For a number of children in the community, the end of the school week or year might also bring the end of regular, healthy meals, especially fresh milk. Unfortunately, it happens more often than one might think – but the collaborative efforts of local organizations and many volunteers help to bring relief and support for thousands of families in the area.
Each year, the Fond du Lac Charity Club’s annual ball raises both funds and awareness in the community, helping children in the area through its milk fund. This year’s event will be held at the Thelma Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac on December 2, 2016, from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. D. Willy and The Souvenirs will provide entertainment, along with a silent auction, prize raffle, and cash raffle throughout the evening and hors d’oeuvres from Colin Mauthe of Chef on the Run. Tickets are $65 and are available on the club’s website at www.fdlcharityclub.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at the door the evening of the event.
All proceeds raised from the event are used to help children in the area, with 60 percent earmarked for the milk fund, while the remaining funds are used to support local charitable organizations, families, or specific projects which benefit children.
“Throughout the year, we take on special projects that help children,” explained Kim Chatterton, a member of the Charity Club and the ambassador for the milk fund. “The ball is our only fundraiser each year, and everything goes back into the community to organizations like Broken Bread, Advocap, the Family Resource Center, the Fondy Food Pantry, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, New Beginnings, and many others.
“Our primary focus has always been to provide milk to children in the community,” she added. “But we don’t do it alone – it can only be done with the help of the people who support us and the many local organizations and programs that directly help the children and their families.”
For more than a century, the Charity Club has hosted the annual ball to raise money for milk, offering a fun evening of entertainment and camaraderie while also raising awareness of the need in the community and the importance of working together to reach out to at-risk families. Each year, sixty percent of the funds raised are distributed to various programs in the area to provide milk for children, including Loaves and Fishes, Solutions Center, and the Food for Thought program, an outreach of the Fond du Lac Food Pantry.
According to Kim, community organizations submit a letter of application each year to the Charity Club, which then evaluates program needs and objectives, ensuring that the money is used to provide milk to children in need.
“There are a lot of organizations in Fond du Lac that offer assistance and resources to people in the community,” she noted. “There are also many people who volunteer their time and resources. It’s important that those who need help are aware of and able to access that help. As a club, we raise the money, and then we give it to those groups that can directly help children and their families.”
Organizations like Solutions Center, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Salvation Army receive donations each year to help with their programs, events, and ongoing service to the community.
The oldest charitable organization in the city of Fond du Lac, the Charity Club began in 1900 with twenty members. Today, there are thirty members who volunteer throughout the year, organizing, planning, and overseeing the distribution of milk, donations, and special projects that benefit children in the community.
“Our annual ball is not only a fun and entertaining evening, it’s also a wonderful way to help children and their families,” shared Kim. “Each year, attendance has grown, and we’ve been able to raise more funds and to provide milk for more programs in the community. Through the generosity of the Fond du Lac area community, The Charity Club has granted over $75,000 to support children’s programs this past year. It isn’t just the Charity Club that is making a difference; it is everyone who makes a donation, our sponsors, our partners, and all those who participate in the ball. We all work together to help those in need.”