Tuesday, June 29, 2010

10 Year Open House - An Electrical Evening

Thank you to everyone that volunteered or simply showed up to last week's 10 Year House Party. Braving the storm (and rare downtown tornado warning!) was well worth the great time we had. The start of the event welcomed guests with a huge spread of donated food (including ceviche from Cafecito - keep an eye out for this delicious addition to their menu) and a traditional Egyptian vocal performance by HI-Chicago's very own Ahmed Mahmoud.

Next up was a Capoeira performance by Gingarte Capoeira, who showed us the Brazilian martial art/dance and even convinced a couple of guests to give it a try - including General Manager Paul Coley!

Immediately after that, the flow of the event was interrupted by the tornado sirens ringing throughout downtown. The sirens, coupled with a look outside at the heavy, near-horizontal rain pouring down, prompted the hostel staff to instruct all 100 of the hostel guests to move to the interior hallway of the 2nd floor. Luckily hostellers are a flexible group of people, and we all viewed it as an adventure rather than aninconvenience! The party-goers sat against the walls of the narrow hallway while volunteers passed out appetizers and desserts. The Congolese drummers Tambours Sans Frontieres were up next in the entertainment program and they didn't miss a beat. They improvised with the space and performed throughout the entire hallway hibernation. They truly kept the event going with their high-energy drumming!

Thirty minutes after we piled into the back hallway, the sirens silenced and we resumed the event. Raffle prizes were drawn and happy winners went home with a variety of great prizes, most notably the travel package which featured a $300 travel voucher from STA and a 2-piece luggage set. The night was capped off with a wonderful performance by Fandanguero, a Pilsen-based band that performed Son Jarocho music from the Caribbean Coast of Mexico. All in all, it was a incredibly memorable event!

Thank you to the following volunteers who contributed their time leading up to and during the event:

Brent Swan, Adrienne Nothnagel, Jeannette Lenear, Marilyn Williams, Megeen Scovell, Simon Landon, Tom Judge, Chuck Cerny, Tom Gunning, Adam Welton, Randy Stover, George Redfearn, Megan Backes, Karen Plomin, Eva Rowe, Chuck Abraham, Jodi Cerny, Evelin Gomez, Marshall Brown, Maureen Ewing, Roger Pomerance, Miriam Scott, Koula Quirk, and Dana Immertreu.

And of course our wonderful summer interns: Elena Maker, Laura Grossman, Kylie Snowaert, Breanne Ward, Amber O'Leary, Nell McGann and Hannah Schiller.

To see photos from the event check out HI-Chicago's Flickr.

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