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Dig Deep And Have Fun Too

By Scott Smith in Miscellaneous on Sep 9, 2005 1:00PM

Are you flush with cash and looking to give it to a good cause? If for some reason you haven’t yet donated money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, allow us to make it easier for you as you make your weekend plans whether you're eating, going to a show or just knocking around town.

2005_09_09_pockets.gifWe have yet to hear anything about the free Twista benefit show at House of Blues on September 19th featuring Da Brat, Do or Die and Bump J (our first question: if it’s free, how is it a benefit?). But the HOB is hosting a confirmed hurricane benefit show on Saturday, September 10th with The Blues Brothers and Friends. Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi will don the Ray-Bans and Hassidic diamond merchant outfits to raise money for the NOLA Relief Fund. Tickets are $35. Be sure to bring some dry white toast.

In addition, HotHouse has partnered with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and MusiCares to create the New Orleans Jazz Emergency Relief Fund. This week’s events, including shows by Leela James and Chicago Samba will help raise money for the fund. HotHouse is also taking donations through their website as is MusiCares.

If you're hungry to do something more to help the victims of Katrina, plenty of Chicago restaurants and bars are fired up to make that happen.

Through September 30, RoSal's, 1154 W. Taylor St, asks for six non-perishable food items or five pieces of clothing and in exchange will give you a free Frezzelle appetizer, which consists of tomato and onion-topped toasted wheat bread. Cash donations of $50 or more get you a restaurant gift certificate good for a future visit ($10-$30 value).

Five bucks will get you a personal cheese pizza from Phil & Lou's, 1124 W. Madison St., with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

Tonight from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Casey Moran's, $20 gets you a food buffet and all-you-can-drink Miller Lite drafts and select mixed drinks. Also includes entry into a raffle of an iPod, an MP3 player and other items with proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross.

Also tonight, starting at 7 p.m. is the Chicago Sport and Social Club's Sunset Jam Hurricane Relief Fundraiser at Castaways Bar & Grill. he night includes live music by U2 cover band Elevation, plus $4 Finlandia lemonades, $4 Southern Comfort cocktails and $3 Bud Light drafts. There is a $10 cover charge but all drink proceeds benefit the American Red Cross.

Those looking for something on the higher end can check out Feast, 1616 N. Damen Ave., on Sept. 12 beginning at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of spicy crab cakes with chipotle mayonnaise and roasted corn salsa; seasonal squash soup; slow-roasted pork tenderloin with wild mushroom orzo and peas; and blueberry-lemon tart. The price is $50 and proceeds benefit the American Red Cross.

Contemporary American restaurant Parlor, 1745 W. North Ave., is donating proceeds from its sales of chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese and fried oyster po' boy sandwiches to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund from Sept. 13 through the 18th from 5 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. every night with the exception of Sept. 17 when the fundraiser goes an extra hour until 2:30 a.m.

While there hasn't been much to laugh about over the past week, a few groups are trying to change that while helping out.

Laughing Matters: Katrina Relief involves four of our favorite improv companies pitching in to bolster the American Red Cross’ relief efforts. The series kicked off last night at ComedySportz. Tonight at 8pm, I.O. seeks to raise funds for the relief effort while raising their own bruised profile. Choose from two shows featuring Pent, Maude, and Johnny Roast Beef in the downstairs Cabaret theater and Whirled News Tonight upstairs. The Playground on Halsted gets in on the action Saturday night at 8pm, presenting four improv teams. We’re particularly curious about Pastor of Muppets, or any team paying tribute to the Muppets for that matter. Sunday night at 7pm, Second City trots out their big guns in Red Scare. The show helps you take your mind off today’s terrible headlines by laughing about yesterday’s.

There’s another chance to be dazzled and help out next week at Redmoon Theater’s Spectacle ’05: Loves Me… Loves Me Not. For this show, the company promises 75 choir singers, 31 plastic costumes, 4 pregnant women, and 1 escape vehicle. They also promise to donate a portion of their receipts to the Red Cross.

If for some reason you don't like food, laughing, or music, you can always throw some cash directly at the Red Cross by donating to Illinois Broadcasters for Red Cross Hurricane Relief at 1-877-565-5000. They're running a telethon on WGN this morning and will take donations until 11 PM. WGN will also be running the commerical-free, hour-long Shelter From The Storm benefit tonight at 7 PM along with ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and UPN. Stars scheduled to appear include U2, Cameron Diaz and Kanye West, who promises to stick to the script this time.

Thanks Erin and Justin!