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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Mentors 4 Kids to hold 'Chance for Kids' fundraising dinner

  • Mentors 4 Kids, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to provide mentoring services to disadvantaged Southern Illinois children, will be holding an upscale fundraising dinner at the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation Center at 6 p.m. Aug. 25.
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  • Mentors 4 Kids, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to provide mentoring services to disadvantaged Southern Illinois children, will be holding an upscale fundraising dinner at the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation Center at 6 p.m. Aug. 25.
    The event is organized by the Saline County Advisory Board for M4K and all proceeds will directly benefit the program, which serves seven Southern Illinois counties by matching caring adult volunteer mentors with children who need a supportive role model in their lives.
    Tickets are $50 and an RSVP is requested by Aug. 17. To reserve a ticket, interested persons may call the M4K office at (618) 435-KIDS (5437).
    "It's a great way for people in the community to support Mentors 4 Kids," said Carol Sluzevich, co-founder of M4K and member of the Governing Board of Directors.
    The classy meal will be catered by Morello's and dinner music will be provided throughout the evening. A silent auction will be held during the event, which includes tickets for a suite at Rent One Park during a Miners' game of the winning bidder's choice, which was donated by Rent One. Though there are expected to be a variety of other exciting items available at the silent auction, board members are keeping quiet about what items have been donated.
    "We've got some great surprises for the evening," said Sluzevich.
    The several-course meal will be served at 7 p.m., though doors will open an hour prior to the meal being served. The menu for the night includes beef kabobs, chicken satay, shrimp skewers, roasted red peppers, rice pilaf, pasta salad and a dinner salad. In addition, there will be a sundae bar.
    "The sundae bar was a big hit last year," Sluzevich said.
    A cash bar will also be available during the event.
    This is the second year for the dinner and board members are hoping this year's event is even more successful than last year's. Sluzevich said around 100 people came last year, raising about $9,000 for the program.
    "We're hoping to beat that this year," she said, adding that it's one of the program's biggest fundraising events of the year.
    With a $1,000 prize at stake, the main event of the night is an unusual, but very exciting game similar to a reverse lottery. Every attendee will receive a number and throughout the night numbers will be called and those people may get small door prizes. However, the real fun begins after all but eight of the numbers have been called.
    The final eight remaining ticket holders will be asked to gather around a table stacked with 1,000 $1 bills. They will then be asked whether to split the money among all eight or to risk their ticket being drawn and receiving nothing. If they decide to "take a chance" — hence the name of the event — then another number will be called and the remaining seven must again choose whether to split the pot or allow another number to be drawn. This will continue until the remaining ticket holders decide to split the cash, or until only one person remains.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sluzevich said after the event no one will be permitted to return the prize money to Mentors 4 Kids.
    In addition to all the other components of the dinner, several mentors will give testimonials about their experiences being involved in the program. Last year 11 people signed up to be a mentor at the event after hearing their touching stories.
    Although fundraising and donations are essential for the non-profit program to survive, what the program needs even more is volunteers willing to mentor a child. There are always children on a waiting list to be assigned a mentor because there are more children in need than there are volunteer mentors. Board members hope to recruit new mentors through the fundraising event.
    "It's fun. It's a good time," Sluzevich said. "But we have a purpose."
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