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Free Lunch Academy Prepares to Host Inaugural Brunch For A Cause Fundraiser

12/5/2018, noon | Updated on 12/5/2018, noon

Free Lunch Academy Prepares to Host Inaugural Brunch For A Cause Fundraiser

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

The Free Lunch Academy, a performance arts outreach program based in Chicago, is preparing to host their first ever Brunch For A Cause fundraiser. The event will be held on Dec. 30 at Latinicity, 108 N. State St., in downtown

Chicago and will feature all-you-can-eat brunch, bottomless brunch beverages, live entertainment, photos, games, and gift bags.

The Free Lunch Academy was founded by Calvin King, a self-proclaimed class clown, in 2014. His idea was to create an arts outreach program that could connect with kids in schools as a way to prevent drama and bullying and to help the students heal from the trauma they have already experienced.

“Free Lunch Academy uses creative and performing arts to mitigate the occurrence of violence, decrease and diminish bullying, and also help resolve conflict in and around school communities,” said King.

“Essentially we use drama to prevent drama and help heal trauma in the communities we serve around the Chicagoland area. We do that in the form of live performance, workshops, in and out of school programming, and special events that are all community focused and youth-centered.”

The upcoming Brunch For A Cause will benefit Free Lunch Academy’s programming which includes their original traveling stage performance, Be a Buddy Not A Bully, various student workshops, and workshops for parents and educators.

“This is an exciting event for us because in the four years of our existence, we have never had an official annual fundraising initiative which Brunch For A Cause will serve as. It’s going to be an amazing event with amazing people and some amazing collaborations with the organizations that are partnering with us. It’s just as the title states, it’s a brunch for a cause. Brunch is the new wave in Chicago and across the nation and it’s always good to come

together with friends and family and loved ones to break bread and have fellowship and to be able to support a good cause while doing it,” said King.

Free Lunch Academy’s cornerstone is Be A Buddy Not A Bully which is an original multimedia stage performance that focuses on anti-bullying techniques and provides inspiration for students.

King said that he “was the class clown growing up,” and looking back, he now realizes that some of the jokes he would make might have had a negative effect on some of his peers.

“Now that I’m a father and I’m in education and have traveled to various parts of the world, I’ve seen that one common thing is that we have all had to deal with bullying at some point of our lives. I’m trying to create a way to empower our young people and encourage them to be a buddy and not a bully,” said King.

To learn more and purchase a ticket to Brunch For A Cause visit freelunchacademy.com.