Plainfield Giving Gala serves D. 202 families in 2 unique ways
When Kathy Kazmar first came to Plainfield many years ago, the big event of the year was the fireman's dance.
The dance was an elegant event where people wore formal clothes and enjoy the company of their friends, she said.
Kathy and her husband Ron Kazmar, two of the coordinators of the Plainfield Giving Gala, said this gala is reminiscent of that time.
"It's a great night for networking and a great night to be with your friends," Ron said. "We don't have a lot of speakers and it's a short program."
Last year, the gala raised $69,200, which was awarded to organizations that serve families in Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202.
The Giving Gala started in 2008 to raise funds for the Greater Joliet Area YMCA, Kathy said.
But as committee members noticed more needs in the community, they decided to expand. Friends for Charitable Giving, which now sponsors the Plainfield Giving Gala, received its 501c3 status in October.
In 2019, the Plainfield Giving Gala worked with the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce to make the event possible.
In an email, Ron said, "After all expenses, including the share with the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, we had raised $86,480 in charitable funds, [of which] $69,200 was paid out in grants.
"The remaining $17,280 is being used as seed money for the 2020 Giving Gala as well as corporate expenses such as legal expenses, government filing fees and insurance for the formation of Friends for Charitable Giving into a 501(c )(3) tax exempt public charity.
"Our goal for the 2020 Plainfield Giving Gala is to raise $106,000 in charitable funds after all expenses."
The Greater Joliet YMCA continues to offer its own Giving Gala, according to its website. The YMCA also received a grant from the Plainfield Giving Gala.
"We want to give back to the community," Ron said. "We also wanted to continue doing something special; it's not just about the charity, although that's the premise. It was about having an event that defines the community. It's like Caritas is for the University of st. Francis."
The $69,200 in total grants from funds raised at the 2019 Plainfield Giving Gala were awarded to: