Thursday, June 24, 2010

Share what you've learned so far now

This just in from Jennifer Fernicola Ronay...

In my ongoing search for work that is fulfilling and meaningful, I am participating in a project with SoFar Publishing where we will be interviewing people who are dealing with a terminal illness.  The final product will be a book that aims to answer the question "What have you learned so far?"

As it states on the website, "the project not only offers participants a chance to reflect on their lives, but also an opportunity to leave a legacy that touches friends, family and perhaps even the entire world."

If you know anyone who might want to share their story, please let me know. I can be contacted at

Jennifer is a lawyer and CPA turned writer/reporter/blogger. She's experimenting with a year of thank you's. She's on Twitter at @fernronay.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Entertaining journalists perform to aid colleagues on July 1

Update: This just in from Steve Franklin - We'll start with a jazz group anchored by Curtis Black and John Atkins--check out Curtis' video on YouTube--then blues by Mike Hirsley and his son Quentin, then Lou Carlozo on guitar on Jim Quinn on drums, and finally Mary Schmich, on piano, and Eric Zorn on guitar leading us in a not-for-Xmas singalong and if anyone wants to get up and tell a story or make a statement about what we are doing, they are more than welcome.

Journalists especially have taken hard hits during these bizarre economic times. Like other professionals, their careers and economic well-being have been threatened during this recession. News outlets shifting revenue streams and changing business models have exacerbated the situation. I don't know one news outlet in Chicago that hasn't had layoffs. (If you know any, let me know.) The mass layoff done in one single day at the Tribune last year I call the April 09 Purge. The Tribune eliminated some excellent journalist, many of them friends of mine.

With this in mind, through the Chicago Headline Club, Tribune alumni Flynn McRoberts and Steve Franklin and other journalists are putting on a show for money, money to be used to help journos get new gear, additional training and other support.  The public is invited.

Piano player and Trib columnist Mary Schmich, horn blower and journalist Curtis Black and Tribune alum John Adkins are scheduled to perform. Headline Club president Sue Stevens reports that booking a folk group is in the works. I might sign myself up to tell a joke, one joke, if they let me. We'll see.

"We don't think we'll raise enough to allow us to offer large amounts to our colleagues, but we hope that this gesture will remind our colleagues that we don't forget those of us who have run into bad luck and that it will help to work together...," says Steve Franklin, now with Community Media Workshop (one of my former employers).

When: July 1, 8 p.m.

Where: Rogers Park's Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago

Why: Fun and fundraising

How much: $10 (or more, if you can afford it) donation at the door. $5 for students

Donations are tax deductible

For more information on how volunteer at the show, how to donate and who else might be performing, contact Steve Franklin at or