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SEVEN, Keys 4/4 Kids & The Ellen Project bring hope, art & music to America's sick children

Downtown Mpls’ black & white-themed Cocktail Party fundraiser to dazzle guests with sushi, steaks & piano concert

Minneapolis, Minnesota (August 6, 2013) – What does it take to donate 88 pianos* to 88 hospitals in Minnesota and around the country, giving hundreds of sick children a healthy dose of hope, art and music? Head downtown to join the coolest crowd with the warmest hearts at SEVEN’s Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar with Keys 4/4 Kids and The Ellen Project (Not “Ellen” as in the comedian) on Friday, August 23rd.

The Ellen Project Release Party, a stylish, black and white-themed cocktail party and dinner fundraiser, will feature SEVEN’s world-class steak, pasta and fresh sushi menu. After dinner, guests can enjoy a concert by local singer Bjorn Briel and renowned Minnesota pianist Don Irwin, who started touring with Willie Nelson when he was 14, and has entertained audiences all over the world. As an event highlight, Irwin will be tickling the ivories of a grand piano designed by Minnesota artist and portrait painter Anthony Welihan, whose commissions include the NFL, Super Bowl, Nascar, Disney and many celebrities in film, music and theatre.

Why raise money for pianos for children battling diseases like cancer? “We’ve seen that bringing pianos and music into hospitals and even into the hospital rooms of these kids who are sick, gives hope to people, helps them feel good about their situation and their future,” said Keys 4/4 Kids Founder and Executive Director Newell Hill. “Without the help of others, we can’t bring smiles and healing to these hurting children here and across the nation.” It’s called The Ellen Project and Hill says the August 23rd fundraiser celebrates the release of a new heartwarming video outlining Keys 4/4 Kid’s efforts.

“The Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar, part of SEVEN’S 3-level premier dining and entertainment facility, is the perfect destination to bring the community together for this wonderful cause,” said David Koch, Seven’s Chief Manager. “It’s a special evening for us, for a special reason and we hope to see Twin Citians open their hearts to these kids.”

The Ellen Project was inspired by two young girls, 10-year-old Ellen and her sister Molly, who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six. Keys 4/4 Kids brought a piano to the hospital for the sisters to paint together and The Ellen Project was born. Watch the new video of the girls’ story and see the joys The Ellen Project can bring by clicking here:

Tickets: Tickets for The Ellen Project’s “Release Party” are $88, which includes a custom-crafted event cocktail, generous assortment of fresh sushi, signature steak and pasta dishes served at food stations all evening, and a piano concert. Dress code for guests is cocktail casual, black or white with a splash of color. All proceeds from ticket sales, silent auction and donations will benefit The Ellen Project.

• When: Friday, August 23rd, 6:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. cocktails, food stations & concert

• Where: SEVEN Sushi Ultralounge, 700 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.

(*There are 88 keys on a standard piano.)

About Keys 4/4 Kids

Keys 4/4 Kids is a non-profit organization located in St. Paul whose mission is to inspire young people to believe in themselves through the arts. The organization achieves its mission by helping to fund music education programs through the sale of donated pianos. Keys 4/4 Kids grew out of a need to provide sustainable, long-term funding to educational programs in arts and music. Newell Hill, Keys’ Executive Director, began an after-school music and arts program in North Minneapolis known as MUSE to fill a gap in music and arts education created by budget cuts. In order to help fund MUSE, Hill began selling donated pianos in 2000. Although the MUSE program no longer exists today, Keys 4/4 Kids continues to flourish, serving not only the need for funding in music and arts education programs, but also creating a recycling program that allows donors to give. For more information, go to Find out more about The Ellen Project Release Party at


Located in the center of downtown Minneapolis, SEVEN STEAKHOUSE | SUSHI | ULTRALOUNGE | SKYBAR is a dramatic, three-level destination that lights up the corner of 7th and Hennepin. SEVEN offers award winning Steak and Sushi menus with caring hospitality for an experience that exceeds expectations. The sultry ULTRALOUNGE is the most sought after Late Night destination in the Twin Cities, and the stunning SKYBAR offers breathtaking views of the city. With 26,000 sq. ft. of options, SEVEN is perfect for larger social events or for a more intimate rendezvous. SEVEN In the City Catering also delivers a full array of home and corporate event services. For more information about hosting your corporate gathering or special event, visit


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