For the last couple years I've been shooting for the inspiring organization buildOn. BuildOn is an international nonprofit organization that runs youth service after school programs in the US and also builds schools in developing countries. Tuesday was their Chicago Breakfast Fundraiser event. Speaking at the event were their president Jim Ziolkowski, buildOn program member Brittni Pratt, Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Secretary White was presented with buildOn's Global Leadership Award.
It was great to be asked to photograph the 2011 Growing Home benefit dinner at The Chicago Cultural Center. The event was a great success as always. This year's keynote speaker was Bill Kurtis. In addition to being a legendary newsman, Kurtis has become a rancher and proponent of grass-fed beef at his ranch in Kansas, Tallgrass Beef.Though Growing Home's mission has always been meaningful and inspiring, it has become more so every year. As we hear more and more about the conceptual misdirection of our food, transportation, economic opportunities and plain-old livability of our city life, Growing Home's mission becomes that much more vivid.
The great people at Growing Home had some special visitors in Mayor Richard Daley and Chief Environmental Officer Sadhu Johnston. A large number of the city's media were there to cover the event. It's great to see Growing Home being recognized for the work they do. The Mayor was beleaguered somewhat by some politics du jour but otherwise was very interested in the work being done by Growing Home and other transitional and green jobs businesses in Chicago.
[caption id="attachment_616" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Harry Rhodes, Growing Home Executive Director and Sadhu Johnston, Chicago's Chief Environmental Officer at Growing Home Wood Street Urban Farm."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_620" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Mayor Daley with employees of Growing Home at a market stand."][/caption]
I had a great time photographing and meeting up with the wonderful people people at Growing Home at their 7th annual benefit dinner. I am so fortunate to be able to work with them and see the wonderful things they do there. It was a great event, with locally and organically grown food prepared by The Balanced Kitchen, Monogramme Catering, Chef Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel, the Meatloaf Bakery and dinner prepared by Nia Mediterranean Tapas, Bistro Campagne, Charlie Trotter's and Vie Restaurant, Eli's Cheesecakes and Intelligentsia Coffee. A touching and informative keynote speech was made by Rick Bayless.
[caption id="attachment_449" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="I had some fun with my Totally Rad Actions post-production on many of the images in this gallery. No, the sauce wasn't really this color green!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_450" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Chefs from many restaurants, including Charlie Trotter's, participated in the food preparation."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_451" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Many Growing Home volunteers helped serve the approximately 300 guests at the event."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_454" align="aligncenter" width="444" caption="Chicago restauranteur Rick Bayless gave an inspirational keynote speech."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_455" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Growing Home Executive Director Harry Rhodes with SHED Studio Architects Rashmi Ramaswamy and Mike Newman and Growing Home Board President Valerie Denney."][/caption]
Below is a slideshow of my favorite images. You can view the images larger and even embed the gallery in your own webpage by clicking the buttons in the bottom right corner of the gallery.