Thursday, November 21, 2013
Sourcebooks and Make-A-Wish® Illinois Team Up to Make Eighth-Grade Girl’s Dream Come True
13-Year-Old Plainfield Girl Battling Cystic Fibrosis Will Publish a Children’s Book
Ravina Thakkar, an eighth-grader at Heritage Grove Middle School in Plainfield, IL, loves to dance, listen to music, and write stories. She excels in school and dreams of being a published author someday. But that someday is here, thanks to the help and dedication of her social worker, her wish granters at Make-A-Wish® Illinois, and Naperville-based book publisher Sourcebooks.
Ravina has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening medical condition affecting both her lungs and digestive system. Ravina’s disease has not defined her, and more importantly, has not stopped her from pursuing her dreams. She was 11 when she won first place in the 2011 Plainfield Great Read writing contest for her short story, “A Magical Thing.” Referred to Make-A-Wish® Illinois by her hospital social worker, she was then connected with Sourcebooks, and in the two years since, Ravina and her family have seen her dream become a reality.
Through Sourcebooks, Ravina has experienced everything a published author does, such as working with editors and designers to revise the manuscript and the design of the jacket art. On Dec. 3, Ravina’s completed book, a middle-grade novel titled The Adventure of a Lifetime, a story she wrote when she was only 8-years-old, will be released in trade paperback—right on time for her 14th birthday on Dec 4. Ravina’s experience will be rounded out with a complete marketing and publicity campaign and a book signing at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m.
The Adventure of a Lifetime tells the story of Betty, a 9-year-old girl who thinks her life is pretty boring until she finds herself fighting battles alongside a fearless character from her favorite fiction series. As they race from one danger to the next, Betty learns that being a sidekick is no piece of cake and that being an action hero comes at a cost. Will Betty ever be able to return to her old life? Written for 9–12 year olds, The Adventure of a Lifetime will be available for purchase wherever books are sold.
And like the characters in her story, Ravina’s life will never be the same.
Sourcebooks is creating the next evolution of a book publishing company. We are committed to innovative publishing, to exploring every platform, and to creating breakthrough models. We truly believe that books have the power to touch people and change lives. Sourcebooks is home to 120 enthusiastic book-loving employees who are dedicated to finding new ways to connect with authors, readers, and ideas. We publish over 300 new titles each year, and are honored to have 42 New York Times bestsellers. Sourcebooks is proud to be one of the largest woman-owned book publishers in the country. Visit sourcebooks.comfor more information, and check out the Sourcebooks blog.
About Make-A-Wish® Illinois
Since 1985, Make-A-Wish Illinois has granted more than 11,000 wishes to children across the state with the support of 1,400 volunteers and numerous donors and other supporters. Make-A-Wish® Illinois grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength, and joy.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.
Could You Be Serving Up A Lawsuit with That Turkey Dinner?
Who is liable if a guest gets food poisoning or drives home drunk?
As millions of Americans host and attend Thanksgiving dinners across the street or across the country, many may be unaware of the risks. According to Trusted Choice® and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting others into their homes and serving food and drinks.
“All hosts should be aware that if someone drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food at a holiday party, the host could actually be liable,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “In fact, a casserole could bring just as many risks as a cocktail. Before hosting a party this holiday season, you may want to consult with a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent and ask questions.”
A 2012 survey by Trusted Choice® and IIABA found that almost three-fourths of homeowners had served food in their home that was prepared by someone other than themselves. That means more than 111 million homeowners in the United States have put themselves at risk for a lawsuit by just feeding their guests.
The Big “I” and Trusted Choice® provide the following tips for holiday hosts and guests.
Watch What You Eat and Feed Others: Even if food was prepared outside your home by a caterer, another guest, a local deli or the neighborhood pizza joint, YOU could be held liable if someone becomes ill from consuming it on your property. Make sure that you check food and don’t put anything out that you suspect may be undercooked, spoiled or contaminated. Use only reputable food purveyors. Follow proper food-handling, heating/cooling and storage recommendations. When in doubt, throw it out.
Mix up the Activities, not just the Cocktails: If the party centers on drinking, guests will likely drink more. Schedule entertainment or activities that do not involve alcohol. Provide safe filling food for guests and alternative non-alcoholic beverages. Know who the designated drivers are ahead of time.
Party Elsewhere: Host your party at a restaurant or bar that has a liquor license, rather in a home or office to decrease your liability.
Call a Cab, Get a Room or Have a Slumber Party: Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who cannot or should not drive home.
Just Say No: Do not serve guests who are visibly intoxicated. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party is scheduled to end. Stay alert and always remember your responsibilities as a host. You might also consider hiring an off-duty police officer or professional bouncer to discreetly monitor guests’ sobriety or handle any alcohol-related problems as guests leave.
Do Your Homework: When hosting a holiday party, individuals should look to the liability portion of their homeowners or renters insurance policy to protect them if they are sued and found liable for an accident involving a guest who drank or got sick after consuming food at their home. Consumers should regularly review their liability coverage limits to ensure they are adequately covered should an accident or illness occur.
Know Your State Laws and Statutes: In many states, party hosts can be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident. Many courts have found hosts liable for damages their party guests cause as a result of consuming alcohol and then driving motor vehicles. Many states have also enacted statutes that can be interpreted as mandating non-commercial social host liability. So, if a guest or third party is injured in an accident that is related to alcohol consumption and the drinking can be linked to you, you could be held responsible for the payment of medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work and — in the worst case — claims for wrongful death resulting in huge monetary settlements.
Consider an Umbrella Policy: While holiday partygoers and hosts alike should act responsibly and know their limits, consumers need to acknowledge that most risks cannot be entirely eliminated. But planning ahead and learning about what’s involved in hosting a reception is the best defense. Purchasing a personal “umbrella” liability policy — providing $1 million or more in additional coverage over the limit of a standard homeowners or renters policy — may be a prudent move for the frequent party host.
“Thanksgiving dinner or even a neighborhood holiday potluck could have disastrous results for the host if someone is stricken with food-poisoning,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president for education and research. “Whether the food served came from your kitchen, a five-star caterer or a pizza delivery truck, if you serve it, you could be liable if anyone gets sick.”
The survey was conducted for Trusted Choice® via telephone by International Communications Research (ICR), an independent research company in Media, Pa. Interviews of a nationally representative sample of 760 homeowners were conducted in November and December 2012. More information about ICR can be obtained at http://www.icrsurvey.com.
Trusted Choice® agencies are insurance and financial services firms. They represent multiple insurance companies, offering individuals and business owners a variety of coverage choices, customized insurance plans to meet specialized needs as well as advocacy support. These firms adhere to a pledge of performance, committing them to providing excellent customer service. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com
CASTING CALL: Upcoming Chicago-Based talk show seeks extras!
"Chicago At Night" is an informative and entertaining talk show about what is happening on the Chicago scene, with a comedic circus atmosphere, featuring a wide variety of entertainers, and promoting regional talent.
Casting call registration will be held Sunday, November 24th, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm at:
The Chicago Actors Studio
2040 N. Elston Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
Bring a headshot or recent snapshot.
Attending this casting call will give you a chance to meet with the producers of the show.
If you are unable to attend, you may also drop off your photo and information at the address listed above onMonday-Thursday 1:30pm-9:00pm Fridays 1:30pm-6:00pm Saturdays 1:30pm-5:00pm
If you cannot come in person, you may also register electronically. To do so, send an Email to ChicagoAtNightCasting@Gmail.com with the subject line "Extras Casting." Please include a headshot or recent snapshot, under 1MB in size, in Jpeg format, and the following information:
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Lights the Way for Water Tower Place Shoppers to Win More Than $25,000 in Holiday Sweepstakes Prizes (Chicago)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Lights the Way for Water Tower Place Shoppers to Win More Than $25,000 in Holiday Sweepstakes Prizes
(CHICAGO), November 15`, 2013 – Santa’s most iconic and beloved reindeer, Rudolph, is starring in Water Tower Place’s interactive sweepstakes, Reindeer Games, to give away more than $25,000 in prizes this holiday season. From November 28 to December 24, shoppers can visit the Water Tower Place website, Facebook page or mobile site for a chance to win a dazzling prize each day.
Shoppers are encouraged to play along as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his trusted eight reindeer friends unveil a new prize every three days throughout the sweepstakes. This fun and engaging game brings to life some of the most endearing holiday characters, while celebrating the excitement of the season. Must-have prizes from our reindeer friends include:
Nov. 28-30 Dasher Bose VideoWave III Entertainment System
Dec. 1-3 Dancer Family Package of Mongoose Bike and Helmets
Dec. 4-6 Prancer Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR Camera with Deluxe Accessory Kit
Dec. 7-9 Vixen Two Microsoft Xbox One Systems
Dec. 10-12 Comet Four Spa Finder Cards Valued at $500 Each
Dec. 13-15 Cupid Two Vacations to Hotel Riu Cancun Courtesy of Apple Vacations
Dec. 16-18 Donner $2,500 Shop Etc. Gift Card
Dec. 19-21 Blitzen Tanque Verde Ranch Experience
Dec. 22-24 Rudolph Apple iPad
Winners will be drawn from all entries received nationally and will be notified at the end of each prize period. To find out more about the sweepstakes, including the official rules, visit the Water Tower Place Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShopWaterTower, or join the Water Tower Place loyalty program, The Club, which is free and easy to join.
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About Water Tower Place
Water Tower Place is owned and managed by General Growth Properties, a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing and developing high quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP’s portfolio is comprised of 122 high-quality retail properties in the United States comprising approximately 126 million square feet. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.