Harvesting Hope Raises Funds for Common Threads

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Skender Foundation Builders’ Board helps Chef Art Smith’s charity bring cooking classes to local school.

Skender Foundation Builders' Board

The partnership between Skender Foundation and Common Threads is a natural one in that our missions match tremendously.

More than 250 young professionals attended the Builders’ Board’s second annual Harvesting Hope at Hubbard Inn last month, raising almost double its goal amount to support local education and wellness causes. Skender Foundation’s Builders’ Board chose to contribute these donations to Common Threads, a nonprofit organization committed to educating communities about healthy food choices through the power of cooking. The donation will fund one year of programming at Chicago’s South Loop Elementary.

In addition to ticket sales, the board raised funds through a silent auction and raffle of donated items ranging from a hockey stick autographed by several members of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks to an iPad to a collection of 40 bottles of the board’s favorite wines.

“We are happy to be able to support the legacy of giving that matches our mission and vision of furthering wellness and education in the Chicago area,” says Builders’ Board Co-President Brian Skender. “We are thankful to everyone who donated and spent time to help us organize Harvesting Hope.”

Programming supported by the Builders’ Board’s donation will include a comprehensive set of programs for students and adults that teach nutrition and healthy hands-on cooking while incorporating meaningful learning experiences in math, science and language arts. Classes during school, after school and even during summer vacation will teach students and adults about the cuisines of different cultures, balanced eating and gardening for families.

“Common Threads was beyond thrilled to hear that the proceeds raised from Skender Foundation’s Harvesting Hope event would fund an entire years’ worth of Common Threads Programs. We are so grateful for this generous gift. These programs give children access to healthy food and the confidence to eat it and make healthy choices,” says Common Threads CEO Linda Novick O’Keefe. “The partnership between Skender Foundation and Common Threads is a natural one in that our missions match tremendously. We look forward to continuing our work with Skender Foundation and their Builders’ Board.”

Skender Foundation continues its mission of promoting wellness and education in Chicago with its next event, Summer Eclipse, which will be held on July 17, 2014.

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About Skender Foundation
Skender Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on empowering and inspiring mindful individuals and groups to achieve lifelong success in education and wellness. Each year, our foundation supports those who are helping others reach their full potential. For more information, visit http://www.skenderfoundation.org.

About Common Threads
Founded in 2003 by Chef Art Smith and artist Jesus Salgueiro, Common Threads is a nonprofit organization committed to educating communities about healthy food choices through the power of cooking. For 10 years, we have been teaching children living in underserved communities how to cook wholesome, healthy meals in professional led, curriculum-based after-school programs. We believe that food defines the quality of a person’s life and in 2013 are collaborating with other organizations to get one million kids cooking in the next five years.

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Maureen Wilkey
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