The Jackie's Magic benefit show will be presented for the 10th consecutive year Saturday, Oct. 19, at Warren Township High School's O'Plaine Road campus in Gurnee.
When Gurnee resident Jim Stanislawski staged his first charity magic show in 2004, all he wanted to do was honor his late-daughter, Jackie, and her giving spirit. Since its inception, the annual Jackie's Magic shows have collected thousands of pounds of canned food for local pantries, as well as money for other community organizations.
Doors open to the auditorium at the freshmen-sophomore campus, 500 N. O'Plaine Road, at 5:45 p.m. with close-up performers, balloon artists and games for the kids. Raffles with items and services from local business will be held, followed by the evening illusion show at 7 p.m.
In appreciation for the donations of nonperishable food items or cash donations, visitors will be treated to a 90-minute show featuring magicians Mark and Sue Holstein, Bill Cook, Joe Diamond, Big Bob Coleman, Trent James, Chezaday, Trent Rivas, Jimmy Stanislawski and Jackie's father, Jim.
"We are in awe at the amount of help we have received from the magic community with regards to this event," Jim Stanislawski said. "It is to the point where we now get more performers offering to help than we have time available in the shows. This shows how close our magic community really is."
All food and monetary donations at the door will benefit the Warren Township Food Pantry. All donations from the raffles will benefit a program that provides services for Warren High's special-needs students.
A student at the College of Lake County, Jackie Stanislawski was killed in a car accident in December 2003. At the time, she had been collecting bags of food for a charity drive, and her parents were surprised to find the goods in the trunk of her car.
The discovery prompted Jim Stanislawski, who's performed magic professionally for more than 25 years, to hold the first Jackie's Magic event as a way to continue the work she'd been doing.
Instead of paying an admission fee, people must simply donate canned food to enjoy the entertainment, which features multiple magicians each year.
The inaugural show drew 300 people and yielded 400 pounds of donated food. Within a few years, the audience had more than doubled and the donated food could be measured in tons.