Eat, Drink and Be Charitable

Summer fun can also help a good cause

Summer's here, and with it comes BBQs, street fests, beach days, beer, baseball games -- the list goes on and on.

But events can cost quite a bit of money. For example, it's not completely improbable to spend $761 on (cheap) beer at Wrigley Field during a Saturday day game. It's not inconceivable to spend $247 on some earrings and a vodka lemonade at the Old Town Art Festival. It's not unheard of to spend $75 on a hamburger, French fries and a piña colada at Castaways on a lazy Sunday. It's not impossible -- OK, OK, you catch our drift.

All of the above activities are fun and oh-so-Chicago-y, right? But did you know that many-a-time you can actually participate in said activities and the money goes to charity? Fun, sun and altruism?!? We'll take it!

Lucky for us, last Saturday afforded Chicagoans a funny, sunny, altruistic way to spend an afternoon while supporting a cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis, a devastating disease that affects five million people worldwide with 40,000 patients a year not surviving (that's the same amount of people who die from breast cancer). Sink the Biz for Breathing was held at Joe's on Weed Street and cost a measly $35 (that's less than a Cubs ticket or an alfresco brunch in Lincoln Park).

OK, so if you missed that event, here's another good one for you. One that involves -- wait for it -- baseball! Since we know you're going to be hitting up Wrigley -- or Kaminsky (we're old school) one of these days anyway, why not head to the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville with none other than swingin' Cubs player, Alfonso Soriano, to support Neuroblastoma, a form of cancer prevalent in infants and toddlers? For a $125 donation (tickets available at, eat all the burgers, hotdogs and good stuff you want; drink from a plastic cup all night (at least from 4-7 p.m.); meet local baseball greats and score (no pun intended) a goody bag on your way out. Now, that's what we'd call a home run (enough with the puns)!

You see, there are alternatives out there this summer (though BBQs, beach volleyball, sidewalk bags games and picnics in the park are not to be missed) -- alternatives that provide copious amounts of fun while supporting phenomenal causes. After all, it's Cheeky to be charitable.

Erica Bethe Levin is a contributing writer for

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