Memorial Opera House Rocks for Turkeys

Life Bridge Christian Church member Jeni Bolton founded 500 Turkeys as a way to help local families put food on the table in times of a struggling economy, and give the community a chance to help their neighbors in need. Saturday night’s Gobble Rock at the Memorial Opera House was one of three fundraisers that will raise enough money to buy 720 turkeys this year, exceeding Bolton’s original goal of 500 turkeys when she founded the committee in 2009.

Guests to the event bought tickets to hear five local bands perform, including The Energy Commission, Chris and Lou featuring Chad Clifford, the Positive Vibe Technicians, The Sarah Archer Trio, and the SunSets.

All the bands who are giving their time and talent, all those who bought tickets, and all the staff at the Memorial Opera House who have made this possible are all helping to feed families this Thanksgiving. That is what 500 Turkeys is all about: helping our neighbors,” said Bolton.

Bolton worked with Brett Wilson of Smoochie Pooch and Chris Sandburg of Sandberg’s Auto and Towing to reel in 5 bands to perform. The night was also made possible by Jonathan Parker of Seven Spins Studios in Valparaiso.

I liked performing at this event because it is fun and enjoyable to perform at local events for a good cause,” said local vocalist Sarah Archer.

I am super pumped to perform here and give back to the community. Plus, the Memorial Opera House has a room that is great to perform in. There is not one place in a 100 mile radius of Chicago that has such a high quality room to perform in as the Opera House,” said Jay Wineberg, member of the band Energy Commission.

The Band Energy Commission sold raffle tickets to win artwork painted by their band “artist,” who paints an “automatic” picture on nine 8x10 panels while the band plays on stage. At the end of their performance, 8 tickets were drawn, and each winner received a panel of the artwork. Ten percent of the proceeds from the artwork raffle would go to 500 Turkeys.

Guests, many of whom came to support the local bands, could also get a bite to eat from Hungry Truck, Inc, who also would be donating 10% of their proceeds for the night to 500 Turkeys.

I wanted to have a more adult-orientated fundraising event,” said Bolton. “The Memorial Opera House with its bar staff has been amazing in helping to make this possible and it is special to be in such a historical building.”

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