Friends of Goethe School holds their annual karaoke fundraiser, Headbangers Ball, on April 21 at Quencher’s Saloon. The proceeds go to Goethe Elementary, an elementary school in Logan Square that also provides pre-k daycare. (Note: Goethe is pronounced GUR-tuh).
The Friends of Goethe (FOGS, for short) are volunteers, mostly teachers and parents, who raise money for Goethe Elementary (2236 N. Rockwell St.). The small yet prestigious academy struggles to preserve its diverse culture in the face of gentrification and an ever-shrinking budget.
Fundraising events are an integral stream of revenue for Goethe Elementary, according to FOG members. “The only way for Goethe Elementary to survive is through community,” said Lindsay Semph, the group’s vice president. “And the way to sustain a city is through its schools.” Semph works in the education sector and lives in the Logan Square area. She works with FOGS in her spare time, like the other die-hard volunteers.
The impressive list of FOGS contributions to Goethe Elementary includes:
- providing Chrome notebooks for older students
- gardening programs that teach children about ecology and life sciences
- funding the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C.
- supplementing the building cost of Goethe Elementary’s updated self-sustaining playground, at a total cost of $1.2 million.
Every fundraising event involves karaoke, but each year, there’s a different theme. The 2016 event had a “High School Prom” theme, and the 2015 theme was “Punk Rock.” This year the “Headbanger’s Ball” theme got the most votes among FOGS members.
The Headbanger’s Ball is held at Quenchers Saloon (2401 N. Western Ave.). Earle Johnson, owner of Quenchers, is a parent of a graduated Goethe Elementary student and graciously hosts the fundraiser every year.
The event is a 21 and over, and tickets include appetizers, two drinks and entry into a raffle of prizes, donated by local businesses. The advance ticket is $20 online, $25 at the door. Attendees are invited to dress in their most heavy-metal attire. (As a metal head myself, I’ll use any occasion to wear my torn-up Metallica T-shirt in public.)