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New house for Ronald McDonald charities

Brandwill introduce Harry “KC” Casey (left) KC Sunshine Bgala.

Brandon will introduce Harry “KC” Casey (left) of KC and the Sunshine Band at the gala.

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◆ 6 p.m. Saturday

◆ Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence

◆ $450

◆; (630) 623-5300


Updated: June 13, 2012 5:21PM

On Saturday, get ready to (shake, shake, shake) shake your booty with KC and the Sunshine Band at the Aragon Ballroom for the eighth annual Big Mac Under Glass gala, benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

This year, the charities celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first Chicagoland Ronald McDonald House and, on June 26, the grand opening of the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. At 100,000 square feet, including 86 private guest rooms, the house will serve as a “home away from home” for families of hospitalized children receiving treatment at both the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

The co-chairs of this year’s fund-raiser include Sheila Musolino, McDonald’s vice president of U.S. supply chain, and Paul Huebener, vice president of Griffith Laboratories, and the evening will be emceed by Lou Canellis of Fox Sports. Guests will dance the night away to KC and the Sunshine Band and enjoy a late-night snack of McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Food for Thought will provide a sumptuous meal, and guests will compete for auction items including a trip to the 2012 ESPY Awards and a rooftop party at the new Ronald McDonald House.

Cause & Event connected with Harry “KC” Casey, who has visited several Ronald McDonald Houses in Chicago and around the world.

Q. What inspired you to learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities?

A. I visited a Ronald McDonald House in Amsterdam and, when I was asked to perform at this one in Chicago, I wanted to know about the Ronald McDonald House in the United States. I feel that it is important to help each other. Especially in a charity event, I have to believe and know what they are about, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities helps families at a time when they need the kindness of others.

Q. What was it like visiting the house in Chicago?

A. Meeting the kids and their families was, for me, humbling. I am amazed at the strength and dedication of the staff and inspired by everyone I met while there.

Q. Why should people come out to Big Mac Under Glass and support the cause?

A. Events like Big Mac Under Glass are important and needed to sustain the current Ronald McDonald Houses. Ronald McDonald House depends on the support of each and every person in the Chicagoland community to make this happen. I think people are under the assumption that McDonald’s supports the Ronald McDonald Houses by funding them 100 percent. However, Ronald McDonald House depends on the community to offer talent, time and donations.

Q. What are some of the highlights of your set list for the night?

A. The entire show is a highlight — it’s filled with all the hits and then some. Guaranteed to bring up some wonderful memories and create some new ones. Come and sing along, dance in the aisles and have the best time of your life. And that’s the way I like it.

The Sun-Times is a media sponsor of the event.

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