Cuisine for a Cause

Residents, hungry to make a difference, gathered at Tellabs tonight for the 10th Annual Cuisine for a Cause event benefiting Naperville Cares.

The not-for-profit provides short-term monetary support and resources to residents in financial crisis.

“Naperville Cares has two main programs,” explained Janet Derrick, the Executive Director of the organization. “An emergency assistant program that helps pay things like rent and utilities, for people that are struggling in Naperville. And we have a transportation program; we take donated cars and repair them to give them to families that have no transportation. We [also] fix client-owned vehicles of people who are working because our goal is to keep them in a job.”

“We do a lot of things with Naperville Cares,” said Ron Hume, the Executive Director of 360 Youth Services, another non-profit in Naperville. “Just recently, they got a car for one of the kids in our transitional housing program. So, I think we have to try and support each other.”

Guests could walk around and sample a ‘Taste of Naperville’ with 25 local vendors serving food, beer, and wine.

Despite the difficult economy, the event has grown each year. Tonight’s Cuisine for a Cause had its largest turnout ever with more than 500 hungry guests.

“There’s no question the state has had budget problems in the rest, and there’s a need in Naperville,” said Darlene Senger, State Representative, 41st District. “We have a safety net, and its because the people here in Naperville really understand that when people need help, we go out and help them.”

Attendees could also bid on various silent auction items, with 100% of the proceeds going to Naperville Cares.

“The more that everybody gives the more it helps everybody out, and that’s the purpose of the whole thing,” said Naperville resident Trish Shoemaker. “The other half is that it’s a lot of fun. We meet people we know, we meet people we don’t know, and it’s a great event.”

Last year, the event raised $135,000 and Naperville Cares hopes this year’s grand total will exceed that.


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