Chicago's 9-Year-Old Philanthropist

Local kid and national sensation Ian Cahr crafts goods to benefit dogs in need

Ian Cahr was just a regular kid who loved to make stuff until, one day after selling his handmade beaded jewelry and accessories from a stand in front of his friend's house, he decided to donate the profits (about $12) to New Leash on Life Chicago, a dog-rescue organization. From that point on, Cahr was a child philanthropist and a soon-to-be sensation. His idea grew into Ian's Bead Company after the local Kiehl's store offered to host a craft sale for Cahr in December 2006, which raised more than $200.

Since then, Cahr, now 9, has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Today Show" and "The Martha Stewart Show" and has been featured in numerous magazines. His friends then wanted to get involved, and now Ian's Bead Company is 30 kids strong. (Cahr even makes his staff dress up to look more professional at events.) Cahr has expanded his product line for purchase to include stationery, hand-drawn cards, key chains, hair accessories, magnets, vases and bookmarks. He donates all of the proceeds raised by Ian's Bead Company (now more than $17,000) to various animal shelters and charities, including New Leash on Life, Small Dog Adoption in Plantation, FL, Chicago Animal Care & Control, Dogs Deserve Better and others. We could all learn a thing or two from this kid.

Check out Ian's Bead Company's wares at a cooking and craft-making demonstration at Randolph Street Asian-fusion restaurant Red Light on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 11:30AM. Red Light chef Jackie Shen will conduct a hands-on appetizer-making demo, and guests will get to sample the creations paired with wines. Cahr will follow with his own presentation on making the beaded jewelry for which he's become famous. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Cahr's jewelry at the event.

Attendance is $35. A portion of the proceeds and all jewelry sales from Ian's Bead Company will benefit Friends of Animal Care & Control.

Red Light, 820 W. Randolph St., 312-733-8880 

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