,
Jennifer

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s #1 ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world and is the leader in research and development of the most cutting-edge treatments and technologies in its field.  Through aggressive medical protocols, RIC guides the patient care process toward a better patient outcome – involving repair, regeneration, and recovery of brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal function. Learn more. 

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6 Reasons You Can Be Glad You’re Not at Burning Man this Labor Day Weekend:
1. You’ll want to attend the Sausalito Arts Festival!
2. It’s the 44th annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival (Mardi Gras theme!)
3. Capitola is having their Begonia Festival: Fishing Derby & Boat Races
4. There is a Free Sunday Symphony Concert at Golden Gate Park
5. It’s the II Giro di San Francisco Bike Race
6. It’s the start of National Yoga Month

6 Reasons You Can Be Glad You’re Not at Burning Man this Labor Day Weekend:

1. You’ll want to attend the Sausalito Arts Festival!

2. It’s the 44th annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival (Mardi Gras theme!)

3. Capitola is having their Begonia Festival: Fishing Derby & Boat Races

4. There is a Free Sunday Symphony Concert at Golden Gate Park

5. It’s the II Giro di San Francisco Bike Race

6. It’s the start of National Yoga Month

Philanthropy Friday-College Track

College Track recruits students from underserved communities and works continuously with them from the summer before 9th grade through college graduation. Their 10-year program removes the barriers that prevent students from earning their college degree by providing them with comprehensive academic support, leadership training, financial and college advising, and scholarships. College Track teaches their students the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.

Volunteer with College Track!

Donate to College Track!

Emmy Newbie Narrative

I am an Emmy “newbie”, but this was the 6th nomination for my brother, and would have been either the 2nd or 3rd win (it’s a long story). At the AMC pre-party, he drew the Magician card from the Tarot Card reader, and we were seated at table 525 (his birthdate is 5/25) – both, we thought, were good omens. The Golden Globes and Golden Reels all have company in his living room, but Ms. Emmy needed a friend. I was actually nervous for my brother. His casual Calhoun demeanor was hard to read.

The car arrived at 2:15. The 100 degree heat could have melted the borrowed emeralds around my neck - we asked our driver to crank up the air conditioning. Only in LA would the limo selection include candy, booze, water, gum and condoms. Seriously. We had water.

The clipboard peeps opened the door to our car when we arrived at the head of the line and told me “If you have a publicist, move to the left. If not, straight ahead”. There was no left or straight – it was a madhouse of stars, writers, sound mixers, casting directors, studio heads all rushing to get into the air conditioned Nokia theater. How the heck does Heidi Klum look cool in that heat? At least the mass of photographers were under makeshift umbrellas. I tried to look nonchalant as hoards of familiar TV faces jostled us, and walked by. Laverne Cox, from Orange Is The New Black, was right in front of us and looked absolutely stunning. I told her she looked beautiful and she was quite gracious. 

The line for a cocktail (yes, at 3:30 in the afternoon) was too long, so we made our way into the theater, stopping every few feet to say hello to someone, introduce his sister, and re-introduce his son, Max, the networking king! 

We had great seats – surrounded by other nominees and famous faces. As the clock ticked closer to 4 PM, the announcer’s voice instructing attendees to enter the theater and take their seats became more agitated and every few minutes, her voice notched up - phrases like “sit your booties down in the seat now” we thought would be followed by “goddamn it, sit down now or be banned from the theater”.

The awards categories came fast and furious and about a third of the way in, my brother grabbed my hand and said “here we go”. When the nominees were announced, the entire Breaking Bad crew hooted and hollered. But he didn’t win. I was more disappointed than he, but as the night wore on, I realized that his stature as a foley artist and the respect his co-workers and the industry has for him was more important. Not trite, but a fact. Proud sister.

So we had another 2 ½ hours of obscure awards to sit through – I exited to use the restroom – it seemed like every stall was back in the 70’s with sounds of inhaling white stuff, and half the audience was milling around the lobby drinking. Think they ran out of seat fillers. After downing a quick gin and tonic, I started back to the theater – Jon Voight told me I looked beautiful – he looked old and lost. An award winner came out of the theater with his Emmy in hand while his wife was screaming “f—k you, asshole” at him. Talk about killing the moment!

Walked over to the Governor’s Ball (the Baby Ball) around 7:45 – what a scene of laser lights, music, cocktail bars, gorgeous set tables with flowers, numbers and lists of every attendee and their table number – I stalked James Lipton (he had already left), Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, said hi to Tate Donovan, chatted with Vince Gilligan and watched my nephew come back to the table with every business card he set out to get.

Our last act, while waiting for our RTR limo (Ready to Roll), was to help a very, very well known actor stagger into his limo – hope he took some aspirin.

Not going with my brother and nephew to the “real Emmys” or the AMC after party, but they are. Check back after next Monday!

Philanthropy Friday-Year Up

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Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.


They achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships, college credit, a behavior management system and several levels of support to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.
Now operating in nine states, Year Up is committed to building a strong and sustainable program that will close the Opportunity Divide across the country. At Optical Underground, we support Year Up’s mission and want this organization to continue to grow. Learn how you can help: http://www.yearup.org/get-involved/ways-to-help/?location=national-us/

Philanthropy Friday-SF Animal Care & Control

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It’s Philanthropy Friday! Today we would like to introduce you to San Francisco Animal Care and Control. This agency is committed to the delivery of effective, courteous, and responsive animal care and control services to the residents of San Francisco. The Department is responsible for San Francisco’s stray, injured, abandoned, neglected, and mistreated animals, as well as for the enforcement of all state and local Animal Control and Welfare laws. They also run an adoption program. 

SF Animal Care receives approximately 12,000 animals every year and relies on volunteers to assist in their efforts. Volunteer and improve the quality of life for the animals in their shelters and increase their chances for adoption. 

You can also support by attending their 25th Anniversary Gala on September 20 at 6:30pm at 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco. Details below.

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