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

ChiroXchange supports a nervous system of more than 250 nationwide locations, whose varying services and technologies all converge with the end of healing bodies with holistic, drug-free techniques. The chiropractors believe that many of the body’s ailments, from sore backs and headaches to fatigue, are caused by blockages in the nervous system. To reverse these blockages, they nudge spinal discs back into place with gentle, strategic pressure, aligning nerves with the vertebra to free the flow of information and cat photos to and from the brain. The chiropractors at each location emphasize communication with their patients. They field questions, explain the purpose of every adjustment, and work with patients to design programs around their unique wellness goals.

241 Golf Mill Ctr
Niles,
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: 1959

Staff Size: 15+ people

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Parking: Street parking

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: The ice rink

Recommended Age Group: All ages

Q&A with the Marketing Manager

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?

Watts is the North Shore?s premier outdoor refrigerated ice rink open from late November through early March. During the off-season, a variety of recreation programs are held in the center?s two program rooms and outside at Watts Park. Each day, Glencoe Park District staffers serve residents of all ages at Watts Center, many of whom have been enjoying facility for generations.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

Long before Watts Center was constructed and the outdoor artificial ice rinks were installed, Glencoe residents still enjoyed outdoor ice skating during the winter months. In the 1950s and 1960s, the park district flooded a natural ice rink in the park near Central School at Park and Greenwood. Today, the professional-grade refrigerated rinks at Watts Center offer a smooth skating surface during the winter months.

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

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