Come To A Night at the Des Plaines Rivers Casino on September 6, 2013!

Des Plaines Community Foundation Casino FundraiserCome bet on the Des Plaines Community Foundation (DPCF) on Friday, September 6, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the 10th annual and only fundraiser at the Cube nightclub at the Des Plaines Rivers Casino.

Tickets for the event are $85 per person before August 20th ($95 after) and will include appetizers, gourmet dinner by Chef William Mcllroy, open bar and entertainment.

There will be a raffle including a grand prize of $500, two second prizes valued $400, and three third prizes valued at $100 each. Raffle tickets can be purchased online at the DPCF website.

The silent auction items will include hotel stays, golf packages, spa and sporting events, collectables, gifts and more. Guests will also be able to take Black Jack instructional classes sponsored by Rivers Casino. You must be 21 years old to attend.

“Please help our cause by attending and/or supporting the 10th annual and only fundraiser at the new Des Plaines Community Foundation,” said Rosemary Argus, executive director of the Foundation. “Last year more than 250 people attended the successful event and enjoyed the evening.”

Sponsorships are still available for the annual event at the $2,500, $1,500 and $500 levels.

Alliant Credit Union Foundation is the main sponsor of the event with a donation of $3,500.

The Foundation has no paid employees and is 100 percent volunteer. Foundation is a 501c3 organization and funds are obtained from individuals, businesses, and corporate tax-deductable contributions as well as from other foundations.

For tickets to the annual fundraiser go to www.DPCharties.org or www.desplainescommunityfoundation.org or call Rosemary Argus at 847-297-4932 or 847-525-5566.

For sponsorship opportunities call Bob Lewandowski at 847-815-4356 by August 22.

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Fundraiser a Success!

Rosemary Argus, Deborah duVair and Margaret Polovchak at a night at the Rivers Casino.

Rosemary Argus, Deborah duVair and Margaret Polovchak at a night at the Rivers Casino.

RIVERS CASINO EVENT RAISES FUNDS FOR DES PLAINES COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

In September of 2012, the Des Plaines Community Foundation held its 9th annual fundraiser at the Cube night club at the Des Plaines Rivers Casino.

“The Foundation raised more than $27,000—twice the amount that was generated last year,” said Rosemary Argus, executive director of the Foundation. “We thank all the donors and Des Plaines businesses that supported us and helped make this year’s event such an amazing success.”

The sponsors included: Alliant Credit Union Foundation; Orange Crush, LLC; the Lewandowski Family; Illinois Tool Works/Fastex of Des Plaines; BMO Harris Bank; Albrecht Enterprises Inc.; Preferred Capital Funding, and Rivers Casino.

More than 250 people attended the event which included appetizers and a gourmet dinner by Chef William Mcllroy, the Director of Food and Beverage at The Rivers Casino, an open bar as well as entertainment by Ann Marie. There also was a raffle and a silent auction.

“This is our one and only fundraising event for the year, so save the date of Friday, September 6, 2013 for this year’s 10th annual Casino event,” said Argus. “For every $1 we receive, the Des Plaines Community Foundation provides $12 of service to our residents. We are able to do this because we are all volunteers.”

The Foundation raises funds to identify, link and mobilize assets to support the service programs of the Des Plaines Healthy Community Partnership Programs whose activities improve the lives of those that live and work in Des Plaines.

“We also are looking to add more people to our network of volunteers,” said Argus. “As we grow as an organization and during these hard economic times it is important that we get more people to volunteer their time for the Foundation.”

Some of the programs include: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program Committee; Healthy Community/Healthy Youth Program Committee; Intergenerational Program Committee, and Seasons of Service program Committee.

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Foundation and Local Businesses Provide Thanksgiving for Needy Residents

Thanksgiving day dinner recipient Martin Schur chats with NHN volunteer Candee Cole. Cole and Marcus McLeese delivered dinner and dessert for the Schur family.

Thanksgiving day dinner recipient Martin Schur chats with NHN volunteer Candee Cole.
Cole and Marcus McLeese delivered dinner and dessert for the Schur family.

The Des Plaines Community Foundation, T-Bob’s Smoked Bar-BQ, 1165 S. Elmhurst Road, Sysco Foods Chicago and Panera Bread in Metropolitan Square worked together in November of 2012 to provide and deliver Thanksgiving Day dinners. As a result, more than 80 families, seniors and people with disabilities had a very happy Thanksgiving.

According to Argus, the list of people served at Thanksgiving consisted of Des Plaines residents who request assistance by calling the Neighbors Helping Neighbors hotline at 888-646-8898. Pastor Chuck Reid, of Bethesda Worship Center, contacted Des Plaines Ministries, asking for the names of elderly and/or local
people with disabilities who were going to be alone on Thanksgiving.

Everyone on both the Neighbors Helping Neighbors list and the church lists were called to confirm they would be home on Thanksgiving Day and enjoyed having a cooked meal delivered. Sysco provided 80 pounds of turkey breasts, vegetables and potatoes. T-Bob’s roasted the turkey. Volunteers packaged the salad, main entrée, bread and dessert.

Sadie Argus picked up Panera Bread’s contributions of bagels, other bread and pastries and delivered them to T-Bob’s. Other volunteers delivered meals between 11 a.m. and noon on Thanksgiving Day.

“This really was a touching Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to provide dinners for these needy families,” said Argus. “We appreciated all the volunteers’ hard work on Thanksgiving
Day. This was one of the most satisfying things that we’ve done.”

Neighbors Helping Neighbors also delivered on about 400 requests for help from Des Plaines residents in need this year. The NHN Program links community volunteers with residents in need of transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, yard and home care, installation of emergency response boxes, wheelchair ramps and decks.

Chris Peterson, owner of Corporate Coach leads volunteers who provide transportation to Des Plaines residents. All residents have to do is call the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Hot Line (1-888-646-8898) and request help.

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Maine West Students Work With The Foundation And ‘Shed’ Light on a Better Community

Paul Bartholomae (far right) and his Building-Trade students construct a storage shed with vinyl siding for a Des Plaines resident. Sheds are the newest offering by the Maine West Building-Trade students and are available for residents to purchase.

Paul Bartholomae (far right) and his Building-Trade students construct a storage shed
with vinyl siding for a Des Plaines resident. Sheds are the newest offering by the Maine
West Building-Trade students and are available for residents to purchase.

Since 2006, Maine West High School Building-Trade students have touched the lives of residents, young and old, with various challenges, noted Argus.

“Utilizing their construction skills to build ramps, decks, picnic tables, and paint houses, and during winter even helped shovel snow for those with various challenges,” Argus said. “They have come to the aid of many residents that needed assistance.”

The newest offering to Des Plaines residents is an 8-by-10-foot yard storage shed covered with vinyl siding. The cost is about $1,800 and the profits from the shed will be used to continually fund the Maine West student programs.

The students also create custom shelving for garages and basement storage. All of these are available for Des Plaines residents to purchase.

Headquarters for the Home Maintenance Class students is The Homestead, an old farm house that has been converted through the efforts of the Building-Trade students for life skills classes.

“What makes the program so successful is the cooperation among students,” said Paul Bartholomae, a 30-year veteran instructor at the school. “They divvy up tasks and each brings different strengths to the table. And, they work—just like a real-life crew. They have even expanded to building sheds and minor cabinetry.
It is really a hands-on experience for some of these students and can turn into a future career.”

The Des Plaines Community Foundation buys the supplies, including tools, lumber and vinyl siding, while the students provide the labor during 45-minute class periods. The program is great for students who are eager to learn construction skills and helping the community is an added boost.

“We just completed our 26th ramp, several new sheds, shelving and a picnic table at Maine West,” said Bartholomae. “The ramps are the most important thing we do for the Des Plaines residents in need. It becomes a problem when the elderly or disabled can’t get out of their homes to get to the doctor.”

It can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to build a ramp, depending on the size. The city’s Department of Health and Human Services forwards request for wheelchair ramps to Argus and the Des Plaines Community Foundation, which relays them to Bartholomae.

Bartholomae said he would like to see more students volunteer at The Homestead, including students enrolled in the Applied Technology class from Maine West.

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Foundation Supports United Airlines Fantasy Flight to North Pole

The Des Plaines Community Foundation supported United Airlines’ Fantasy Flight this past Christmas season. United Airlines and the Starlight Foundation gave ill Chicago-area children a Fantasy Flight to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus. 

The “Chicago United Fantasy Flight” departed O’Hare International Airport at 11 a.m. on December 1, 2012.  The Fantasy Flight was flown by professional United Airlines flight crews and flight attendants using an overnight aircraft.

Foundation trustee Rich Holke, Alliant Credit Union and Rosemary Argus before she boarded the Fantasy Flight to the North Pole at the United Airlines terminal.

Foundation trustee Rich Holke, Alliant Credit Union and Rosemary Argus before she
boarded the Fantasy Flight to the North Pole at the United Airlines terminal.

Rosemary Argus was on that flight. Her boarding pass read: ‘United Airlines Fantasy Flight, Gate B5; Seat 9E; Destination: North Pole.

She was greeted by United employees singing Christmas carols. Fifty very ill children and their families were gathering at the gate to board the flight. Then they all boarded the  airplane.

The Starlight Foundation supports families with life-threatening diseases. The families came from all over the Chicago area and are being treated at various Children’s Hospitals. Numerous volunteers helped out with their generous support of both time and money.

According to Argus, Chicago Firefighters and United employees wheeled many of the children on to the plane and lifted them into their seats. Cancer and burn victims walked on. Many of the children had never flown before.

United Airlines volunteers for the Fantasy Flight December 1, 2012.

United Airlines volunteers for the Fantasy Flight December 1, 2012.

“The Fantasy Flight plane took off,” Argus said. “We were flying to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. The children near the windows could see the buildings looking smaller and smaller and we then we were in the clouds.”

After flying over Lake Michigan and to downtown Chicago, it was time to land at the North Pole. “The children applauded when we landed,” Argus said. “The Chicago Fire Department gave the Fantasy Flight and the kids a water-cannon salute.”

After the flight everyone was greeted by hundreds of United employees dressed in red shirts, wearing Santa Claus hats or green elf hats, as well as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus,  the Gingerbread Man, Jack Frost and Frosty the Snowman. Mrs. Christmas Tree with lights and gift boxes for shoes, Toy Soldiers, Ballerinas surrounded the children.

Maine West Key Club volunteers (L to R) : Magdalena Czerlonko, Stephanie Gomez, Bianca Gonzalez and Jessica Dang in back row.

Maine West Key Club volunteers (L to R) : Magdalena Czerlonko, Stephanie Gomez,
Bianca Gonzalez and Jessica Dang in back row.

The gate where the children landed was decorated with Christmas trees and poinsettias donated by the Foundation’s Board member Chris Pesche of Pesche Flowers. There was a Toy Store, a Candy Store, Pastry Store and a Mitten Shop where the children could choose whatever they wanted.

The store fronts were built and painted by volunteer students from the Building-Trade Department at Maine West High School. They were set up by Tim DeLong and Board trustee Bob Argus as well as Key club volunteers, including Sadie Argus. Gifts were
wrapped and given to the children to take home and put under the tree. Some wish lists included: Wiis, computers, cameras, games, etc.

Then, the group enjoyed a pre-Christmas turkey dinner served in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen. The Limelights Singers from the Metropolis were singing carols. The children had a great day, a day not to think about doctors and hospitals. “The children seemed tired but were filled with all the love and care from so many volunteers on the Fantasy Flight,” said Argus.

“I was humbled to be able to share the day with the children and their families and to fly on the Fantasy Flight. The Fantasy Flight puts our lives in perspective. It is a Christmas  memory to treasure.”

The store fronts were built and painted by volunteer students from the Building–Trade Department at Maine West High School.

The store fronts were built and painted by volunteer students from the Building–Trade
Department at Maine West High School.

Sadie Argus helps build the 80-foot long store front donated to the Fantasy Flight.

Sadie Argus helps build the 80-foot long store front donated to the Fantasy Flight.

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Seasons of Service: One Person Can “Make a Difference”

Alexandra Salaiza, a Maine West High School student interning with the Health and Human Services Division of the City of Des Plaines, partnered with the Des Plaines Healthy Community Partnership’s taskforce and Neighbors Helping Neighbors in her effort to make a difference.

Alexandra Salaiza, a Maine West High School student interning with the Health and Human Services Division of the City of Des Plaines partnered with the Des Plaines Healthy Community Partnership’s taskforce and Neighbors Helping Neighbors in her effort to make a difference.

Alexandra Salaiza, a Maine West High School student interning with the Health and Human Services Division of the City of Des Plaines partnered with the Des Plaines Healthy Community Partnership’s taskforce and NeighborsHelping Neighbors in her effort to make a difference.

The mission of the taskforce is to promote service projects and activities throughout the year. Alexandra’s “Make a Difference Day” project was to coordinate a Sock Drive to benefit those in need.

Through a collaboration of collection sites—Maine West High School, Frisbie Senior Center, Des Plaines Public Library, Des Plaines Park District and City Hall—Salaiza was able to collect 236 pairs of socks. All proceeds were delivered to Catholic Charities and the Self Help Pantry.

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Four $1,500 Scholarships for Local College Students

The Des Plaines Community Foundation will sponsor four $1,500 scholarships to local area colleges.

“We believe that helping our young adults obtain a college education is an investment, not only in the future of our youth, but also in the future of Des Plaines,” said Argus. “The scholarships will help bring a college degree within reach of the students who need it most.”

Last year the Foundation granted four $1,500 scholarships to Des Plaines-based students. Check www.desplainescommunityfoundation.org or call Rosemary Argus at 847-297-4932 to apply.

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$10,000 Donated to Local Pantries

The Des Plaines Community Foundation recently presented the Self Help Closet and Food Pantry with a $5,000 donation.

The Foundation also presented Maine Township Emergency Food Pantry as well as the Elk Grove Township Pantry with donations of $2,500.

To date, the Des Plaines Community Foundation has donated $26,000 to the Self Help Closet & Pantry, and an additional $15,000 to other local pantries.

The Foundation board members also volunteer their time to collect donated paper goods for the Self Help Closet & Pantry. As part of the Seasons of Service Committee, Foundation members and volunteers collected paper goods (towels, diapers, etc.). The Des Plaines Community Foundation also donated $250 to buy additional paper goods.

Rosemary Argus presents a $5,000 donation from the Foundation to the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines. (L to R) Roger Hull, Self Help Closet and Pantry board member; Rev. Dr. William G. Grice III, board president; and Debbie Walusiak, executive director, accept the gift.

Rosemary Argus presents a $5,000 donation from the Foundation to the Self-Help Closet
& Pantry of Des Plaines. (L to R) Roger Hull, Self Help Closet and Pantry board member;
Rev. Dr. William G. Grice III, board president; and Debbie Walusiak, executive director,
accept the gift.

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Local Business & Not-For-Profit, Charity Donate Thousands to the Foundation

At the January 9th board meeting, the Des Plaines Community Foundation was fortunate to be presented with two checks. Eckhard Blaumueller, president of the Society of Danube
Swabians of the USA, recently presented the Foundation with a check for $5,000.

“The Danube Swabians have supported our Foundation for the past several years and have been very generous this year, donating $5,000 to the Des Plaines Community  oundation,”
said Argus. “We are fortunate to have such an outstanding organization located in the City of Des Plaines. We appreciate their kindness.”

Rosemary Argus, of the Foundation; Dan Fink, Juno Lighting Group and Dick Sayad, Alderman, City of Des Plaines.

Rosemary Argus, of the Foundation; Dan Fink, Juno Lighting Group and Dick Sayad,
Alderman, City of Des Plaines.

In addition Dan Fink, Regional Vice President of Sales, Central at Des Plaines-based Juno Lighting Group, recently presented the Des Plaines Community Foundation with a check for $2,500.

“The Foundation is very appreciative of the support from local businesses like Juno Lighting Group that continue to believe in what volunteers do to bring a better quality of life to those who live and work here,” said Argus.

Juno Lighting Group is a strong supporter the Des Plaines Community Foundation, Argus noted.

“The goals of the Foundation are admirable and Juno Lighting Group is proud to support all the efforts and programs that improve that assist Des Plaines residents,” said Fink. “We look forward to our continual relationship with the Foundation in the future.”

Donations to the Des Plaines Community Foundation provide transportation for the elderly and the disabled, young and old through its Neighbors Helping Neighbors program. The Foundation puts up wheelchair ramps (built by Maine West High School Building Trades students) and installs Knox Boxes for needy individuals.

The Foundation also drives individuals to pantries for food, does yard work and light housework for the disabled and elderly.

The Des Plaines Community Foundation has helped the poor with emergency household plumbing repairs, including toilet, faucet and sink problems, leaky roofs, broken windows, etc. Supplies are paid for by the Foundation, with most of the work being done by volunteers.

The Des Plaines Community Foundation has purchased bicycle safety helmets for children and funded motivational meetings for high school students to encourage leadership skills.
The Foundation raises funds to identify, link and mobilize assets to support the service programs of the Des Plaines Healthy Community Partnership Programs whose activities improve the lives of those that live and work in Des Plaines.

Rich Holke, Alliant Credit Union; Charles L. Reid, Pastor Bethesda Worship Center; Rosemary Argus of the Foundation; Dan Fink, Juno Lighting Group and Eckhard Blaumueller, President of the Society of Danube Swabians of the U.S.A.

Rich Holke, Alliant Credit Union; Charles L. Reid, Pastor Bethesda Worship Center;
Rosemary Argus of the Foundation; Dan Fink, Juno Lighting Group and Eckhard
Blaumueller, President of the Society of Danube Swabians of the U.S.A.

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Casino Fundraiser a Success!

Lisa Moylan, Rosemary Argus, and Mayor Martin Moylan attend the 9th annual Casino Fundraiser for the Des Plaines Community Foundation.

Recently, the Des Plaines Community Foundation held its 9th annual fundraiser at the Cube night club at the Des Plaines Rivers Casino.

“The Foundation raised more than twice the amount as we did last year,” said Rosemary Argus, executive director of the Foundation. “We thank all the donors and Des Plaines businesses that supported us and helped make this year’s event such a success.”

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