owners Dean Vaundry and Chuck JaBaay are known for their generosity and community spirit, so it’s no surprise that Frankfort resident Sylvia Kemp got an offer from them she couldn’t refuse … hosting an inaugural fundraising event at their venue to benefit those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
“I have MS, and I co-facilitate a support group at Franciscan St. James Health,” Kemp explained. “We have very little funds.” The entire ticket cost of the comedy show benefit will go to the support group.
Ideally, “Stand Up for MS” will exceed all expectations and allow Kemp and her fellow group members to contribute to national MS organizations, too.
Kemp, who was diagnosed 20 years ago, first suffered from visual problems and severe fatigue.
“That’s probably the most debilitating part,” she shared.
However, her disease has now advanced, moving her from the Relapsing Remitting stage to Secondary Progressive.
“I’m attempting not to get any worse but am realizing I’m not going to get better,” she added.
The support group, MS: Mission Possible, meets the second Wednesday of the month at the Olympia Fields campus (20201 S. Crawford), from 6-8 p.m. Geared for men and women living with Multiple Sclerosis, the group offers educational resources and peer support in a friendly environment. A companion group for family and friends meets at the same time.
“We have people who come from all over the south suburbs and have about 25 total members,” Kemp said. “We just had an MS Walk, and our group was fourth in the state for fundraising.”
The June 29 fundraiser at CD & ME will feature three headliner comedians who have previously packed the house in Frankfort with 100% of the ticket price benefitting Mission Possible.
“I just can’t say how grateful I am to Chuck (JaBaay) and Dean (Vaundry) and the comedians who have donated their time. It’s just such a generous act. I’m humbled by it,” Kemp shared.
As for the comedians, they couldn’t be happier participating in the “Stand Up for MS” benefit.
“Both Mike (Toomey, WGN morning news) and Brian (Hicks) said yes immediately when I asked. It’s going to be a really fun, really tight show,” said Sevara. “It’s going to be great!”
“Chicago comedians are phenomenal at meeting a need and fundraising,” said the evening’s emcee, fellow Frankfort resident Ken Sevara, who also books acts for CD & ME’s winter comedy series.
And not only are Sevara’s colleagues hilarious, they’re hometown guys with hearts for helping. Toomey hails from New Lenox while Hicks rounds out the Lincoln-Way trio coming from Mokena.
The doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29, with the live show starting at 8:00 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 815.469.7315. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to MS: Mission Possible. Food and drink will be available for an additional charge.
CD & ME is located at 23320 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort. You can also visit www.cdandme.com or find them on Facebook: CD & ME.