Mercy Fest on tap
Summer block party in the West Loop
07/17/2012 6:00 AM
There’s a special neighborhood festival in the West Loop this Friday (July 20). It’s special because it benefits Mercy Home. The festival—deemed Mercy Fest—will be held behind the main building at Racine and Adams.
Mercy Fest is actually structured as two festivals: a family-friendly event with games, prizes and pony rides from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by an adult party (including beer, wine and music) from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
There’s a $10 per person donation (free admission to kids under age 12), but you won’t find a worthier cause to support. The Mercy Home has been around for a long time—Mercy Fest will help celebrate 125 years of continuous service. Mercy Home began as a classic orphanage to help accommodate a burgeoning homeless population. It now provides care and education to disadvantaged, abused, and neglected children. Mercy Home is funded solely by private donations.
Over time, Mercy has modified its mission and developed into a therapeutic model, said Mark Schmeltzer, director of communications.
“We help kids get through trauma,” Schmeltzer said. “The kids who come to us arrive through a variety of circumstances, but there’s usually abuse involved. They need safety and structure and assurance that they’ll be safe. That’s what we provide.
“There are a lot of things going on in these kids lives that make it hard for them to learn,” he said. “We help create an environment where they can learn, and as they get older, we help round them out, to help them develop the skills to get jobs, even down to creating resumes.”
So, stop by Mercy Fest on Friday. It's a great community resource.