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March 27, 2009

MAR 27: The REUNION FUNDRAISER at GIBSON SHOWROOM to Raise Funds For Patrick Chawki Medical Fund

Featured Event Listing by Don Rose

On March 27, 2009 a very special event called The REUNION, spearheaded by Laurie Green and produced by GoodGirls PR (the public relations firm she runs along with business partner Tracy Rubin), is taking place at the Gibson Showroom in Beverly Hills. Tickets are $75 at the door, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Patrick Chawki Medical Fund.

The story of Patrick Chawki may have had a very different ending if not for Laurie. The LA Times published a moving piece today about how her efforts have reconnected Patrick with long lost friends, baseball teammates and classmates (hence the Reunion title of tonight's benefit event). Ms. Green, a high school friend of Patrick's, discovered that he was living in a nursing home and had not died like his High School friends had thought. They had lost touch with Pat years ago, but now they find that he's been in a Canoga Park facility, unable to communicate. Hence, Laurie organized tonight's fundraiser to pay for therapy that she hopes will help Chawki walk and talk again. Here are the details:

The REUNION, March 27, 2009, 7-10 p.m. Gibson Musical Instruments Showroom: 9350 Civic Center Dr., Beverly Hills CA. $75 per person.

All are encouraged to attend the event tonight. Your admission includes food, libations, DJ, a stellar silent auction and more. Tickets are available at the door for $75, a portion of which will help raise funds for a very courageous man who battles tough odds every day.

Here is a message from Laurie Green about Pat and the event being held in his honor:

For those of you who are unaware of Pat’s very unique situation, he suffers from Locked-in-Syndrome, which essentially has him buried alive within his own body. A few weeks ago, I created a Facebook page for my very dear friend so that his sister Pam would be able to see her brother all the way from Lebanon, and so that many of you can learn about Pat’s situation. Eight years ago, many of us heard that Pat passed away, and it wasn’t until recently that we uncovered the shocking news that this was not the case, and that he is, in fact, still alive and still PAT!

In light of this discovery, we have moved the REUNION up a few months so that we can help get Pat the consistent level of medical assistance that he requires on a daily basis. A portion of the funds raised from the REUNION will aid Pat as he deals with his debilitating disease, and additionally, we will be hosting a silent auction with a wide array of wonderful items, also supporting Pat’s medical condition.

The REUNION will take place on the evening of Friday, March 27 at the Gibson Musical Instruments Showroom in Beverly Hills, CA 7-pm-10-pm. ... $75 at the door ... If you would like transportation to the event contact ECONATION, toll free 877-326-6286 ext.1 or visit www.econation.com. Mention code GOODGIRLS and 10% will go towards the Patrick Chawki Medical Fund!
Free parking in lot across street.

Thank YOU: Spanish Kitchen • The Belmont • Stone Fire Pizza • Pink Vodka • Pyramid Beer • Izze Sparkling Juice • Vitamin energy and DJ ADAM 12 from SHE WANTS REVENGE.


Finally, here is an excerpt from today's LA Times article about Laurie and Pat, by Bob Pool (entitled "Grant High classmates find a long-lost friend -- paralyzed"; bold highlights added):

Pat Chawki's classmates thought he was dead ... But when one Grant High School alum wrote to Chawki's sister to express her condolences, she learned that the popular former baseball star lay paralyzed and nearly forgotten in a Canoga Park nursing home.

Laurie Green discovered that for the last nine years, Chawki has suffered from a rare disorder that renders him fully cognitive, but unable to move or speak. Because he cannot talk or write, he was unable to tell his family how to reach his friends.

Green ... immediately went to the nursing home. She snapped pictures of the 41-year-old Chawki and posted them on Facebook, explaining to friends that their buddy was still very much alive -- and very lonely. Soon, a parade of former classmates was making regular trips to visit him.

On one visit, Green noticed that Chawki could move his thumb up and down. ... Green devised an alphabet poster that friends could use to help him communicate.

His old buddies were stunned to find that Chawki was not only alive but was alert and mentally active. With his thumb, he slowly used the poster to spell out: "I love you all."

Workers at the nursing home were puzzled when after all these years Chawki started having large numbers of visitors. "...I told them that everybody had thought Patrick was dead, that I hadn't known how to contact them," said his mother, 72-year-old Rose Chawki of Van Nuys. She takes the bus to visit her son three times a week and give him some physical therapy. Medicare and Medi-Cal pay for his nursing care but do not cover therapy.

That's why Green and her public relations business partner Tracy Rubin have organized a silent auction fundraiser for 7 p.m. today at the Gibson Musical Instruments Showroom at 9350 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills. Proceeds from the $75 per person event will be channeled through a nonprofit group the pair have created and used for professional therapy for Chawki...