Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lots of Talent at Cabrini Connections

Last Friday evening Mike Trakan, who works part time for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, and produces the maps on our blogs, showed he had another talent. He leads a Chicago area band called TRAKAN, which was one of four groups to donate their time and talent at a benefit held at Schubas Tavern. Mike's a quite guy at the office, but a wild man on stage!

Mike wasn't the only member of the Cabrini Connections staff showing off talent on Friday. Chris Warren, our Public Service Fellow from Northwestern University, also is part of a band, called Howling Poppies. Chris is a drummer and not only performed with his band, but took on a Ringo Starr role with Mike's band.

Chris and Mike originated the idea of a benefit concert a few months ago, as we all talked about how difficult the economy was going to make it for raising money for non-profits. They recruited performers from two other bands, Black Collar, and The East-Side Ramblers, a drums and sax jazz duo.

See more photos here.

While we raised a few dollars from this event, we also made some new friends, and found another reason to tell our story via the internet, so maybe we reach even more people who want to join us, or who have already been part of Cabrini Connections or the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring Program in the past.

For instance, in the bar at Shubas, I ran into one of our current volunteers, Allen Tyson and a former volunteer who I had not seen in almost 18 years, Jim Alexander. Allen and Jim were both part of the tutoring program at Wards when I was its leader, and an employee at the company. While Allen has been tutoring, and helping raise money, Jim has been receiving our newsletters, but had not gotten involved. Because of this chance meeting, he's now reconnected.

By creating this presence on the Internet, we're connecting with other former volunteers. Last week I received a Linked In invitation from Joan Marcus who was an advertising copywriter and tutor at the Montgomery Ward program in 1979! She's now in PA and leading her own communications company.

On my Linked In page I'm now connected to 54 of our former volunteers, dating back to the late 1970s. On our Facebook page we have 161 members, with 9 of them being former students dating back to 1973.

We're building these connections with the help of volunteers and the talent of people like Mike and Chris who help draw public attention to our web sites and blogs.

I hope you'll help us by making a holiday donation. See our eCard here, and our PayPal page, here.

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