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CAAEL Band-A-Thon ramps up the volume

Tye Johnson, teacher at Beye School in Oak Park,  Sarah Lorenzi, teacher at Longfellow School in Oak Park and Sherita Lyles, teacher at Hatch School in Oak Park  | Photo by Porsche Winfield
Porsche Winfield and Beth Kruse, both teachers at Hatch School in Oak Park
Heather (Pacini) Gredzinski of Elmwood Park | Photo by Porsche Winfield
Andy Righeimer, teacher at Hatch School in Oak Park, added his talents to the show.  | Photo by Porsche Winfield
Brian O'Hara of River Forest checks out one of the 25 silent auction packages. | Photo by Porsche Winfield
Andy Righeimer, teacher at Hatch School in Oak Park,  Nikki Hale of Forest Park, Tom Aldworth of Forest Park and Sherita Lyles, teacher at Hatch School in Oak Park, perform at Band-A-Thon. | Photo by Porsche Winfield
Chuck Alvarado of Forest Park with his band. | Photo by Porsche Winfield

In keeping with its upbeat, active theme, the Chicago Area Alternative Education League held its 12th Annual Band-A-Thon Fundraiser on Feb. 16 at Doc Ryan’s in Forest Park.

More than 160 people turned out to hear seven bands, which included Troy Thompson, Door #3, the Mighty Joe Band, El Guapo, the Blue Lincolns, Mark Kelty, Tam & Dan, and Chuck Alvarado.

“We tried to get some new bands this year,” said Sarah Lorenzi of CAAEL. “We also showed a video about CAAEL and what we do. We had some really great responses from people who didn’t know much about us.”

In addition to music and some serious dance floor moves, the event included more than 25 silent auction prizes and approximately 60 raffle prizes, as well as drinks and pizza.

CAAEL is a non-profit program that works within schools to motivate high-risk students to stay in school through customized academic, athletic and art programs. And it has local roots: It was founded in 1977 by John Martin of Forest Park, who still runs the daily operations.

Currently, CAAEL has programs in more than 50 schools in eight counties. Schools form leagues to compete against each other and students must qualify each week in order to play. All programs are designed to build self-esteem, social skills, teamwork and responsibility, with an emphasis on sportsmanship.

The event raised more than $8200.

For more information, visit caaelnews.blogspot.com or email sarahtmartin@yahoo.com.

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