By Gina Caruana / Illinois Bank & Trust
On April 7, I had the privilege of witnessing members of the community joining together for one common cause: to make a positive impact in the lives of children.
This yearly event is an exciting affair to support life-changing local organizations fighting for the future of local children in need. This is the sixth year of Club Blue with the funds to support KFACT, Inc., a nonprofit youth mentorship organization, and Rock House Kids, a safe refuge where at-risk youth can find food, shelter and tutoring.
Club Blue is an organization with unique and inspired history. In 2011, a group of women felt compelled to help local children who were victims of child abuse. The group decided that to have the broadest reach and help as many children as possible, they would host a fundraiser and give the money to local organizations who were aligned with their cause.
The annual event has gained attention from the community, growing each and every year. In 2014, Club Blue founded a grant program and expanded its mission to supply basic goods and services that promote the safety, health and well-being of all children in the community.
Fast forward to 2017. Club Blue’s fundraisers have become a driving force for local nonprofits, raising tens of thousands each year and more than $1 million since it began.
One of the most important factors in the fundraisers’ success is the support from local businesses. Their efforts cannot be understated. Over the years, Club Blue has received hundreds of thousands of dollars through sponsorships from dozens of businesses in the area. These partnerships have undoubtedly played a crucial role in the success of Club Blue and furthered its impact throughout the community.
I’m proud to say that my employer, Illinois Bank & Trust, is one of the sponsors helping Club Blue make a difference. Illinois Bank & Trust has been a proud sponsor of Club Blue Rockford for five years including the last two years as Presenting Sponsor.
We’ve put our unwavering support into this organization because we’ve seen the difference it makes for those less fortunate within our community. Helping children who’ve had a difficult start in life is an investment in the future of Rockford. Assuring that these children grow up with opportunities for success gives them a better chance to become flourishing adults that will devote their time and efforts back into the community.
It’s an absolute joy to see everyone turn out for this annual event in continued support of Club Blue. It’s truly helped those nonprofit organizations who are saving the lives of local children. I hope to see everyone again in 2018!
Gina Caruana is senior vice president retail manager, Illinois Bank & Trust
Courtesy of RRStar