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Christmas Comes Early For Three Local Hospitals
Brad's Kids Foundation Delivered over 4,000 toys to three Hospitals Tuesday
By: Pediatric Foundation
Brad’s Kids is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to brighten the lives of children inflicted with life threatening illnesses. Brad’s kids only accept new unwrapped toys. The organization was founded in 2007 by Bradley Pogofsky, son of Chicago white sox owner Larry Pogofsky. The organization is run and funded by its board of directors and advisory board which include Chairman Bradley Pogofsky, Dr. Richard Kaufman MD, John Miaso, and Scott Lee Cohen. The advisory board consists of Ozzie Guillen jr. of the Chicago White Sox, Cook County Judge Anthony Burrell, twisted sister drummer AJ Pero, Stanley Wozniak-managing partner of the Joynt, Jeffery M. Leving-Attorney and Author, Jonathan Stein of ACE Inc., James Stanek of CVS, and Rich Hamlin of Excalibur. Thursday’
The toys are from the 4th annual Brad’s Kids toy drive which took place on Monday July 26th at Citizen. All guests were required to bring a toy for admission. The event featured complimentary drinks from Patron and was sponsored by Bluesky Marketing, Patron Tequila, Ultimat Vodka, Porsche of Highland Park, and Scott Lee Cohen for Governor.
Pogofsky, 33, grew up in Highland Park and has lived in Chicago for the past seven years. Pogofsky has acquired the support of several celebrities and athletes including Derek Jeter & Jorge Posada of the Yankees, Jim Thome of the Twins, Paul Konerko of the White Sox, Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers , former Cubs first baseman Derek Lee, former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Burish, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, and Ty Beanie Babies owner Ty Warner.
Brad’s Kids has also received the support of many big name companies in the Chicago area including Ty Beanie Babies, Toy R us, CVS Pharmacies, Dairy Queen, Hooters, Patron Tequila, Ultimat Vodka, WXRT, Angie’s Pizza, Jonathan Brandmeir, Excalibur Nightclub, Gibson’s Steakhouse, McFadden’s, Zizzle Toys, Chicago Loop News, Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, Jonathan Antin of Beverly Hills, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks, Joes Stone Crab, Bluesky Marketing, Playboy Golf, The Joynt, Porsche of Highland Park, and Celebrity Spotlight Radio. Pogofsky has been a featured guest on the Celebrity Spotlight radio show in New York hosted by twisted sister drummer AJ Pero. Pero is a member of the Brad’s Kids advisory board.
Brad’s Kids hosts’ one large event a year at a popular bar/restraunt in Chicago and all guests are required to bring a new unwrapped toy to for admission. The event usually takes place about half way to Christmas at the end of July. The event features complimentary drinks, food, live music and silent auction. The first event in 2007 took place at Plush and raised 2,800 toys. In 2008, the event was held at Crobar and raised 7,000 toys. The 2009 event took place at the fifty/50 and drew former cub Derek Lee and former Blackhawks Adam Burish. The 2010 event took place at Citizen and raised over 4,000 toys.
Since it was created in 2007, Brad’s kids has delivered over 25,000 toys to Children’s Memorial Hospital, Comer Children’s Hospital, Shriner Hospital for Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, Hope Children’s Hospital, Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, and Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Brad’s Kids silent auctions have raised a total of $25,000 for various 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charities including the mark Staehely Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Pediatric Treasure Foundation, Make Your Mark Foundation, and the literacy volunteers of Illinois. Brad’s Kids has received silent auction items from: The Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks, Gibson’s Steakhouse, Hugo’s Frog Bar, CVS Pharmacies, The Joynt, Rockit Bar & Grill, Joe’s Stone Crab, Excalibur, Capital Grill, Luxbar, Boston Blackies, Dairy Queen, McFadden’s, Jim Thome of the Twins, Curtis Granderson of the Yankees, Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox, Paul Konerko of the White Sox, Derrek Lee of the Marlins, Adam Burish of the Dallas Stars, Dustin Byfuglien of the Atlanta Thrashers , former white sox Jermaine Dye, Magglio Ordonez of the Detroit Tigers, Loop Athletic Club, Plush, Jonathan Antin of Beverly Hills, Ty Beanie Babies, Redhead Piano Bar, The Sporting Views, Ashkenaz Deli , Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, , La Scarola, The fifty/50, Ten Pin Bowling Lounge, and Twisted Sister.
Two days prior to the 2008 Toy Drive at Crobar, the liquor sponsor backed out leaving Pogofsky in a tough situation with hundreds of people showing up with toys and expecting free drinks. Pogofsky went to his friend and owner of the Joynt Stan Wozniak for help. Within hours wozniak arranged for 10 cases of alcohol from his own bar to be delivered to Crobar for the toy drive. Incurring all the costs himself. Wozniak and Pogofsky have been very close ever since. Woziniak is on the advisory board and has been a huge reason Brad’s Kids exists today.
The board of directors is headed up by chairman Bradley Pogofsky, along with Dr. Richard Kaufman, a child psychiatrist, John Miaso, a democratic precinct captain, and Scott Lee Cohen, independent candidate for governor of Illinois. Cohen, a Brad’s Kids board member since 2008 who is running as an independent for Governor was briefly the democratic nominee for Lt. Governor earlier this year before stepping down for personal reasons. Pogofsky has been a friend of Cohen’s for 17 years and recently hosted a fundraiser with Scott’s two older brothers at the Joynt in Chicago. Cohen has been a big part of Brad’s Kids from the beginning, from using his campaign headquarters to store the toys to spending 7 hours on Tuesday delivering the toys to three different hospitals. Cohen’s campaign has been very active and is Hosting a First Responders Event for the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire Department on Tuesday October 5th from 6-8pm at The Joynt at 650 N. Dearborn. The event features a complimentary open bar and food. For more information or to obtain tickets members of the CPD or CFD should contact Kelly Tarrant at (312)441-0300
For more information on Brad’s Kids visit at www.bradskids.org or for more information on Independent candidate for Governor Scott Lee Cohen, visit www.scottleecohen.com