Me (pic 1), Blake Ebel (pic 4), Euro RSCG volunteers and the kids of OTSC -live and in cardboard!

My previous post explains the Who, What, When, Where & Why. As these photos demonstrate, the event was both successful and fun!

OTSC Logo-thumb-300x422-11715
For those unawares, each year a different Chicago advertising agency gets behind Off The Street Club, creating marketing, fund raising materials, and doing whatever it can to further the club’s most worthwhile agenda. This was Euro RSCG’s year.

Last week I told you about our opening salvo on behalf of the club, a website, offthestreetclub.org we built in conjunction with eatdrink.com. It’s pretty sweet. If you haven’t done so already have a look. By the way, the logo we created is featured above. Our theme: Get a kid off the street and on to so much more.

And Friday, September 25th that’s exactly what we’re going to do! Our agency will be at Pioneer Court in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue hosting a barnburner of a fundraising event. We had dozens of life-size cardboard cutouts made of some of the 400 children at OTSC. They will be set up on a makeshift street representing the hardscrabble west side of Chicago. We’re going to beseech pedestrians to literally remove a child from the street and bring him or her to safety, after which the good citizen can make a donation.

Between the website and events like this, our fantasy is to raise $1 million dollars ten bucks at a time. While that’s not likely going to happen, to paraphrase Leo Burnett: “we won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”

To that end, for anyone who donates $100 dollars or more I’ll happily provide a signed copy of my novel, The Happy Soul Industry.. If he or she doesn’t want that, I’ll give ‘em a hug!

Either way, come on out and help us get kids off the street and on to so much more.

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Ralph and the kids at Off The Street Club

Ralph and the kids at Off The Street Club

I usually refrain from writing about my agency’s work but in this case I feel it is entirely appropriate… even necessary!

For more than 100 years, Off The Street Club has been a haven for kids in one of the toughest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Chicago. Providing a safe, supportive, loving environment for hundreds of 4 to 18 year old kids, OTSC offers a number of programs designed to help kids develop into upstanding adults.

Those are words on a new website we built on behalf of Off The Street Club. Yet mere text doesn’t do the site or the club justice. You need to hear these children talk about their “safe place” in the city. You need to look into the eyes of OTSC’s tireless and fearless leader, Ralph Campagna.

And you can, if you go to offthestreetclub.org Videos of these delightful kids and staff as well as other surprises await you. You can actually pull children off the street and put them into the club! Poignant, hopeful and utterly human, it’s a gorgeous piece of interactive. Begging your pardon, but we are very proud to be behind it. Thank you Blake Ebel, Briar Waterman, Rob Starkey, Doug Gipson, Gosia Zawislak and all the other Euros who made this site soar.

For those unawares, each year a different Chicago advertising agency gets behind OTSC, creating marketing, fund raising materials, and doing whatever it can to further the club’s most worthwhile agenda. This was our year, the website our opening salvo.

Visit the site. That’s a composite of the real building and its blighted surroundings. In one image you see the challenges and the hope. Go now and you’ll be rewarded by a terrific online experience. If you’re kind enough to make a small donation to the club, you’ll be rewarded by something more valuable: grace.

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