Seventh and Final Rock the House: A million reasons to mingle, dance and donate
In 2010, McDonald’s Owner Operators John De Carrier and Nick Karavites were part of a committee charged with raising $50,000 to sponsor a bedroom at our Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s. “We were both on the steering committee for the Capital Campaign,” explains John. “We needed to find donors and we knew we wanted to do something different.” Combining their passion for music with their passion for the Charity, John and Nick came up with an idea that would bring a large number of people together who wanted to have fun and know their donation was going to a great cause. Within six weeks, the two conceptualized the entire event, sketched out every detail and put together the first annual Rock the House event to the tune of $85,000.
“Our families have been friends for a long time,” Nick says. “I’m on the Board and John’s wife, Carmen, is a Board Member. We have a mutual admiration for the Charity and share a common interest in music.” The result – a wildly successful party where people are able to let their hair down, have a good time and make a difference.
After the first Rock the House, the two music lovers upped the ante and decided to raise even more money in year two to sponsor a family den at the House. The event again was a record-breaker, raising more than $125,000. Fast forward to 2016, which marks the seventh and final year because, if all goes as planned this November, over $1 million will have been raised by Rock the House and an entire floor at the House will have been sponsored.
“Every year got a little bigger and a little better,” Nick recalls. “That first year is somewhat nostalgic now because, when I think back, we didn’t have any idea what we were doing. I really don’t know how we got it done, but we did.” Yet, that first year set the standard and provided a foundation upon which to build. Each year, the event introduced a new element to make it new and more exciting.
Neither John nor Nick ever dreamed the event would be as successful as it has been. “A million dollars? Never did we think we’d hit that type of goal,” they both say. “We just imagined a night for people to dance, network and donate. We wanted to throw a great party, with great music and great people for a great cause.”
While the 2016 event will be the final Rock the House in its current format, John and Nick feel there is always a possibility for future events. “This year is the end because we have met our committed donation and that was the goal,” Nick says. So many people have this event on their calendars as a must-attend every year. John agrees, “I just know that as soon as we wrap up the final, people will ask about another Rock the House.” Who knows, they may just take that request. Don’t miss your last opportunity to see these two guys Rock the House while helping to keep families together at Ronald McDonald House!