“Cubs fans helping Cubs fans”. That is the motto of Club 400. Sounds like a simple enough concept. But to make a simply beautiful idea actually happen takes dedicated people and tons of effort. And when it comes to putting in the hours and making a beautifully simple idea come to life, no one does it better than Club 400 and Stewart McVicar.
What started as a lifelong dream to build a fan cave showcasing his love of the Chicago Cubs, has transformed for Stewart and his family into a labor of love to help those in need in the Cubs fan community. Raising over $200,000 in his Lake in the Hills Home featuring Cubs A-list guests such as Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, and Tom Ricketts is no easy task. So when Stewart invited me to play a set of Cubs songs at Club 400’s Sandberg event to raise money for Die-Hard Cubs fan David Adams, who suffered a spinal cord injury last fall, I jumped at the opportunity.
My bass player Alzan and I didn’t know what to expect after our hour-plus trip from Chicago out to McHenry County, but as soon as we turned the corner into Club 400’s (Stewart’s house’s) subdivision I knew that this gig would be something special. We parked a few blocks away due to the plethora of cars adorned with Cubs bumper stickers lining the side of the winding suburban roads and walked towards where dozens of other fans in Cubs jerseys were walking: Stewart’s house!
But really, you should see what’s inside.
Don’t worry! I’ll show you more pics of Stewart’s fan cave collection in the gallery at the end of this article!
Check out what’s happening outside!
This was my only available angle because I was putting my guitar away behind the stage with help from the Modern Day Romeos. But pictured are Ryne Sandberg and David Adams listening to David’s wife Holly give a tearful address of appreciation and hope. The event raised over 20K for David and his family!
The A,B, and C of Club 400 is this. A: Fulfill your life long dream of building the most impressive Cubs fan cave/museum on the planet. B: Invite Tom Ricketts by slipping some photos of said fan cave/museum into his lectern notes at Cubs convention. C: When Tom Ricketts is intrigued and comes to see the fan cave/museum, invite everyone you know over to raise $30,000 for your friend Nick who needs a new prosthetic arm.
Voila! Club 400 was born!
And since 2014, the year of Club 400’s inception, Stewart McVicar has raised over $200,000 for good causes, throwing fun and lively parties complete with craft beer and delicious catered food, while featuring a who’s who of Cubs greats: Fergie Jenkins, Kerry Wood, Anthony Rizzo, Randy Hundley, Mark Grace and Tom Ricketts recently returned with the World Series Trophy in tow!
An event to which Stewart invited me and my girlfriend!
Talk about “If you build it they will come!”
Where else can you party in a backyard outside a fully-stocked Cubs fan cave with other fans, the teams owner, the anthem singer and have famous Cubs fan Dorothy jokingly ask to stick her tongue in your ear, while raising money for a Cubs fan in need? Only the open doors at Club 400 can provide an Cubs experience so uniquely inspiring.
It’s like being at the Cubs Convention, but in your friend’s backyard. Here’s a video of Tom Ricketts telling a story about the World Series parade, and Dave Kaplan giving a score update.
Through silent and live auctions of Cubs memorabilia, ticket sales, and donations Club 400 has become an official charitable organization and have a goal of raising over 1 million dollars for Cubs fans in need and I have no doubt that goal will be reached. And you can help them do it! The next event, “The Push to the Pennant Party” features Lee Smith on Friday, September 22 and you can still buy tickets here. Use the password: 84cubs.
Check out the video of an autographed World Series plaque going for some serious dough!
I can’t say enough of how impressed I am with what Stewart McVicar and Club 400 have created in three short years. His success in building a charitable bridge between players and fans is commendably generous. Stewart has opened up his home which has opened up the hearts of Cubs fans helping Cubs fans.
Personally, it’s inspiring, because I feel the same sense of community with our Cubs fan family. Club 400’s efforts motivate me to work hard to make my own Cubs charity event John Baker Day a success too. I’ve always felt that being a Cubs fan is an incredible gift, so we must give of ourselves and pay that gift forward. Stewart and I are brothers in arms in that philosophy, but no one does it with more swagger, style, and authenticity than Club 400 and Stewart McVicar.
So get involved! Check out Club 400’s site to read their story and find out about upcoming events. Or let Stewart McVicar about Club 400 tell you in his own words in my interview with him for The Son Ranto Show.
We are all so lucky to be Cubs fans. And I am lucky to know Stewart McVicar. I mean, what Cubs fan wouldn’t want a friend who throws kicking parties like this!