Justice Locals Organize 10th Annual Foster Fest to Support Make-A-Wish® Illinois

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10th Foster Fest Hopes to Top $10,000 Raised Last Year for Make-A-Wish Illinois

Foster Fest is different from the standard formal fundraising dinner. Participants are casually dressed and sitting at picnic tables outdoors...a unique event combining a fun, casual celebration with helping kids in need.

As a child, Andy Foster, 36, was diagnosed with epilepsy. Shortly after his diagnosis, Foster was connected with Make-A-Wish Illinois, whom granted Foster’s wish for a left-handed golf club set. While Foster’s case is not unusual for the thousands of kids Make-A-Wish Illinois helps, his unique initiative to support the organization is.

Over the past ten years, Foster has coordinated and organized his namesake party—Foster Fest—a casual, family friendly, fundraiser barbeque; for nine of those ten years all proceeds have gone to Make-A-Wish Illinois. Of last year’s 300+ attendees, Foster Fest 2016 raised $10,000 for Make-A-Wish Illinois, a number Foster and others hope to top this year.

For Foster, the best part of the event is not only that it helps children with life-threatening medical conditions, but everyone has a good time as well. As he explains, “The kids are smiling, the bands playing the music are smiling, and you’re walking through the tables and everyone is smiling. And I always say that if you smile more than you frown, you succeed in life.”

Foster emphasizes how everyone in the community contributes their part to help make Foster Fest happen. Hosted at Chet’s Melody Lounge in Justice, IL, Foster Fest draws upon local businesses and members of the surrounding communities to pool resources needed for the event. Locals donate time, raffle items, food, marketing efforts, and other items. Last year’s Foster Fest had over 50 volunteers contributing their part to run the event. Even the bands offer their performances for free.

“As a grassroots organization, community members are an integral part of making sure that we can reach every eligible child with a wish,” said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer with Make-A-Wish Illinois. “The generous people who organize and attend events on behalf of Make-A-Wish can feel really good about bringing hope, strength and joy to seriously ill Illinois children.”

Foster Fest is different from the standard formal fundraising dinner. Participants are casually dressed and sitting at picnic tables outdoors. They can enjoy the live music, the pig roast barbeque, children’s activities, the dance floor, the raffle items, key note speeches and a variety of other activities. It is a unique event combining a fun, casual celebration with helping kids in need. This year’s event is expected to be the largest one yet.

Event details are as follows:
Foster Fest, benefiting Make-A-Wish Illinois
Saturday, August 12, 2017, 2:00 pm
Hosted at Chet’s Melody Lounge
7400 Archer Road
Justice, IL 60458

Admission is $30 for adults (includes food, drink, and live music). Children under the age of 16 get in free if accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at fosterfest.weebly.com, or at the door.

About Foster Fest
Foster Fest started in 2007, when Andy Foster wanted to help his cousin raise money to remove a dangerous tree from a property. As Foster tells it, “I decided that the best way to raise the money would be to do what I do best: throw a great party.” He says that not many expected (or trusted) the 25-year-old Foster to host a successful fundraising event, but it was a huge success. Afterward, Foster realized he wanted to host another Foster Fest, this time giving the proceeds to a charitable cause. As a child Foster suffered with epilepsy, and was granted a wish by Make-A-Wish Illinois, so as a thanks, and in the spirit of ‘paying it forward’, Foster decided that event and all future event proceeds would benefit Make-A-Wish Illinois. For more details, see fosterfest.weebly.com

About Make-A-Wish Illinois
Since being founded locally in 1985, Make-A-Wish Illinois has granted more than 14,000 wishes and continues its mission to share the power of a wish ® with children across the state with help from dedicated volunteers and generous community members. The organization strives to make sure that every potential wish child can experience a life-changing wish. For information visit: illinois.wish.org

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Heather Hudetz
Swerve, LLC
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