Last week we received the news that Karen Gerod, former owner of Swim Cafe, had lost her battle with cancer. Those of you who’ve known us for a while may remember that Swim Cafe was our first home. Karen welcomed us to her cafe, was an enthusiastic supporter of our show, and always had a kind word for us. When she got sick she stopped coming to the shows, and we didn’t know until several months in that something was wrong. In December we held a fundraiser with Martha Bayne of the Soup & Bread series to help offset Karen’s medical expenses, and shortly thereafter Swim Cafe closed its doors.
We had hoped – as so many did, that Karen would persevere; she’d planned to travel to Ireland and Italy with the money raised at the fundraiser. This Saturday, starting at 4pm, the Hideout is hosting a celebration of Karen’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Her obituary is listed in the Chicago Tribune.