Help Kids to be Courageous

I love children's books because illustration with words can become the most beautiful message. And if animals are some of the main characters, all the better!
If you haven't already seen it, pick up the book "Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog" at Local author Regina E. McCarthy and her illustrator, Sue Dettman, created a wonderful book of characters and important messages--including
anti-bullying! It's a great way to empower kids and build self-esteem. WTTW - TV (11) did a nice piece on it when I did the launch PR awhile back.
Unfortunately, bullies can be found everywhere. It's getting close to Back to School time, so pick up the book in case you need to bring up this tough topic with a young person. The groundhog is very brave and the book is an awesome tool to get kids talking about what's going on at school or on the bus.
Blue Stone Healing Books are developed to help hear the hearts of children so they may lead healthy lives as adults.
-Louise Edwards PR

Where You Go to Become Known

Publicity │ Marketing │ Special Events │ Social Media

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Eleventh Hour Fun & Frights

Eleventh Hour's four haunted houses are full of fun and frights.
Several of the actors and our street team visited NBC 5 this morning for a fun segment.
Last weekend's event at Woodfield Mall was equally jam-packed with entertainment.
Who knew Halloween was so much fun?

Eleventh Hour was featured in the Chicago Tribune and other major press.  I can't wait to see a morning TV segment we have coming up. Great venue; great coverage.  These folks are pillars in the community's very rewarding to develop and participate in all of the community programs.  The haunted houses this year celebrate Eleventh Hour's 15th anniversary, continuing to raise money for Shady Oaks camp for kids with cerebral palsy (having raised nearly $75,000 since inception).  And Friends of the Parks and The Anti-Cruelty Society will also benefit from promotions this year.

Come visit our haunts now through October 31!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thank you Mayor and the Media for Best Back2School Event Ever!

What a rewarding week....our Illinois Currency Exchange Charitable Foundation Back 2 School event not only kicked off distribution of 19,000 school supply kits to deserving students!  We  invited/hosted Mayor Rahm Emanuel to meet hundreds of kids and personally hand out school supplies.  He truly was a very special guest.  Big things like that happening to a kid can definitely create life-changing experiences. Thanks to Mayor Emanuel and his great staff!

My appreciation goes out to everyone that participated.  Daniella Guzman, morning anchor on NBC 5 News Today was a special guest and taught kids to dance, and laugh, and visited many of the educational booths.  She was unfazed and beautiful, even with an 8-ft python draped around her neck!  Fitness guru Andrea Metcalf had the group working out like never before...dragging their feet on the way in... and all with huge smiles at the end! I have a feeling they may also possibly turn down donuts and pop tarts for breakfast (for a couple days at least).  Andrea added some great gymnastic moves (good timing with the Olympics!) for excitement and had the kids lifting their school supply boxes as part of the workout.

Kids from Pilsen and Chicago Heights learned all about bees from the North Lawndale Employment Network--what a great program providing jobs and producing honey that the kids loved!  (I first met that great group when their CEO was awarded a green award from Chicago Magazine). There were plenty of smiles for the macaws owned by Chicagoan Nick Butkovich and the super friendly 8-foot-long albino burmese python that Bill Pickert from Windy City Reptiles brought to the show. (He works in my building!) The science experiments led by Mike Davis of City Colleges of Chicago created clouds of white smoke and many "oohs" & "aahs" from eager learners. Chicago Lost & Found helped kids re-use old t-shirts and make cool necklaces.  Chicago Scores engaged everyone in soccer. And, Oberweis brought their cute cow truck and low-fat chocolate milk that was noticed by our fit mayor.  Plus, vitaminwater(c) provided cases of all the kid's favorite flavors--including sugar free (taking time out of their busy preparation for Lollapalooza).

The Rauner YMCA, a great partner, provided their giant outdoor soccer field (and indoor gym).  Friends above kept the skies clear and sunny. And, it definitely made me smile to know that the futures of 19,000 kids will be that much brighter knowing that they have full school supply kits to start out the coming year. 

Many thanks to ABC7, Local News Service, NBC5, WGN 9, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Medill News Service and everyone who celebrated the day by coming out and/or covering the event.

As they say, "It takes a village..."and that has never been truer.

If you want to feel equally proud, march yourself into any one of 400 local Illinois Currency Exchanges and make a donation to the Illinois Currency Exchange Foundation's "Back 2 School" program.  Just $11 funds a jam-packed school supply kit for one more child in need.  A recent survey showed that 50 percent of kids receiving school supplies from this program are in households living below the nation's poverty level.

Let's all contribute to education and a brighter future for kids in Chicago, Illinois, USA. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Back 2 School Kickoff

Daniella Guzman and Stefan Holt, the NBC5 morning news team, emceed our big fundraiser for the Illinois Currency Exchange Charitable Foundation.  They're terrific and the luncheon event raised over $100,000.  Now, everyone can pitch in to help us raise money for school supplies! This year's initiative will help supply 19,000 families and kids with the tools they need to succeed in school.  I think I just became a fan of peanut butter sandwiches....Daniella suggested how easy it would be to not eat out for lunch one day and instead pack a peanut butter sandwich and give that $11 (to fund a giant school supplies box instead.  Brilliant idea.
Anyone can donate by stopping by one of the 400 currency exchanges in Illinois.  These two news anchors are not only at the top of their game, they seriously care about the community and want to help.  How about you?  (I'll make a great peanut butter sandwich for you!)
If you need helping picking your activity for the weekend, I recommend "Pedal" from Crain's Top 10 List!  (I'm handling publicity). See you out there.  


PEDAL. Take a disco nap, because you'll need the energy when you stay up to ride in the 24th annual L.A.T.E. bike ride. More than 9,000 cyclists are expected to pass through South Loop, Chinatown and Greektown under the stars. You'll finish with a sunrise breakfast. June 30 - July 1, 11 p.m. - 6 a.m. Cost is $45, proceeds benefit Friends of the Parks. Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway,

Secretary of State Jesse White's birthday bash this week was great fun!  Ageless and full of energy, Jesse even included his famous Jesse White tumblers as part of the entertainment at Carmine's and in the middle of Rush Street.  I kept running into people I know and particularly got a kick out of the fact that he has some female students on the tumbling team!  (Jesse even did his incredible headstand.  (That's him heading into it below in the picture).

Lou Canellis was a great emcee and even our town's "Fabio" bopped by. The big surprise was Governor Quinn's arrival.  One guest summed it up well, "If you are judged in heaven by the number of trees you have been able to plant during your life, Jesse White is responsible for forests."  And that about sums it up, doesn't it?!  We all better start planting.
L.A.T.E. Ride is a great event in Chicago and a fundraiser for Friends of the Parks.  Come on out on Saturday and experience Chicago on this after-midnight ride with 9,000 cyclists.  Four Man Band kicks it off and The International Beethoven Project helps us celebrate a Sunrise Breakfast with their Beethoven Festival Orchestra!  Online registration is closed, but sign-up is available at the event. Check it out.  CBS 2 Chicago and Chicago's fun crowd.  A don't miss event!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The LATE Ride is Coming!

How about a party on a bike?  Imagine a 25-mile leisure ride (no hills, just a little bit on the bridges) through the city we love, Chinatown, Greek Town, the north side, grassy parks, and the incredible lakefront paths (never open at night except at our event).  Cap it off with a sunrise over Lake Michigan.

It's Chicago's L.A.T.E. ride (Long After Twilight Ends!)  Make sure to sign up, we usually have 9,000 participants at this fundraiser for Friends of the Parks.  Thanks to CBS2 Chicago for their sponsorship.

Here's the plan.  Come out Saturday night, June 30, to Buckingham Fountain for fun starting before midnight...then technically the ride starts on Sunday, July 1 at 1 a.m.

Forget the bike lanes, you'll be riding right down the middle of Chicago streets for the tour of a lifetime.  Sign up at  Your money goes to a great cause and the goody bag is awesome.   See you after dark!

Back2School Supplies Campaign

Back to school can mean peer pressure and stress for kids who don't have school supplies to be able to function within the classroom.  Kudos to the Illinois Currency Exchange Foundation and also many thanks to NBC 5 morning team Daniella Guzman and Stefan Holt for being the honored emcees at the upcoming fundraiser/lunch at Maggiano's on June 19.  This year, ICECF's Back2School program will provide school supplies to nearly 20,000 underserved children in Chicagoland and Illinois.  What a great thing.  Not only does this help families tremendously if they simply cannot afford the supplies, it also helps the teachers who always try to help kids as much as they can by personally buying supplies.  Isn't it amazing what people can achieve working together?  Personally, I'd like to find my 5th grade teacher Bob Sakchewsky...I went to a small private school in NY... maybe 30 kids in my class and I owe my tremendous math and spelling skills to him.  In fact, I wouldn't be in PR today were it not for him as he entered an essay I wrote into a statewide contest (unbeknownst to me) and I won.  And, seriously, that is why I decided to get a journalism degree many years later.  So thanks to teachers who give their all, and people who contribute to kids well-being and school supplies!  Visit or call 847.268.3550 or email to reserve tickets to the luncheon ($85 each prior to    June 5).  Or, if you'd simply like to donate a few dollars into a canister, visit any of the 400 local Currency Exchanges after June 1 and you can do that.  THANK YOU!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tune in Saturday...!

Reality Weight Loss TV

Tune in this weekend for Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, the premiere of a new reality weight loss show airing on NBC Nonstop.

Fitness guru Andrea Metcalf is the host, with 8 contestants with compelling stories and 8 incredible trainers ready to make their weight loss goals a reality.

Contestants are PAID $10 for every pound they lose and can win $5,000 upon reaching goal weight in 12 weeks.

Airs on 5.2 on NBC CHicago Nonstop, or in cable households on Comcast 341, RCN 50 and WOW 130.

Runs every Saturday, and again on Sunday, at 1 pm starting this weekend for 12 weeks.