Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Dancing for the Stars: Robb Thompson Ministries will host its first dinner-dance, silent auction and dance competition fundraising event at 7 p.m. Friday, March 18 at Georgios Banquets, 8800 W. 159th St., Orland Hills. Eight members of Family Harvest have teamed with professional dancers from local dance studios to learn a routine and then compete at this event. Proceeds go to the “stars” for whom the competitors are dancing: underprivileged children around the world and Family Harvest’s global missions. Tickets are $35. Formal attire is encouraged. Tickets: Visit www.familyharvestchurch.org or call (708) 614-6000.
VFW spaghetti dinner: The Ladies and Men’s Auxiliary of VFW Post 9545, 323 Old Hickory Road, New Lenox, will have their annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, March 19. Dinner will be served from 4 to 8 p.m. Nino Folino, the “singing sensation of New Lenox,” will sing from 5 9 p.m. Suggested donation for dinner is $8. Diners will have the choice of dining in or take-out. Take-out orders must be placed in person; no phone orders for take-out will be accepted. Proceeds go to the organization’s college scholarship awards for high school seniors in New Lenox who are related to VFW-eligible veterans.
P.A.W.S. fundraiser: P.A.W.S. Animal Shelter’s annual cocktail dinner dance, “The Roaring Twenties,” celebrating more than 20,000 adoptions, will be at 6 p.m. Friday, March 25, at the Orland Chateau, 14500 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park. Tickets are $50, which includes dinner (a Lenten entree available), dancing, live and silent auctions, raffle and entertainment. There will be a cash bar. Casual attire. Information: Visit www.pawstinleypark.org or call (815) 464-7298.
Men Who Cook: The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is seeking sponsors for what is expected to be the biggest and the best-ever Men Who Cook culinary competition and fundraiser. This year’s event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. March 26 at Pipefitters Local 597 Training Center, 10850 187th St., Mokena. At Men Who Cook, local guys who know their way around the kitchen open up their secret recipe boxes, don their chef’s hats and prepare their favorite dishes for public judging. The cost to taste bite-sized samples of fine cuisine from local chefs is $35 per person; $60 per couple. Sponsorship opportunities are available for local businesses and organizations at levels ranging from $250 to $2,500. All proceeds benefit the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, established in 1995 to improve the way child abuse cases are investigated. For details on sponsorships, call the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4565. Or visit www.willcountychildrensadvocacy.org, www.menwhocook.info, or on Facebook at facebook.com/menwhocook.
JJC piano fundraiser: Joliet Junior College will host an afternoon of instrumental and vocal performances at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27, in the Fine Arts Theatre on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, to raise funds to purchase the college’s first Steinway grand piano. The concert will feature a variety of genres, including jazz, classical, ragtime, and tango performed by faculty, alumni, students and guests, including a vocal performance by 2010 “American Idol” singer and JJC alumna Paige DeChausse. Other performers include JJC faculty Daniela Broderick, David Nuccio, Adam Cowger and Bonnie Johansen-Werner; Florentina Ramniceanu, violinist from the Orion Ensemble, former piano faculty Sue Malmberg, JJC students and the JJC Percussion Ensemble. Tickets are $10 each. Information or to make a donation: Contact Kristin Mulvey at (815) 280-2353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free formals: Mokena-Marley-Frankfort FISH resale shop is offering free formals to any Lincoln-Way student with a school ID. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The resale shop is at 9625 W. 194th Place, on the north side of the willow Plaza complex. Information: (708) 478-1671.
Replenish the pantry: Elsie’s Pantry, located at Moraine Valley Community Church in Palos Hills, has an ongoing need for canned goods and monetary donations to keep up with the increasing need. Since June 2000, the pantry has served more than 27,000 people living in Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Hickory Hills and parts of Bridgeview, Justice, Orland Park, Willow Springs and Worth. However, donations have decreased over the past two years, forcing the pantry to use its reserves, which, if not replenished, would run out by the end of the year. Canned goods can be brought to the church between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Donations by check may be made to Elsie’s Pantry, 8601 W. 107th St., Palos Hills, 60465. Information: (708) 598-4435.
Charity model search: Photographer Robert Wehmeier, of Wehmeier Portraits in Orland Park, is participating in the 2011 International Charity Model Search to select North America’s Cutest Kid and to raise funds for the nonprofit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. The $25 entrance fee includes a 30-minute model session and one print submitted to the international competition. To schedule an appointment, contact Wehmeier Portraits, 9540 W. 144th Place, Suite A, Orland Park, (708) 226-1593. Appointments are available through March 31. Information: www.charitymodelsearch.org.
Alsip mom benefit: Stampin’ Up! demonstrator Shannon Seneczko and Mike, the Spoon Jeweler, will be hosting a cardmaking event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Parkwood Baptist Church, 11355 S. Central Park Ave., Chicago, for Gina O’Connell and her family. Gina, a young mother from Alsip, recently was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Shannon is one of the Chicago area’s top independent demonstrators for the rubberstamping and cardmaking powerhouse Stampin Up! Mike is known as “the Spoon Jeweler” in his small family business at home and on the Web at TheSpoonJeweler.com. Information, to donate or to register for the event, contact Shannon Seneczko at (815) 609-3718 or email@example.com. All registration forms and payment must be received by Tuesday, March 15.
Dancing with teachers: The Summit Hill Educational Foundation will present its inaugural fundraiser, “2011 Stars of Summit: Dancing With the Teachers,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at Lincoln-Way North High School gym, off Harlem Avenue at Vollmer Road. Doors open at 1:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 online or by mail by March 25, or $15 at the door (cash or check only accepted at event). Each teacher dance team will perform two dances for a panel of three judges and the audience. The teams’ final scores will comprise audience and judge voting, and online donations tallied from the teachers’ fundraising pages. Voting and donations in support of competing teachers may be made at www.summithillfoundation.org.
No Fool’s Feast: The Crete Women’s Club’s annual No Fool’s Feast fundraising dinner will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Banquets of St. George, 538 W. 77th Ave., Schererville, Ind. Prizes from $125 to $2,500 will be awarded; winners need not be present. Tickets, including dinner and a chance for the prizes are $100. Additional guest dinner-only tickets are $35. Call Sue Dunlap at (708) 672-5929, Pat Ortinau at (708) 672-6997 or Cindy Westerman at (708) 672-8558 for tickets. Proceeds support the philanthropic activities of the Crete Woman’s Club, including the scholarship program, which offers a total of $6,000 worth of scholarships with an application deadline of April 15. Two $2,000 college scholarships will be given to Crete-Monee High School seniors, and a number of camp scholarships will be available for ninth- through 11th-grade students throughout Crete Township. Information or scholarship applications: Contact the high school counseling department or Rita Robertson at (815) 469-9830.
Auction for autism: Prairie Hills School District 144 will have a silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. April 14 at 3015 W. 163rd St., Markham, to raise money to support autism. The district’s gifted committee is in charge of this event. Information: (708) 210-2888.
Shopportunity: A “SPAtastic SHOPPortunity” to benefit Operation: Mom’s Cookies Inc. NFP and the Orland Township Food Pantry will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 15, at the Orland Park Civic Center, 14750 Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. Cost is $5 if paid before April 10, or $10 at the door. Information: Visit www.spatasticshopportunity.com or call Lisa at (708) 710-8014 or Kathleen at (708) 705-7057.
Easter Seals telethon: Easter Seals will have its annual Celebration of Giving telethon from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 16, in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Center in downtown Joliet. The event will feature success stories, local talent, phone teams to take donations and house bands. Admission for the studio audience is free. The event will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 103 in the Joliet area, as well as on www.joliet.easterseals.com. Information: Call (815) 730-2052.
Papa John fundraiser: A fundraiser to benefit John Mrozek will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park. In April 2010, Mrozek was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Tickets to the fundraiser are $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 6 to 12, which includes food, beer, wine, desserts, entertainment, raffles, a silent auction, valet parking and more. For tickets, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary donations may be sent to Archer Bank, c/o Join Papa John, 3435 W. 111th St., Chicago.
Dollars for Scholars: Joliet Junior College will host its Annual Dollars for Scholars 5K Run & Walk on Saturday, April 30, to raise money for student scholarships. The event will begin with registration and packet pick-up between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., followed by the race at 9 a.m. The route is a 3.1-mile certified flat loop through JJC’s scenic Main Campus and Will County Forest Preserve paved trails. The event is held in memory of Dick Dystrup, former JJC trustee and Illinois Dollars for Scholars executive director, who passed away in August 2009. There are three ways to register for the race: online, mail-in or race-day registration. The entry fee is $25 until April 20, $30 thereafter. To register online, visit www.jjc.edu/info/5k. Information: Contact Nancy Mammosser at (815) 280-6690 or email@example.com.
Firefighter cook-off: Firefighter chefs from throughout the Chicago area will compete for trophies at Sertoma Centre’s BIG Event 2011. The event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park. Firefighters from the suburbs and city can participate in the Firefighters Cook-off, which offers attendees the most unique and flavorful ribs, chicken, chili and ethnic food in the region. Registration forms for cook-off or event sponsorships are available at www.sertomacentre.org or contact Melanie Jones at (708) 730-6206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the event, which will include live entertainment, music, raffles and cash prizes, are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and younger; children younger than 3 are free. Proceeds benefit programs at Sertoma Centre in Alsip for more 625 individuals with developmental, physical or emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness.
Free bag of food: New Mercies Community Services was organized in 2003 to provide support services to low-income, elderly and disabled families in south Cook County. The organization operates a food pantry in Midlothian that distributes bags of food twice weekly to this same targeted population. Food distribution is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at New Mercies Community Services, 3824 W. 147th St., Midlothian. Donations to support the service also are sought. Information: Laurie Reed at (708) 606-2864.
Come clean: Together We Cope is seeking donations of personal care items — including shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap and disposable razors — that will be shared with families utilizing food pantry services. Donations of any quantity may be dropped off at 17010 S. Oak Park Ave. Tinley Park. Together We Cope is a nonprofit agency assisting families in temporary crisis from 22 south suburban communities. Information: Suellen or Tina at (708) 633-5040 or www.togetherwecope.org.
Furniture helps Sertoma: Sertoma Centre, located in Alsip and Matteson, is seeking donations of furniture for resale at its thrift store. If you are purchasing new furniture or just want to dispose of usable older furniture, you can donate any old furniture, with a receipt provided for tax purposes, and it will be picked up. The thrift store sales benefit more than 650 physically or developmentally challenged clients being served at the Sertoma Centre each day. For pick-up, contact Joe Varanauski at (708) 921-0159, or e-mail email@example.com.
Reaching out: Together We Cope in Tinley Park has established an emergency outreach food program with Faith United Methodist Church as a partner. Emergency bags of nonperishable food will be delivered to the Orland Park church to increase outreach to families needing food. The organization seeks to establish similar partnerships with other area churches. Information: Mary Ann Baer at (708) 633-5040.
Recycle a wheelchair: Melanie Jones, director of Advancement and Communications for Sertoma Centre, recently was offered a motorized wheelchair by a member of the Sertoma board. Melanie quickly found a family who needed a chair for a son with cerebral palsy. However, several more requests came from other program managers, each in need of a motorized wheelchair. “I was so happy to tell one family that they would receive this chair,” Jones said, “yet I was saddened because I would have to disappoint so many other individuals that would have benefitted greatly from the donation of a wheelchair.” If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and you would like to help, contact Jones at (708) 730-6206 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furniture pickup: Together We Cope has added an additional day to its schedule for furniture pickups in Tinley Park and nearby suburbs. With pickups on Tuesdays and Fridays, there now is new inventory of gently used furniture twice a week at the organization’s resale shop, located at 17010 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park. The shop is open six days a week, and a small donation is requested for furniture pickups. Information: Call the shop at (708) 633-9180 or visit www.togetherwecope.org. Together We Cope is a nonprofit agency assisting families in crisis from 27 south suburban communities.
Help soldiers call home: “Cell Phones for Soldiers” was started by two teenagers to help buy calling cards to send to U.S. military stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. They are collecting old cell phones and accessories. The cell phones are recycled for cash and proceeds used to buy the calling cards for the soldiers. “Cell Phones for Soldiers” has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. Daniels Printing and Office Supply, 14800 Cicero Ave., Oak Forest, is an official drop-off point for any make or model cell phone. Information: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Seeking senior volunteers: The Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Catholic Charities is seeking people 55 or older willing to share their talents and help those in need at a variety of local organizations, mainly in the Joliet Diocese. Catholic Charities will match individual interests with available volunteer opportunities and will provide supplementary insurance, mileage and meal reimbursement during volunteer service. Information: Cindy, (815) 933-7791, Ext. 125.
Donate cell phones: South Suburban Family Shelter is collecting old cell phones to be recycled. The recycling process produces revenue to support the shelter’s services. The Rotary Club of Park Forest has paired up with the shelter to help in the collection process. For a list of donation sites, visit www.rotaryofparkforest.org and click on “cell phone locations,” or www.ssfs1.org and click on “donate.”
Wendy’s Night: VFW Post 177 MacDonald-Linn has a fundraiser between 5 and 8 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month at the Wendy’s Restaurant at 79th Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. Proceeds benefit the VFW National Home for Children, located in Michigan. Participants simply order food (drive-through or sit-in) from Wendy’s during this time period, and Wendy’s donates a portion of its profits to this cause.