Join Me for a Cocktail for a Life-saving Cause

Tom Martin is one sweetheart of a Social Media Consultant. I realized this when he reached out to my Twitter-friend-turned-real-life-friend Lisa Diomede and me and asked us to co-hostess the inaugural #Cocktails4Causes at The Drake Hotel here in Chicago.

You see, Tom and The Drake came up with a brilliant idea – tap into the social media enthusiasts who are making big things happen in Chicago to raise money for a different charity each month; enjoying cocktails and merriment in the process.

And what better time to kick it off than December in Chicago – when the holiday lights will be ablaze and classic holiday, nutmeg-scented coziness is mixed with good cheer in the famous Palm Court.

So this is your cordial invitation to join me, Lisa and Tom for cocktails at the Drake Hotel on Wednesday, December First from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to raise money for a cause very close to my heart: organ donation.

The Drake will be donating scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, plus the holiday booze, and 50% of the the money you spend at the bar will go towards the Living Kidney Donors Network – an organization founded by my friend Harvey Mysel who had a kidney transplant one month before me, back in early 2007.  

The Living Kidney Donors Network is a not-for-profit organization whose primary Mission is to educate people who need a kidney transplant about the living donation process and to prepare them to effectively communicate their need to family members and friends. 

You may be surprised but most people in need of a transplant don’t know how to reach out to friends and family to ask them to consider being a donor.  And most people don’t realize that in the age of laparoscopic surgery it’s relatively easy for healthy individuals to donate one of their kidneys (we only need one, we’re all born with a spare) and return to normal activities quickly.  In my case, my donor felt great less than a week post-surgery, and she tells me every time I see her that she’d do it again in a heartbeat.

My dear friends from the Gift of Hope organization will also be there so that anyone who wants to give “First Person Consent” to be a donor (a quick registration that’s legally binding, whereas signing your driver’s license is not) can do so.  For each person that signs up The Drake will donate an additional dollar to the Living Kidney Donors Network!

And finally I’m thrilled that some of my friends from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office will be there supporting the cause as well.  I was honored to be asked to appear in this state-wide TV commercial that they produced when I was on dialysis and waiting for a kidney.  I appear at the beginning and the very end, and was told to “subtly channel Mary Tyler Moore” at the end – you be the judge!

On a more serious note my friend David, who appears right before me at the end of the commercial, died a few months after filming while waiting for his life-saving transplant.  An average of 18 people die every day…waiting. 

Won’t you please help us make a difference by joining us on December First for #Cocktails4Causes?  If you don’t live in Chicago, why not consider a holiday-shopping road trip? And be sure to spread the word to your friends and colleagues who do live here in Chicago!

Use this link to go to the official EVite and to RSVP!  We can’t wait to see you there – and your support means the world to us!

Photo is “Raspberry Cocktail” by Kenny Hindgren.


  1. Chris Mitchell says:


    I will plan to attend. Thanks for the post!

    Chris Mitchell

  2. This is an amazing event, it is great to see both businesses and individuals alike participating in cause marketing via social media.

    Christina Gace


  1. […] a time when she was not in my stream. When we met in person this past December at the inaugural #Cocktails4Causes event at the Drake Hotel, I teased her that I felt like a stalker because I follwed her on twitter, got the MENG […]