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Local

New men's charity in Batavia plans festive launch, wide impact

BATAVIA – Spurred by the success of 100 Women Who Care and eager to double the charitable impact, a men’s counterpart will launch at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in Batavia, drawing members from across Kane County,

Each quarter, organization members gather to select a charity to receive $100 from each person, adding up to a total gift of $10,000 or more, explained Karen Hollis of Batavia.

The men’s group, whose co-founders are Bret Shannon of Geneva and Bradford Traywick of Oak Brook, will meet at her K. Hollis Jewelry store for the kickoff.

Hollis said the two-year-old women’s group numbers more than 100 members and the quarterly gift is closer to $12,000.

She recalls walking into a staff meeting at Mutual Ground, a Fox Valley organization serving victims of domestic violence, to surprise the agency with the sizable donation, just as a program’s elimination was being discussed because of budget constraints and the executive director was taking a pay cut to save another.

“They were our second winners,” Hollis said. “We gave them $6,000. [It] got them through [and] to not have to cut programs.”

Other recipients have ranged from the Elderday Center to Fox Valley Food for Health. Hollis said the women are known for creating a celebratory surprise for their presentation of the donation.

“I’m so excited we can double up on getting help for people,” she said of the new men’s group. “[There’s] a list of around 100 guys already. I’m expecting a pretty big turnout.”

She said John Hamel of Pal Joey’s is donating pizza and there will be a whiskey tasting through Whiskey Acres Distilling Company in DeKalb, “just to make it fun.”

Shannon said a group like this is important because it is a way to directly give back to the local community.

“Many charities we plan to give to rely heavily on donations to keep their doors open, and they work directly with families in our area,” he wrote in an email.

“By creating a group like this … it is a chance for an individual’s donation to truly have an impact on a group that helps people that really need it.”

He believes the men’s organization, called 100 Men Who Give a Damn, also will inform people about charities they may not even know exist, but are doing a lot of good.

“There is the obvious benefit of money to these charities, but this also gives them the chance to get their name and mission out to more people, which a lot of smaller charities and nonprofits can struggle with,” he said.

“This group is important to me because it creates a culture of giving.”

For details on the worldwide 100 Who Care Alliance, a grassroots resource, visit 100whocarealliance.org.

If you go

WHAT: New men’s charity forming under 100 Who Care framework

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14

WHERE: K.Hollis Jewelers, 147 S. Randall Road, Batavia

INFO: 630-879-9603, karen@khollisjewelers.com; 100womenwhocarefoxvalley.org

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