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Raffia Gifts "Shop for Claire" Night Thurs., July 14th-Local and National Singer, Songwriter and Vocal Teacher Margie Gibson & Students to Perform

Margie Gibson and Debbie Sigalos will be getting to know each other for the first time this coming week of July 11th, 2011. The two respective 'stars' of the Northwest area of Chicagoland and their individual industries, Gibson, 'a humble, yet, award-winning vocalist, performance, and songwriting champion in the national music industry', and the other Sigalos, 'a gift shop retail success maven, both are crossing paths with a group of women just trying to help a 28-year-old young woman, Claire Sharkey. Sharkey, a lifelong native of Park Ridge, has been sick for three years from her doctor's recently diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Gibson and Sigalos and Raffia's "Guest Merchants" are working together to try and sell enough summertime items which they hope will raise enough money and awareness about Claire Sharkey and her illness to help Sharkey try to regain her health so she may one day return to her life she knew and did so well, playing soccer, doing the Irish Jig, and figuring out if she wants to return to her original 'four-star performance ability' to possibly continue what she set out to do as an education major at DePaul Univessity in Chicago, to teach Junior High English and story writing, or to follow another path. Sigalos, Gibson and a few other 'lady entrepreneurs are inviting folks to encourage lots of possible customers to come to Park Ridge this Thursday, JUly 14th from 6-9 pm to visit Sigalos's Raffia Gifts new store location at 141 N. Northwest Highway, to enjoy hearing Gibson and her students sing and play violin, peruse some Marie Parie Boutique outfits, to try on some jewelry and trinkets, and to consider learning about a book and program by Author Janet Spiech.

Gibson has spent her life performing and teaching the art of singing and performance. She has opened shows for the likes of Mel Torme, Marvin Hamlisch, Danny Thomas, and toured extensively with Bob Hope. She is aso known in Park Ridge for her performances in Hodges Park and is a Maine South alumna herself, as is Sharkey, the lady these women are trying to help. "We're happy to help out on Thursday, the eveningd provides a venue for my students from Loyola, St. Ignatius and Mar, Seat of Wisdom Schools to perform and practice their talents and skills," said Gibson, "We hope lots of friends, family and folks will come and support this "Night for Claire".

Anyone interested in hearing Gibson and her students and enjoying all the Thursday "Shop for Claire" night offers on July 14th from 6-9 pm may call 847/825-7734 to RSVP for the evening or ask questions they may have about the nite, or e-mail to Debbie Sigalos at Raffia at

"We're hoping for lots of interested folks on Thursday nite so we can do the best for Claire Sharkey," said Sigalos. "It'll be wonderful to see and hear Margie Gibson and her students, we're so lucky and I hope plenty of folks will come and enjoy the music and evening too," Sigalos said with a smile.

Contact: Debbie Sigalos, 847/825-7734,

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