Bear Facts

Joanie’s Closet holds Valentine’s Dance and raises $10,000 for the organization

Fathers+and+daughters+play+dress+up+at+the+photo+booth.+This+shows+one+of+the+activities+at+the+dance%2C+the+photo+booth.+Families+can+dress+up+and+take+a+silly+photo+by+professional+photographers.
Fathers and daughters play dress up at the photo booth. This shows one of the activities at the dance, the photo booth. Families can dress up and take a silly photo by professional photographers.

Fathers and daughters play dress up at the photo booth. This shows one of the activities at the dance, the photo booth. Families can dress up and take a silly photo by professional photographers.

Photo used with permission of Ann McConnell

Photo used with permission of Ann McConnell

Fathers and daughters play dress up at the photo booth. This shows one of the activities at the dance, the photo booth. Families can dress up and take a silly photo by professional photographers.

Marissa Drake, Bear Facts contributor

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A District 95 charity hosted a parent/child Valentine’s Dance on at May Whitney last Saturday, February 10 and raised $10,000 for the organization.

Joanie’s Closet is a non profit organization looking to help under-resourced families in Lake Zurich. The Valentine’s Parent / Child dance allows for parents and children, grades K-8, to have a fun on a Saturday while still giving back to their community.

“The Valentines Dance is not only a fun activity for families in the community but it’s the main fundraiser that supports our organization,” Ann McConnell, Joanie’s Closet Middle School South Representative, said.

“We use the money we raise for our initiatives to help the under resourced students and their families in district 95. Two of [Joanie’s Closet] expenses are our school supply initiative, which happens right before school starts in the fall,” Donna Young, co-chair, said. “In years past we’ve supplied over 330 school supply kits to students in need. Our second largest initiative is our winter coats initiative, where we supply brand new winter coats, hats, and gloves to students in need and their families.”

There were a lot of preparations that are made to make this dance successful, and finding volunteers, from parents to high schoolers, is just one of those steps, McConnell said.

“We live in a community with lots of wonderful volunteers,” McConnell said. “We are fortunate enough that many parents, high school, and middle school students give their time to help make this event a success.”

While this dance does provide a fun and charitable night for the families that attend, it also allows volunteers like DJ Young, senior, who has been working this event for five years and is now helping run the event, have fun allow with the families.

“I’ve never chaired the event, but I’d always had been there, so seeing the work that has been done and all the people signed up is making me like, it’s a new perspective. I used to just be [volunteering], but now I’m  helping the people that actually run it, [and] helping them get volunteers,” DJ Young said. “It’s pretty rewarding; it feels good after helping, being with the organization for so long and to actually give back to it now.”

This Parent / Child dance is one of Joanie’s Closet’s main fundraisers and contributors to the organization, but it has not always been around, only recently has the dance been created to help fund the under resourced families in Lake Zurich, according to Young.

“When Joanie’s Closet didn’t have a major fundraiser, the committee was trying to think of different ways to earn funds in order to provide the services that Joanie’s Closet does to serve our under-resourced students,” Young said. “My cousin that lives south in Michigan, she told me that their school did [the dance]. It was actually a father-daughter dance out in Michigan, and she told me what she did and how they raised money and I thought, that is a fantastic idea.”

 

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Joanie’s Closet holds Valentine’s Dance and raises $10,000 for the organization