Battle of Ad Bands will help send OTSC kids to camp

Action from 2014’s Battle for Hope

“It’s awesome
to use talents
outside of our agency
and help
an organization
like Off The Street Club.”

Nicole Stachura, AbelsonTaylor

The third annual Battle of the Advertising Bands, an interagency, multi-artist, live music concert and competition for the benefit of Off The Street Club, kicks off 6 p.m. Thursday night at The Cubby Bear.

Founded by DigitasLBi VP Sujal Patel and officially dubbed the “2015 Battle for Hope,” the event will include performances by six bands that will be judged according to audience response and a select panel of music industry insiders. Organizers anticipate hosting nearly 400 attendees and topping the $30,000 raised at last year’s gig, which was won by DigitasLBI’s “The Deliverables” in what Patel describes as “a close one.”

“Everybody who buys a ticket will literally have a hand in removing kids from the violence and the danger of West Garfield Park,” says OTSC executive director Ralph Campagna, who not only leads the organization today but also benefitted from its mission when he was a kid.

Every week throughout the summer, the proceeds from the event will help send 80 kids to Camp Mathieu, which is located next to a forest preserve in Wheaton and has been owned by OTSC since 1945. There, they will enjoy “horseback riding, campfires and star hikes,” says Campagna.

Campagna will appear at Thursday’s event “to talk about OTSC and remind everybody why we are here,” explains AbelsonTaylor director of communications Martina Gomez, who is handling PR responsibilities for the event.

“If you’ve ever talked to him, it just makes you want to cry and give him a hug,” she continues “Today’s kids are literally surrounded by fear: How could I not help?”

Bands on this year’s bill include: AbelsonTaylor’s “Hard to Swallow;” Cramer-Krasselt’s “The Angry PiCKles;” DigitasLBi’s “The Deliverables;” Energy BBDO’s “Logo Grande;” Jellyvision’s “Ryan and the DiGiorgis;” and Weber Shandwick’s “RFP.”

AT’s “Hard to Swallow” is rocking into the gig on a roll. Besides taking second place at last year’s event, the dance-oriented pop rock ensemble won 2013’s Pharmapalooza 6, a battle among health & wellness agencies held in New York City.

“Every day we are surrounded by very talented and creative people,” says H2S backup singer and AT Account Supervisor Nicole Stachura. “It’s awesome to find ways to use talents outside of our agency and help an organization like Off The Street Club.”

Among those who appreciate her efforts is the director and former Garfield Park resident himself. “I need not tell you what goes on on the West Side in the summer when things heat up,” says Campagna. “On that night, it’s so hopeful and joyful to come together and see that people got our backs, as the kids say.”

See for yourself on Thursday night by purchasing tickets here.

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