Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon
It was great to attend the Chicago Fire Foundation's Season Kickoff Luncheon yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel. It is one of my favorite events of the year, because it brings together every corner of the Chicago soccer community and all of the Fire's stake holders.
The Chicago Red Stars were well represented by former Fire staffers Pat McNamara and Greg Zaskowski as well as Alyse LaHue, Amber Simons (who is also serving as the Red Stars Foundation's Executive Director), Marcia McDermott and me. There were plenty of Fire staff alumni on hand as well including Toyota Park's Dan Garnett and Kevin Spudic and Mike Squire, Trent Sheridan, Donald Ortale, Kim Beauvais, Vince Formanek and Andy Stengren.
Marcia and i were guests of the Fan Addicts and enjoyed sitting in the front row of tables with hosts John and Kris Keller and Mike and Diane Colwell and the new Chicago Fire Foundation President Frank Klopas.
The highlight was the showing of the Dean Magdalin produced Chicago Fire spots featuring Jim Belushi . Belushi performs a soccer version of the award-winning Reinke, Clement and Associates produced commercials for the Milwaukee Admirals in the mid-90s. In the Admirals hockey spots Bob Uecker takes on the over confident, star in waiting buffoon role. The Belushi spots had the crowd roaring with laughter as the Chicago native worked out with Fire players to earn a spot on the team's roster.
i also enjoyed speaking with Head Coach Denis Hamlett, his assistants Mike Jeffries and Daryl Shore and Goalkeeper Jon Busch. Also spoke briefly with Fire leadership including Andrew Hauptman, Javier Leon, Dave Greeley, Mike Humes and Becky Carroll. Becky is the Fire's new Fire VP of Communications and she was joined by Fire Manager of Communications Lauren Brophy at the Section 8 post-luncheon soiree at PJ Clarke's. Becky was a delight and even bought a round for the appreciative supporters.
The day served to whet our appetite for the pro soccer season which has already started in warmer climates and is eagerly anticipated here in Chicago.