Shake the Lake Music Festival – A Successful Win

The 2nd Annual Shake the Lake Music Festival was held on May 27th at Joe’s Bar on Weed Street in Chicago. The event is an annual fundraiser that is hosted by Chicago Bear, Greg Olsen, to raise money for breast cancer research. The event ran from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

Shake The Lake Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Joe's Bar Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Olsen founded the non-profit Receptions For Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation in 2009 in honor of his mother, who is a 9 year breast cancer survivor. A very courageous woman, Susan was able to keep the family together by waking up everyday and living life just like she did prior to being diagnosed. Even though she was going through several rounds of chemotherapy and was physically and emotionally drained, she never missed one sporting event or school function that her husband or children were a part of. Olsen stated, “This is something that’s close to my family’s heart.” In regards to the event, he said, “I know my family appreciates it, and so do I.”

Greg Olsen, Susan Olsen and her Doctor Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Reception For Research shirts for sale Photo: Shannon L. Novak

The event turned up hundreds of people, filling in the 2 inside rooms at Joe’s, as well as the outdoor patio. Tickets were $150 and all proceeds went to the Lynn Sage Foundation. Ramblin Ray was the emcee for the evening.

Outside patio Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Lunch with Randy Wells - Live Auction Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Many well known and recognized faces attended the event. Players from the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs and even the Chicago Blackhawks, who are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals, came out to support a good cause. Darius Rucker, Matt Kennon, Greg Olsen, Jay Cutler, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Kane, Randy Wells and Katrina Campins ( The Apprentice) were among some of those that attended. Wells stated, “Whenever you see a guy that’s doing something good in the community and you have a strong feeling about it, you show up and you support”.

Randy Wells and Greg Olsen Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Katrina Campins Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Inside the event, a silent auction was set up for attendees to bid on. Many sports memorabilia was showcased in the auction. Complimentary drinks and appetizers were offered from 8-11. There was also a live auction as well as a raffle drawing for prizes including: Las Vegas package including a 3 night stay at Ceasar’s Palace, dinner for two, golf at Rio Secco, and a limo to and from the airport; autographed memorabilia, gift certificates and more. The live auction featured 6 box seats to the Chicago Bulls with Greg Olsen, lunch with Randy Wells and much more.

Silent auction Photo: Shannon L. Novak

reg Olsen Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Silent auction Photo: Shannon L. Novak

At 8:30, everyone gathered near the stage to watch the performances. Matt Kennon and Grammy Award winner Darius Rucker were the 2 artists performing. Prior to the concert, Olsen introduced the event and also awarded 2 checks from the proceeds from last years events. $20,000 was awarded to Lynn Sage Cancer Research. “Thanks for helping us help the kids,” commented the representative accepting a $10,000 check for the Children’s Memorial Foundation.

Proceeds Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Proceeds Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Olsen then introduced Matt Kennon; “I’m sure you’ve heard ‘The Call’ on the radio and if you haven’t when you hear it tonight I’m sure you’ll be in love with it just like I was when I first heard it.” Kennon has been involved in music most of his life and in the late 2000’s, he self-released his own album. In 2009 Kennon signed to BamaJam Records and released his debut single, “The Call”. His self-titled debut album was released on May 11, 2010.

Matt Kennon Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Matt Kennon Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Darius Rucker was the next to perform. Rucker, who most can relate to through his success as the voice of Hootie and The Blowfish, is now a Grammy Award Winning Country Artist. “This is exactly where I needed to be in my career” he stated in an interview. Since he was young, he has always had a love for country music. How did he get involved in the Shake the Lake Music Festival? “They called me. It worked out well. If I can come to help out, I will be there,” Rucker stated. Among the songs Rucker sang throughout the evening, “I Only Want To Be With You” was a popular sing alongsong with the crowd. Currently on tour with Brad Paisley, you can expect to see another album out before Christmas.

Darius Rucker Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Red Carpet Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Darius Rucker Memorabilia Photo: Shannon L. Novak

There were many sponsors that helped to make the evening a success including: Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, AMGEN, Kilo Kai Spiced Rum, Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, Ketel One, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Hub 51, Motorola and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Specials Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Enjoying the music Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Compimentary drinks Photo: Shannon L. Novak

Receptions For Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation does a variety of events. Kicks for a Cure Kickball Tournament, benefiting Receptions For Research will be held in Grant Park on July 10, 2010. For more information, please visit For more information on the Foundation, please visit “We can beat this disease, we just need a team effort. Let’s not stop till we find a cure.”

A full house Photo: Shannon L. Novak

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