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David Lissner
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Health crisis fundraiser planned at North Center eatery

Carol Wallack and Jason Skorup

Sola restaurant owner Carol Wallack and her employee, Jason Skorup, who isn\’t covered by health insurance.

The health-care crisis hit home at Sola restaurant in North Center this spring when long-time employee Jason Skorup contracted a lung infection requiring surgery. At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26, Chef Carol Wallack, owner of Sola,
will host a fundraiser, “Store Up for Skorup,” to help cover Skorup’s medical bills.

Like many restaurant workers, Skorup has no health insurance. Some 89.7 percent of U.S. restaurant employees don’t have employer-provided health insurance and 87.7 percent lack paid sick days, according to recent reports from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. A 2010 survey found that 90.5 percent of local restaurant staffers lack employee-sponsored health coverage and 53.4 percent have none at all. More than 96 percent don’t get paid sick days, which means that almost 76 percent of Chicago foodservice workers reported working while sick.

The Skorup fundraiser will feature grilling and drinks on Sola’s patio, with such libations as “The Big Guy” (a tall cool cocktail of bourbon, cranberry, lime and a dash of sugar), a silent auction including an array of top Chicago restaurant gift certificates, and a kissing booth.

There’s no cover for the event, but all proceeds from food and drink sales will go toward Skorup’s medical expenses.