Charity & Grassroots in Des Plaines

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The organizers of Double Denim Bar Crawl have two goals: raise awareness of autism and have fun doing it. Their yearly bar crawls through historic Wrigleyville, which take place during Austism Awareness Month, gather revelers suited up from head to toe in denim jeans, jackets, and shirts to let loose amid raffles, dance-offs, and debates on the cultural degradation caused by khaki. Contests including kiddie-cocktail races and a rock-paper-scissors tournament complement prizes for best and worst double denim, denim princess, and being a HugeParty. Celebrants can feel good about every sudsy libation they imbibe, too, since profits of the crawl go to Young Professional Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to funding autism research, spreading awareness, and advocating for the individuals and families affected by autism.

2700 S River Rd
Des Plaines,
IL
US

The result of a variety of visits to Italy by two childhood friends sharing an intense love of coffee, Blanell Coffee was brewed on a hotplate of passion to deliver American audiences fine Italian coffees and accessories. The distributor dispenses coffees from brands such as Lucaffe, Pellini, Passalacqua, and New York Caffe. These brands cater to coffee connoisseurs that prefer espresso pods, pre-ground batches, grinding their own beans with their shaking teeth. To brighten drinks with flavors such as passion fruit, almond, and amaretto, Blanell Coffee also purveys syrups from Monin—a century-old French company.

1431 Tonne Rd
Elk Grove Village,
IL
US

Established: Before 1950
Reservations/Appointments: Recommended
Staff Size: 50+ people
Pro Tip: Our Courtesy Cart is available daily to assist you with carting your belongings down to the beach.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Paul and Ada Saffron Sprayground
Recommended Age Group: Adults

Q&A with the Marketing Manager

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
Life moves pretty fast if you don't stop and look around. And if you look closely, you'll see that Glencoe Beach is featured in the hit movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

What special training do you or your staff have?
Our Boat Guards and Life Guards possess the Life Guard Waterfront Certificates from the American Red Cross and are certified in Red Cross CPR/AED and first aid certification. The guards are also meet the requirements set forth in US Sailing Safety/Rescue & Power boating certification.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
During your day at the beach, you can rent a shaded sun shelter, play in the sprayground, splash in the lake, play beach volleyball, rent a sailboat, lounge on a rented chair, or enjoy a snack at the concession stand. Closings due to weather or water quality will be posted by 9:45 AM on the weather hotline (847-835-1185, ext. 1) and on the Park Alerts page at www.glencoeparkdistrict.com.

999 Green Bay Rd
Glencoe,
IL
US

Fed up with hearing about rude encounters between taxi drivers and the elderly, taxi dispatcher Dan Quiery decided to volunteer time in his retirement to righting these wrongs through Escorted Transportation Service Northwest (ETS/NW). Now the organization's 2011 Volunteer of the Year, according to the Daily Herald, Dan and a team of 70 volunteer drivers at ETS/NW offer both companionship and a vital service as they transport senior citizens to and from medical and dental appointments in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The seniors often have limited transportation options and would not be able to get to their appointments without aid. Though $12 donations are requested for each ride, the drivers chip in their own money to cover the cost of the trip's gas. Still, this does not deter founder Kathy Kasprowicz and her dedicated volunteers—honored with the 2012 STAR Merit Award from The Beverly Foundation—who were proud to have provided 2,453 roundtrip rides throughout the region in 2011 alone.

1801 W Central Rd
Arlington Heights,
IL
US

Selected as a featured startup for Common Pitch at New York City's Social Media Week, Good Karma Clothing for Kids is a social enterprise that employs a collaborative-consumption model by reusing and renting like-new clothing for babies ages newborn to 24 months. The company delivers hand-picked baby clothes to parents as part of its Basic Bundle subscription package. Each bundle includes seven complete outfits packed in a convenient prepaid, reusable shipping bag made of stork swaddling. When the baby outgrows the clothes in the bundle, parents simply ship them back and exchange the bundle for another one in a larger size. Because babies can go through approximately six or seven sizes of clothing during their first two years, the Basic Bundle program facilitates the reuse of miniature wardrobes to help parents reduce their consumption and prevents the need for uncomfortable rubber shirts that grow with the child. Good Karma reuses well-made baby clothes from popular brands such as Gap and Gymboree that are in great condition, and uses environmentally friendly detergent and high-efficiency washers to care for the clothing between owners. When clothing can no longer be used, the organization sends it on to be recycled into quilting, stuffed animals, and other enduring mementos of infancy.

504 South Arthur Avenue
Arlington Heights,
IL
US

Established: 2007
Reservations/Appointments: Required
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Age-appropriate and quality equipment is provided.
Pro Tip: Be ready for your camper to come home and ask you to play hoops or do pushups together.
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: Girls age 4-14

Q&A with Sara Hokin, Director of Operations

Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
Our incentive programs emphasize and reward effort, teamwork, heart, etc. We have special relationships with local, collegiate, and professional women's teams that offer our camps the opportunity for in-camp clinics and professional sports outings.

As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
Our staff training is pretty intense, to the extent that we role play worst-case scenarios. We practice adjusting to different circumstances, including quick transitions from outside to inside, should we encounter extreme weather.

What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
Our impact both on the fields and courts and off—our program emphasizes growth as an athlete as [much as] it does growth as a person.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We are proud of the relationships we develop and maintain through the years with our camp families. Throughout these years, we have worked hard to create a customized teaching technique and unique understanding of how young girls best learn and thrive. The results are a program and environment that effectively foster their love for sports and fitness to last a lifetime. This is our passion. This is our mission.

3000 Dundee Road, Suite 210
Northbrook,
IL
US

Des Plaines Scene