|The Foodless Banquet, Drake Hotel, Dec. 21, 1921|
The quicker a published mistake can be corrected, the better.
That might be an antique attitude, a musty journalistic convention that has outlived its utility in our online wordstorm, too much of which borders on pure hallucination.
A year ago I wrote about a novel fundraising campaign, the “Dinner-Less Dinner” of The Ark, a Chicago social service agency aiding poor Jews, bringing food to shut ins and such. That costs money, and by collecting money for a dinner that is never held, they do away with the bother and expense of renting a ballroom, warming up chicken fingers, pampering Chaka Khan. They send out a disc of chocolate and a donation card. Supporters get to eat chocolate and do not have to dress up, go downtown, and decide how much to bid on a basket of gourmet pasta and olive oil at the Silent Auction. Everybody wins.
Last year I asked where the idea came from; executive director Marc J. Swatez said:
“It goes back to the 1990s. We had a development director who saw an article about a New York charity that did it.”
That’s as wrong as a carnival owner saying they got the idea for a Ferris wheel from some ride manufacturer in New York 20 years ago. There’s a richer story, right here in Chicago, as the folks at the Spertus Museum were happy to inform me.
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