A few words from Chairman of the Board, Aaron Werner

“I was about a year out of a law school when I decided that it was time to make a serious commitment to start volunteering in the Chicago area. In the process of looking for a cause that I could rally around, I came across Open Heart Magic (OHM). Once I read the synopsis of what OHM does, I immediately pursued the opportunity to become a hospital magician. Luckily I made it through the interview stage and Magic University training and became an OHM volunteer magician in the fall of 2009 at Rush University Hospital.
Being an OHM hospital magician is a life changing experience. To see what children (and their families) go through at the hospital is something you have to see for yourself to believe. Young children often go days at a time without seeing their parents because they have to work jobs several hours away – meanwhile, these children sit in a sterile environment with wires attached to them wondering what is wrong with them. The hospital environment is scary for children, but OHM shines brightly in the lives of these children, providing entertaining therapy and engagement in an otherwise stressful and traumatic situation.
Moved by my experiences as an OHM hospital magician, I accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of Open Heart Magic in the summer of 2010. In December 2010, I was chosen to be the new Chairman of the OHM Board of Directors. Over the past year as Chairman, I have been fortunate to work with an extremely talented Board of Directors and Executive Director, Mike Walton, to make giants steps in expanding the reach and services provided by OHM. To list a few of our successes, we have been able to: (i) establish new hospital programs at Central DuPage Hospital and Northwest Community Hospital; (ii) establish the first office space for OHM, located at 300 West Adams in the Loop; (iii) hire our first two employees: a Business & Programs Manager and a Manager of Magic; (iv) create and launch the OHM Professionals Board; (v) add key members to the OHM Board of Directors; (vi) host our largest OHM Annual Benefit to date; (vii) enjoy great success with the second year of our Miles for Magic running team; and (viii) grow revenue to new levels to help bring more magic to more kids in more hospitals.
The magic performed by OHM hospital magicians has a profound impact on the lives of children in the Chicago area during extremely trying times. Whether it is entertaining children or teaching them magic after a performance, OHM connects with patients and their families on a very real level. It is this impact that inspires me each and every day. With everything that we have accomplished in the past year, along with all that we have set out to accomplish in 2012, I am excited to see what the future holds for OHM.”
OHM isn’t just a few people performing tricks for kids, we leave that up to cartoon rabbits. There are many people, like Aaron, working very hard behind the scenes to help grow the organization. We have lofty goals about the size and reach that we want Open Heart Magic to have, and we need people like you to help make that happen. Aaron began as a hospital magician and then decided he could do even more. Where will you begin? http://www.openheartmagic.org/get-involved/

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