December 6, 2009

Warm results, but no record, at 3rd Blank-fest

Ron Purtee with the result of this year's Blank-fest

Undoubtedly, some grinches will say this year's Blank-fest was a failure. After all, the third-annual collection of blankets for the homeless fell significantly shy of the number collected last year.

But the homeless who will soon receive the 78 blankets and 20 sleeping bags donated Saturday night at McAuliffe's Pub may have warmer feelings about the charity music event. The first Blank-fest brought in 70 blankets; last year the event topped out at 145.

Organizer Ron Purtee preferred to look on the bright side as three bands pumped out the music and he tried unsuccessfully (see photo above) to get his hands around all the blankets that will go to Love and Charity Mission and the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization shelter for the homeless.

Here's a write-up on the event from JJ McAuliffe, owner of McAuliffe's Pub:
Saturday's Third Annual Blankfest at McAuliffe's Pub was still a success even if numbers were down this year. Even with the numbers down, the event still managed to bring in 78 blankets and 20 sleeping bags. The addition of the sleeping bags is even more important because those will provide better protection to local homeless who are on the streets.

The event was put together three years ago my Racine native Ron Purtee and was modeled after a similar event in New York. Ron approached local club owner JJ McAuliffe about hosting the event at his Pub. The first years event was more successful then the original one held in New York. The first year collected a little under 80 blankets. Last years event brought in around 180 blankets. The addition of the great people who brought sleeping bags made this event a success even with the lower numbers. McAuliffe's also raised $165 at the door that went to The Love And Charity Mission. The Veterans Of America donated a $100 check also to The Love And Charity Mission.

In all 78 blankets and 20 sleeping bags with $265 in cash were raised. Live music was provided by Rest Of Yesterday (formerly Shameless Place), Madrid (from Milwaukee), and Thunder Driver (from Zion Il). In addition to the music organizer Ron Purtee performed his stand up comedy act to the crowd.

The blankets and the sleeping bags were distributed amongst both H.A.L.O. and The Love And Charity Mission.


  1. Ron should be thanked by the City for doing something to help.
    For what it's worth Thank You Ron.

  2. I believe Ron should get a BIG HUGE "thank you" from the city for doing something to help out the community. Now if there were MORE people like Ron in the world how much good would be done.

  3. SimplePrimate12/06/2009 11:59 PM

    A great event I was happy to support! Big ups Ron!

  4. Ron is the Mon! On behalf of someone who's helped out the homeless many times. Even though you didn't make a record. You should be acknowledged for providing another extension of GODS arms. You are a tool of GOD my friend.

  5. God bless Ron and all his friends!

  6. Good job, sir. Sorry I couldn't make it!

  7. Just so there's no confusion, blankets last year were donated after the event by people who could not make it, that's why one total says 180 and the other 145. With the kind donations after the Fest, we did reach the 180 mark. If anyone who missed the event this year would like to donate a blanket or better yet a sleeping bag. You can either drop them off at McAuliffe's Pub or better yet stop in at H.A.L.O. or The Love And Charity Mission and drop them off. Both shelters need supplies year round. They are also in need of items like food, toiletries, clothes, etc. Instead of that rummage sale this summer, think about donating to Love And Charity, or H.A.L.O.
    Thanks to everyone who donated.

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