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Eat, Drink and Donate in the Spirit of Mardi Gras

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Feb 24, 2006 2:22PM

Hurricanes be damned, the spirit of Mardi Gras is alive and well in New Orleans. This weekend, give it up Chicago style with several fundraising events happening around the city. mask.jpg

The Winds Café (2657 N. Kedzie) is hosting the Sounds of Relief Mardi Gras Benefit this Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cajun appetizers and entrées will be served, accompanied by musical performances by The Amoreys, Old Dog Music, Ilsabe O'Connell, Andy David, Les Getrix and others. Donation of your choice benefits New Orleans musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Brasserie Jo's Mardi Gras Fundraiser (59 W. Hubbard) will be Feb. 28 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Purchase a $2 apple beignet and raise money for the National Education Association’s drive to rebuild school libraries.

Also on Fat Tuesday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., nosh on appetizers while listening to live music by Trio Bayou at DePaul University Art Museum (2350 N. Kenmore). The museum is hosting Look and Leave: A Mardi Gras Reception. The exhibit of post-hurricane New Orleans is free, but donations benefit the Bayou La Batre Project.

As much as it pains us to mention, and as much as we know these spots aren’t of interest to Chicagoist readers, perhaps those cousins in from Iowa will want to check out these good-cause parties:

Crawlin’ for Nawlins – Feb. 28 at 7 p.m., start out at Melvin B's (1114 N State), and the Mardi Gras-themed pub crawl heads over to the Hunt Club and SYN. Your $30 donation benefits the New Orleans Police Foundation, New Orleans Tourism Workers' Relief Foundation and Audubon Charter School. Plus you get a T-shirt (a T-shirt!)

Tonight, the Leg Room (7 W. Division) has drink specials and a chance to win a 2G iPod and iTunes giftcard. Your $5 cover partially (we’re not sure how “partially”) benefits the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

Also, Vision and Excalibur have fundraisers. But, we’ll leave it at that.