CHICAGO, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercy Home for Boys & Girls invites the public to be part of a solution for kids in crisis this March while celebrating all things Irish. Throughout this month, its annual "Shamrocks for Kids" program will feature family-friendly, Irish-themed activities and events while raising funds and awareness that help abused, neglected and at-risk children.
"Shamrocks for Kids" is named for Mercy Home's distinctive green shamrock lapel pin and ribbon. As they do every March, volunteers will hit the streets, distributing shamrock pins for donations to Mercy Home at Chicago-area St. Patrick's Day parades and celebrations, including:
- Saturday, March 5—Forest Park St. Patrick's Day Parade
- Friday, March 11—Select downtown Chicago locations
- Saturday, March 12—Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade
- Sunday, March 13—Northwest Side Irish Parade
Mercy Home needs volunteers to help collect donations for Mercy Home Shamrocks. Anyone interested in helping kids by being a Mercy Home Shamrock pin volunteer can visit www.mercyhome.org. Attendees at these events can help kids in crisis by making a donation to Mercy Home and wearing their shamrock pin.
Mercy Home is even offering one lucky group of family and friends the opportunity to ride with them in Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade. The "Show Us Your Shamrock Smile" contest, which runs February 23 – March 8, asks entrants to visit Mercy Home's Facebook page (facebook.com/mercyhome), to upload a picture with their best Shamrock Smile, and answer the question, "What makes you smile on St. Patrick's Day?" Participants will use the power of liking and sharing on the social networking site to garner the most votes. The winner will be announced March 8 and will then have the opportunity to bring up to 14 other family members or friends on the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade float.
Following Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 12, Mercy Home will gather with friends and family at the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue for Mercy Home's 16th annual Shamrocks for Kids Post Parade Celebration. Guests will enjoy a traditional Irish hot corned beef buffet, Leprechaun Lunches for the kids courtesy of Blue Plate Catering, Pepsi products, Goose Island Ales, and fine wines courtesy of Kinzie Chop House. Live music will be provided by Dyed in the Wool, the Narrowbacks, Sean Cleland & Friends, and Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band. Irish dance performances will feature The Trinity Irish Academy of Dance, The Mullane Healy Godley Irish Dance Academy, and The World Academy of Irish Dance.
The party kicks off at 1:00 pm at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. General admission is $50, teenagers are $25 and children under 12 are admitted free. Proceeds from the event support Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. For more information or to buy tickets, call (312) 738-8330 or visit www.mercyhome.org.
Mercy Home Shamrocks will also be available at O'Brien's Restaurant on Wells St. in Old Town during its "Month O' Mercy" celebration, which runs through St. Patrick's Day, March 17. Tickets for O'Brien's 15th St. Patrick's Day Raffle benefitting Mercy Home will also be available at the restaurant or online at www.mercyhome.org. Grand prize is round-trip main cabin air transportation for two from Chicago to Dublin, Ireland or London, England, courtesy of American Airlines. Cash prizes are also available. The winning tickets will be drawn on March 17 at the restaurant. See www.mercyhome.org for rules and regulations.
Shoppers at Jewel-Osco stores can support Mercy Home simply by purchasing Kellogg's Frosted Flakes and Special K cereals, and Diana's Bananas Banana Babies. From March 1 through March 31, a donation from each sale of any of these items at participating Jewel-Osco stores will be made directly to Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.
Chicagoans can also support "Shamrocks for Kids" from the comfort of their own cell phones. Adults who text "MACYS" to 69866 will be entered for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree with a personal shopper at Macy's on State Street. Macy's will donate $1 to Mercy Home for each text up to $15,000. The contest runs through April 11.
Look for ABC-7 Chicago's lead news anchor Kathy Brock to appear in public service announcements asking Chicagoans to wear "Shamrocks for Kids" in March. And tune in to America's Country Station, US99.5 for more information about the campaign.
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. Its residential, aftercare, and mentoring programs provide a safe home, emotional healing, education, and life-changing opportunities for more than 600 young people every year. Please visit www.mercyhome.org to learn more.
SOURCE Mercy Home for Boys & Girls