Dancing with the stars: Ozzie Guillen and The Naturals

It’s that time of the year once again, ladies and gentlemen. The people are out doing Christmas shopping, the people are decorating homes on the outside and inside, and many spend time with family and friends. This past Saturday was no exception, as the annual Easter Seals Festival of Trees Holiday Gala took place at Chicago’s Fairmont Hotel.

The evening started out with White
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
, whom we are fortunate to have on our board of directors at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago (ESMC). Ever since day one, Ozzie has been a great role model for individuals living with autism (including me) and he has a big heart towards the children at Easter Seals.

Which brings me to this: one of this year’s honorees was Terry Hancock from the Local Teamsters union. Terry has a son with autism, and he and his family are huge supporters of Easter Seals. Other honorees included the Martin family. Peter and Margaret Martin have a son named Noah who currently attends the Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research. Their daughter Hanna also has autism. The big news of the evening was Ozzie offering the Martin family to accompany him and other Sox players for a week at Spring Training in Arizona in 2010. He will also allow Noah to be the guest manager for a day. He is paying for their airline tickets, hotel and other accommodations for the time they are at spring training. How awesome is that?

Ozzie talked about Easter Seals in a story in the sports section of the Chicago Tribune:

“Guillen was delighted to be involved in the charity gala, in which White Sox Charities made the largest contribution to the ESMC’s new Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research.

“I think these people, since the first day I walked into their facilities, show me how much they care, how much they care about the community,” Guillen said. “They worked very, they’re very tied in together. This is my second year. I think it’s a great cause. We do a lot of things for the kids.”

“It was very quick for me to fall in love with this organization.”

The evening closed out in great style! Who would close out the evening in great style other than a performance from my band The Naturals! Terry Bracey and yours truly were the highlight entertainment of the gala. Everyone at Metropolitan Chicago had the opportunity to get up and dance to the music, and what makes it extra special was this: Ozzie got on the dance floor also!


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