Posts Tagged ‘benefit’

Week At The Knees

March 6, 2014

Wednesday March 5th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I am more than a little apprehensive about the events of the next week, and I’m not going to lie about it. A better word might be ‘squeamish’, or maybe just plain old ‘scared’. Dented cans are a doubting bunch by nature, and we are the way we are in the first place largely due to demolished dreams and devastating disappointment. It’s only natural that we dissect the future with disdain.

I’ve got a pair of days starred on my immediate calendar that quite frankly could go either way. The first is on Saturday when I meet up with my siblings in one room for the first time as adults. I have only had contact with one – my brother Bruce – but that contact has gone extremely well.

It has only been via email and Facebook, but we’ve had some very well thought out exchanges and touched on some very painful and delicate subjects without being anything other than honest and intelligent. It has been nothing but positive, and every time we’ve done it has gotten better.

I’ve had zero interaction with my other brother Larry and sister Tammy, and after many years of silence I just can’t help but be a bit skittish. In my mind I don’t intend to go in with any ugly feelings, but in the back of my brain I have a fear of unintentionally saying the wrong thing and blowing it all up. I don’t think that will happen, but it has been so long that I just don’t know.

Larry is pretty laid back and we have never had any major arguments, but Tammy and I had a big blowup twenty years ago, and that may still be an issue with her. I don’t know where she is in her head with it or me in general, but I’m sure I’ll find out. She did agree to show up, so that makes me feel good. I just hope we can get past everything and start over. That’s the goal here.

I don’t think it’s possible to avoid at least a few awkward moments, but I’m hoping beyond all hope we can get over the hump and make it work. I’m not expecting anything huge, but I want to make the best of something I’ve waited for an entire lifetime. We’re all people, and people have feelings – and faults. All I really want is for us to acknowledge that and erase any past hostilities.

The other date that is looming large is next Tuesday March 11th. That’s the date of the comedy benefit show for former Zanies Comedy Club employee Sheri Johnson. I’m coordinating at least the comedy part of it, and I’ve been doing all I can to spread the word. It’s always a challenge to get fannies in seats, and now less than a week out I have NO clue if anybody will show up at all.

I’ve reached out to local and area media, and everyone else I can think of that knows Sheri. It’s an especially tricky endeavor, as it’s for just one person that no offense most people have no idea who she is. It doesn’t mean her cause isn’t worthy, but it’s tough to get people out to support one person rather than an entire cause. If it were for breast cancer, fine – but who is Sheri Johnson?

I have done more comedy benefits for more causes than I can count, and more than a few have been complete flops. Nothing is worse than showing up to an empty room, and that’s my biggest fear for Tuesday. We’ve got a super lineup of talent booked, and I hope we can pull off a stellar night for Sheri. She’s in rough shape right now, and can use the financial support. From a karma point of view, this is the right thing to do. It just is. I did my best, but is it good enough? We will soon see. Donate link: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/sharing-for-sheri/140736.

Not one but two events in the next week have me more than a little concerned.

Not one but two big events in the next week have me more than a little concerned – but all I can do is wait.

One is personal, and this is the other. PLEASE help spread the word if you can. Sheri can really use some help right now.

One is personal, and this is the other. PLEASE help spread the word if at all possible. Sheri can really use some help right now.

Fundraiser Focus

October 3, 2012

Tuesday October 2nd, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   My main project for the next two weeks is going to be attending to the details pertaining to the comedy benefit fundraiser show for Officer Josh Albert at Shank Hall in Milwaukee on October 17th. The lineup of comedians is set, but that was the least of my concerns. There’s a lot more to do, and seeing how I’ve managed to lose money on most benefits I’ve ever done I’m a bit wary.

First and foremost, I need to get the media behind it to get the word out. There was significant media coverage when the accident first occurred, and hopefully this can help put as happy of an ending to it as possible. Obviously it would be best if it never happened, but that’s not how it is.

I’ve received several responses from various media outlets in Milwaukee, and I’m encouraged. I don’t care who gets interviewed, I just want word to get out the event is taking place at all. My cousin Katie will be able to tell the story far better than me because she was there, and hopefully that puts butts in seats to show support. The comedians and I will handle everything from there.

But beyond that, I’m hoping to do even more good if I can. I’m attempting to reach as many of my comedian friends who have CDs or DVDs or books and have them donate two copies of each – one for Officer Albert to listen to while he’s recovering and another to be used for an auction.

I know Officer Albert isn’t the only person recovering from horrific injuries, and I wish I could find a way to spread some comedy around to them. I thought of this last year when I was dealing with my own medical issues, and the idea still appeals to me. But first things first, I’ll make sure this event comes off successfully before worrying about saving the world. I can’t do everything.

So far, we’re looking good. My friend Drew Olson from 540 ESPN Milwaukee agreed to host the evening. He is very well liked in town, and hopefully those in the media that may not be my biggest fans will help support the cause despite my involvement. I don’t want personal politics.

My other focus is rounding up items for a silent auction. What will sell, I have no idea. I have had several donations already though, and I’m thrilled beyond words. My comedy writer friend Bill Mihalic put a word out to Jay Leno, and Jay’s assistant said a signed picture is on the way.

I asked Eddie Brill the best way to get a David Letterman signed picture, and I have no doubt if it’s at all possible Eddie will help make it happen. If not, I’m sure he will have some suggestions as to what else I can do or who else I can approach. I do have an extensive list of quality people.

Another friend Steve Olsher really came through with an amazing combination package of self help materials including a videotaped seminar weekend I was a part of this past summer and two of his bestselling books. The retail value of the package is $593.79, and I’m grateful to accept it.

Pat McCurdy’s manager Brian Murphy will donate some of Pat’s merchandise, and he’s one of my all time faves. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writer Tom Haudricourt wrote a book that I really love about the ’82 Brewers and is donating a signed copy. This is a start, but there’s more to do.