Celebrating 11 years of Chicago’s In Good Taste

2018 marks eleven years of the Chicago’s In Good Taste campaign, raising funds for innovative breast cancer research. Jim Lederer, the owner of Bluegrass in Highland Park, has participated in the program since its inception.

“The first year we participated, we only raised $500. I called to share the news, somewhat apologetically. The Lynn Sage Foundation’s response was ‘Oh my gosh, if every restaurant in Chicago sent us $500, how great do you think we’d feel?!’ When every amount, no matter how large or small, is appreciated that much, it really feels like we’re making a difference. If everyone did a little bit, it would be that much better.”

Jim recalls that, at the time, Breast Cancer Awareness Month wasn’t as robust as it is today. The momentum gained over the years has helped fuel community-wide participation.

“We receive many comments of thanks and gratitude for being part of this program. Guests recognize we’re here for the long run and make a point of giving back. We’re not just a place to eat, but part of the community. We get requests to help various groups all the time. We try to partner with organizations that are sustainable, well-organized and managed, and have a proven record of giving back.”

Bluegrass has come a long way since that first phone call, raising nearly $10,000 for the Lynn Sage Scholars. Because of the active participation of restaurants like Bluegrass, The Lynn Sage Foundation was able to expand the program in 2017 to fund three Scholars at Northwestern University and Rush Medical University.

While giving back to the community is a cornerstone value of his business, it’s not chance that Bluegrass partnered with The Lynn Sage Foundation. Jim lost his step-mother to breast cancer in 2008, the year Chicago’s In Good Taste began.

“I lost my first mom to MS and my second mom to breast cancer. I wanted to find a partner for Breast Cancer Awareness Month because who hasn’t been touched by this disease? Since my mom, I’ve known many. Time. Patience. Money. Age. None of those things matter to breast cancer. I’ve known quite a few who have been taken and now I have a way to give back.”

Eleven years in and over 200 restaurants have followed Bluegrass’ lead to give back through Chicago’s In Good Taste. Thank you to all our partners – and the patrons of those partners – for your commitment to the research that will redefine what it means to have breast cancer.