ROGERS PARK — A Rogers Park youth empowerment group is hosting a combination in-person walk-a-thon and a virtual gala this weekend to help raise money for its battle against systemic oppression.
Family Matters, founded in 1987 to help kids rise above institutional racism, usually holds a gala in the spring and a walk-a-thon in the fall. But like many nonprofits, Family Matter’s major fundraisers were impacted by the coronavirus, and the group was forced to alter its plans.
Now, Family Matters will host a “community of changemarkers weekend,” which will include a revised version of its walk-a-thon and a virtual fundraiser. For more information on the event, click here.
This 31st annual walk-a-thon will have a “roll” component this year, allowing people to participate on bikes or scooters.
The different modes of transportation will help with social distancing, and instead of t-shirts, participants will be given masks this year, said Ann Hinterman, director of grants management at Family Matters. Participants can also forge their own route or participate from home via livestreams on social media.
Doing the in-person walk-and-roll-a-thon will help build community and bring Family Matters volunteers and donors together for the first time this year, Hinterman said.
“It will be a family reunion of sorts,” she said.
The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at White Park, 1610 W. Howard St. To register for the walk-and-roll-a-thon, click here.
At 7 p.m. Sunday, Family Matters will hold a virtual version of its annual gala.
The event will include storytelling from Family Matters clients and volunteers, the screenings of videos about the group and an auction.
The gala usually has food from partnering restaurants. This year, the restaurants are still partnering, but attendees are asked to order from the businesses who will then deliver the meals in time for the gala.
Tickets for the event range from $75-$350. For $175, participants can get a three-course dinner for 2-3 people from one of the partnering restaurants.
Funds raised from the events will help Family Matters launch new initiatives, including a community recording studio and an adult learning program, Hinterman said.
“This is an opportunity for us to embark on the most exciting year Family Matters has ever seen,” she said.
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