Party, for kids’ sake on June 25

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Mike Genge, executive director of the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent, centre, is flanked by sponsors showcasing some of the items up for auction this year at the Festival of Giving. From left, Bayside Brewing co-owners Frank Thompson and Nancy Cowan, John Schinkel of Schinkel’s Gourmet Meats, Genge, Denny Vervaet of Red Barn Brewing, and TekSavvy’s Emma Longbottom and Dava Robichaud.

Festival of Giving to be held virtually again

Mark June 25 down on your calendars for some virtual party time and fundraising.

The 21st Festival of Giving (FoG), put on by the Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC) Foundation of Chatham-Kent, sports the theme of “Rock the Block” this year.

Participants are encouraged to break out the grill, blender and cooler to gather with family and friends in the backyard to take part. But the fundraising begins even earlier, as the online action starts June 17.

Lisa Caron, fund development officer with the Foundation of the CTC, said this will be FoG’s third virtual version. While people gathering in clusters to take part rather than one big party was an adjustment, she thinks it is well received.

“I think we have a system that works for people. They pick up a bag that’s worth $75 to shop locally and then they get a $100 tax receipt and a chance to win a $7,500 grand prize trip (or cash) to anywhere they want with Vellinga’s (Travel & Cruise Experts),” she said.

All ticket holders are entered into that draw.

As for the online auction, Caron said that begins a week prior to FoG and runs right up to the night of the event.

On event night, June 25, the live auction will again take place.

TekSavvy is a major sponsor again this year. Event partner Emma Longbottom said the company’s involvement is a good fit.

“It’s just a great event to support a great cause. We’re very much into community involvement. This event helps so many people in the community,” she said.

Tickets are $175 each and go on sale this week. Participants will receive a FoG party bag filled with vouchers to shop from local businesses, and the tax receipt.

Inside the party bag are vouchers for four beverages from each of Bayside Brewing, Sons of Kent Brewing and Red Barn Brewing – three local craft breweries – as well as a gift card for the LCBO at Erieau Marina and one for Schinkels’ Gourmet Meats. Also included is a quarter chicken dinner meal voucher for Swiss Chalet in Wallaceburg, and a Tim Hortons gift card.

Bayside Brewing Co. has been a part of FoG since 2012. Co-owner Nancy Cowan said it was an easy decision to be involved and remain involved.

“It’s a great community event and a great cause. It’s always lots of fun and the proceeds go to something that’s right here in Chatham-Kent,” she said.

In regard to a third year of virtual FoG, Cowan encouraged participants to gather with friends.

“Grab a group of friends together, get a couple of tickets and make a night of it,” she said. “Have a feast.”

Frank Thompson, also a Bayside owner, said that’s what they do.

“Last year, we had a gang around the pool and called in on the auction items,” he said.

For Denny Vervaet and Red Barn Brewing Co., this is their first year involved.

“We’re glad to be part of it. We’re looking into what we can to support the Children’s Treatment Centre,” he said. “It’s a great organization.”

Schinkels’ Gourmet Meats has been part of FoG for about six years. Owner John Schinkel said the virtual version sees ticket holders come into the shop armed with a gift certificate.

“New customers, you can tell right away – they look around for what to get,” he said. “Quite often, people will save it (the gift card) for an event to have a barbecue or for a family or friends get together.”

Funds raised from FoG help ensure the CTC can continue providing specialized care and therapy to the children in Chatham-Kent. One in five kids in C-K are helped by the CTC.

To purchase tickets, visit festivalofgivingck.com.

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