LOCAL SCENE

Highland songwriter & book author dances against cancer

2014-02-20T00:00:00Z Highland songwriter & book author dances against cancerTom Lounges / beatboss@aol.com nwitimes.com
February 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Northwest Indiana author and songwriter Ken Churilla is among the Chicagoland celebrities dancing their way closer to a cancer cure next month as Arthur Murray Presents “The Dancing with Chicago Celebrities - Pink Carpet Premiere” ninth annual charity ball to fight against breast cancer. The all-star 7pm event happens March 7 at Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker Drive).

Net proceeds benefit the Northwestern Memorial Foundation, directed to an innovative research effort focused on a breast cancer vaccine trial, and Imerman Angels, a non-profit group helping provide 1-on-1 support among cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.

Among those stepping out on the ballroom floor is Highland, Indiana native/resident Ken Churilla, a long time local/national music journalist this columnist once mentored, who is also a songwriter by night and the Director of Marketing for Balmoral Park by day.

Churilla, a 1990 Highland High School graduate recently authored his first book “No One Said It Would Be Easy: A Husband’s Journey Through His Wife’s Battle with Breast Cancer,” with celebrity endorsements from the likes of country music star Gretchen Wilson and former White Sox great Ron Kittle.

Other regional celebrities – to be paired with a professional partner provided by Arthur Murray Dance Centers – include Daniella Guzman of NBC 5, Kris Gutierrez of CBS 2, Cortney Hall of WGN TV, Ravi Baichwal of ABC 7, Dan Proft of WLS-AM Radio, Aly Bockler of “You & Me This Morning” on WCIU-TV, former NHL player Reid Simpson.

Among those stepping out on the ballroom floor is Highland, Indiana native/resident Ken Churilla, a long time local/national music journalist who recently authored his first book “No One Said It Would Be Easy: A Husband’s Journey Through His Wife’s Battle with Breast Cancer,” which has gotten celebrity endorsements from the likes of country music star Gretchen Wilson, former White Sox great Ron Kittle. Churilla is also a songwriter by night and the Director of Marketing for Balmoral Park by day.

The ballroom judging panel includes professional judge Nick Kosovich from ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and Snow Urbin from "So You Think You Can Dance." ABC 7 “Windy City Live” host Ryan Chiaverini is the event emcee.

The evening includes a live and silent auction, a prize wheel, complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and wine, a cash bar, and of course dancing! Tickets: $185. More: www.amdwcc.org or call 630-699-6327.

MUSIC NOTES:

• Chicago broadcast legend and Radio Hall of Famer Dick Biondi will host an old-fashioned “sock hop” March 1 presented by The Carmelite Home of East Chicago from 8pm to Midnight at The Wicker Park Social Center (8554 Indianapolis Blvd.) in Highland. Cost is $20 with a cash bar. Advance tickets only, no walks ups. More info: (219) 397-1085.

• The Hobart Jaycees may move their popular annual “Jaycee Fest” to a new location this summer after several years spent rocking the Strack & Van Til grocery store parking lot on U.S. 6. The length of the beer ‘n’ bands-driven fest may also be cut from 10 to 4 days if the event (tentatively scheduled June 26-29) is relocated to Hobart’s Rugby Field across from Festival Park.

• Scott May – long time member of the iconic Chicagoland group, The Ides of March – has just stepped out with his debut solo CD, “Outside The Inside,” an 11-song original music collection largely performed all on his own.

Scott does get some nice assistance from his capable band -- The Scott May One-Armed Orchestra – and The Ides’ horn section on my favorite song, “Love Song 369,” which he lovingly dedicates to his wife Chris May. Adding guest vocals on the tune are two ‘80s Chicago pop stars in their own right, Sandy Caulfield (of Tantrum fame) and Thom Griffin (of Trillion fame). More: www.scottmaymusic.com and www.facebook.com/scottmaymusic.

• Anthrax guitarist, author, television personality and rock icon Meatloaf’s son-in-law, Scott Ian is taking his highly successful “Speaking Words” tour beginning with a Chicago date on February 20 at The Mayne Stage.

“Speaking Words” is not just a raucous story-telling experience, but an honest look at the insane life that Ian has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. During each show, Ian will take part in a special Q&A session with the audience. More: www.Scott-Ian.com or www.facebook.com/scottian.

• Classic rock legend Gary St. Holmes will be call in guest on Tuesday’s “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges.” This columnist’s weekly music program airs at 6pm on Tuesdays at 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio and streams live via the station’s web site at: www.lakeshortpublicmedia.org/radio. All past broadcasts of the program are archived at the same web site for free, on-demand listening.

Email Tom Lounges at beatboss@aol.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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