Friday, May 15, 2015

Steam Dept. Benefit - June 28

Dave Calendine writes:
The Fifth Annual Steam Department Benefit at the Sanfilippo Estate will be held on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 1:00pm.  The event will feature a concert and silent film with live accompaniment in the Estate's Music Theater on the world's largest restored theatre pipe organ.  The original theater organ, a 1927 Wurlitzer from the Omaha Theater in Nebraska, has been expanded and now controls over 8,000 pipes, percussions and sound effects.
Two special raffle drawings will be held during the event this year.  The grand prize drawing will be for “throttle time” on 1630, the museum’s steam train.  The winner will be given time at the controls to run the historic steam engine on the museum’s main line, under the guidance of museum personnel.  The second place drawing will be for a cab ride on 1630.  The winner will be able to ride up front and watch how the engine is operated while riding on the museum’s main line.
The Sanfilippo Estate, nicknamed “Place de la Musique,” is a 44,000 square foot private residence filled with magnificent collections of beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world's largest theatre pipe organ, street and clock towers, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a breathtaking French Second Empire setting.  The Estate, owned by Jasper Sanfilippo, former CEO of the parent company of Fisher Nuts, hosts charities holding fundraisers through the Sanfilippo Foundation.
Doors will open at 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 28, at which time guests will be able to tour the residence and its collections.  The concert on the Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ will begin at 2:30 pm.  The artist will be Dave Calendine, house organist and organ curator at the famed Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.  This year’s organ concert will be completely by request from attendees.  A silent movie featuring Buster Keaton in “The Blacksmith” will also be presented with live accompaniment on the theatre pipe organ.  During intermission, there will be a 50/50 drawing, door prizes, and the raffles for a cab ride and “throttle time” on 1630.  In addition, brochures from the Estate will be available for purchase, with 50% of the proceeds being donated to the IRM.  After the concert, the doors to the Carousel House will be open, with many of the large European fairground organs being played.  The Eden Palais Salon Carousel will be available for rides, and the steam engine building will be open for viewing. 
Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $69.99 per person.  No tickets will be available at the door.  Proceeds will benefit the Illinois Railway Museum Steam Department.  Directions to the Private Estate will be included with your tickets, which will be mailed in mid June.  The Estate is about 45 minutes from Downtown Chicago.
IRM is a not-for-profit, educational corporation that was organized in 1953.  The mission of the Illinois Railway Museum is to demonstrate the vital role railroads have played in the growth of the Chicago area as well as the United States through the preservation and operation of railroad and mass transit rolling stock in a realistic setting.  The museum is supported primarily by contributions and revenues derived from the visiting public and run mainly by volunteers.
For more information about the Steam Department Benefit Concert or the Illinois Railway Museum, or to purchase tickets, please visit or call the Museum office at (815) 923-4391.

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