Are you ready to boogie? Get down?
Get groovy for a great cause?

Introducing Jess Fest, a variety show fundraising event benefitting The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. For one night only Chicago's top talent came together for an incredible evening of drinks, dancing and fun to raise awareness for Parkinson's Disease (PD), a disease that affects nearly 6 million people worldwide.

Jess Fest's inaugural theme honored the 1970's with performances reminiscent of the decade and costumes to match! Local vendors, delicious food, and an amazing show are only the beginning of what Jess Fest had to offer:

- Variety Show featuring top Chicago performers
- Delicious Food and Cocktails
- Silent Auction and Raffle
- Local vendors selling one-of-a-kind goods
- Costume Contest, photo booth, live DJ and more!

Jess Fest was held on August 16th in Chicago, with 100% of ticket sale revenue donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.  

The reason behind those bellbottoms…

Jess with brother Artie, mom Eileen, and sister Rebecca.

Jess with brother Artie, mom Eileen, and sister Rebecca.

a note from our founder, jess

“Any milestone in life is a reason to reflect and see circumstances that have brought us to the lives we are living now. This year my mom, Eileen Gisin, turned 70. 70 years old! That's a long time to live on this earth. And when she was a few years younger than the age I am now, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. It started in her right arm and stayed there for years. You might not have even known she had the disease. But while time heals everything, it also reveals everything and as the years progressed we began to notice the changes, small shakes and hours of stiffness. She started to have trouble getting in and out of the car. There's the difficulty with mobility and the subtle changes in her emotional demeanor, a lack of confidence in herself as her body betrays her commands to move. When you are a kid and your parent is given a medical diagnosis that will alter the trajectory of their life, you don't really understand the full implication of what that means. I'm not sure I understand it even now. I do know that Parkinson's is a long term visitor that does not understand what it means to overstay your welcome. It is with you forever. My mom is what many doctors have called a model patient. Her disease has progressed super slowly which is something we thank God for every day. But it is still progressing. We'd like it to stop.

Jess Fest 2019 is a themed variety show followed by a dance party for our donors to enjoy while giving to a good cause. The name "Jess Fest" started as a joke we were throwing around in the office but became something serious when we decided to produce the show for a good cause. It seemed a no brainer to dedicate this show and the funds we will raise to Parkinson's research in honor of my mom. We already got her an iPad, a fundraiser is the next best thing, right? We chose a 1970's theme because my mom turned 70, I was born in the 70's, and we knew we could have a great hour of dancing with some sweet 70's music. We also thought it would be a great way to have everyone involved by dressing for the era and in a sense being part of the show.

All of the proceeds from the event and the silent auction will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Our research into different foundations kept leading us back to this one and since we love the Back to the Future movies it seemed like a sign. 88 cents of every dollar goes towards research; that's an amazing contribution and something we can definitely get behind.

We hope you will want to be a part of this groovy night of giving back. My mom and I can't wait to see you there.”

~ Jess Needham


See The Show

Ready to Help?