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Save the Date 2012 Old
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The Season
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Black Tie International:
Step Up 4 Vets


Joffrey's Nutcracker Waltz of the Snowflakes

Joffrey's Nutcracker Waltz of the Snowflakes


Step Up 4 Vets Hosts Wounded Warriors at Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker Family Dinner


Founder Patricia Kennedy to Welcome 55 Vets & their Families for Performance & Party

December 15, 2012


Philanthropist and veterans activist, Patricia Kennedy,  founder of Step Up 4 Vets,  a not for profit organization whose mission is to partner in the transition of our returning  veterans as they readjust, redirect and rebuild their civilian lives,  will host a gala afternoon for 55 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families at the December 15 performance of the internationally acclaimed Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker" at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre followed by a fun and festive holiday family dinner at the Palmer house.


The exciting day will begin at 12 Noon with a private reception for veterans and their families hosted by Ms. Kennedy in the Lounge of the Auditorium Theatre. At 2 PM, guests will have the rare treat of viewing the world's most acclaimed production of "The Nutcracker" by the incomparable Joffrey Ballet. Featuring choreography Robert Joffrey & Gerald Arpino, score by Peter llyich Tchaikovsky and performed by The Chicago Philharmonic, the Joffrey's awe-inspiring Nutcracker that has captivated audiences for 25 years with brilliant costumes, larger than life scenery, entrancing storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s famous score.


At 3:45 Pm, following the performance, Trolleys will transport the families to the historic Palme House. While the adults enjoy cocktails in the State Ballroom while being entertained by holiday carolers, magicians and characters from The Nutcracker. The children will have the chance to participate in holiday themed Creation Stations including Marzipan Magic Tricks, Bubblegum Bead Station to make bracelets and necklaces, Candy Cane Creativity Station where children can decorate a wooden soldier, crown or pointe shoe with paint, glitter, feathers and rhinestones, Nutcracker Party Photo Booth where guests can take photos in front of the magical ‘Green Screen’ with Wes Cleaver Photography, Rock Candy Mani’s, Palmer House Pastries  where kids can decorate sweet treats with the Palmer House’s Pastry Chef Fabrice, Licorice Lego Station allowing guests to use Lego building blocks to create structures resembling all things Nutcracker and much more.


At 5:30 PM, guests will be ushered into the beautifully bedecked Grand Ballroom for a traditional family style holiday dinner.


For Ms. Kennedy, The Nutcracker Family Dinner is the continuation of a tradition begun several years ago when she purchased a viewing party for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and hosted dozens of veterans and their families for a balloon's eye view of the spectacular. This year, she is sharing her passion or dance with her veteran constituency recognizing the healing powers of the performing arts.


For over twenty years Patricia Kennedy has had a deep impact on the future of dance, especially in the ballet world as a great supporter of the Joffrey Ballet, and for the last decade, with Career Transitions for Dancers (CTFD) a not-for-profit organization that works one-on-one with dancers and helps identify their unique talents in preparation for developing post-dance careers.

Patricia Kennedy's relationship with CTFD gave her a unique perspective into the issues that affect those who have suffered career-ending injuries. The excellent work of CTFD served as both a model and a motivation. Patricia Kennedy witnessed the incredible success of a caring and effective, hands-on approach to helping those whose future prospects and career path were forever altered by traumatic injury


The success stories of CTFD inspired Patricia Kennedy to establish Step Up 4 Vets as a non-profit organization committed to assisting our returning veterans in the transition from active military service to civilian life.

Patricia Kennedy's efforts on behalf of our returning veterans focus on ameliorating the many problems they face upon returning home from battle. She believes it is a national tragedy that many of these true American heroes must contend with issues such as a homelessness, addiction, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and, that rather than honoring their sacrifice, we as a nation have either marginalized or forgotten those who have sacrificed so much for us. Patricia Kennedy wants to make a difference and she hopes that Step Up 4 Vets will be instrumental in giving our veterans the lives they deserve.


For more information please  visit   



joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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