Chanooka Braves homecoming and fundraiser in October

The homecoming and fundraiser is scheduled for October

The Chanooka Braves football, cheer and dance organization wants to invite the public out for its Oct.7 homecoming games and fundraiser located at Three Rivers School in Channahon.

In order to give back to the community, Chanooka Braves has taken strides in the direction of community service.

Admission to the games at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. remains free of charge. The event will feature games, inflatables, a dunk tank, cotton candy machine, and a face painter will be there to raise funds for Pink Heals Joliet Area Chapter and Ronald McDonald House. There will also be a split-the-pot raffle.

“We would love to minimally raise $1,000 for the organizations,” Chanooka Braves Board Member and cheer coach Michelle Nurczyk said.

The Minooka Police Department will bring its Nasquad car for the children to check out and Pink Heals will bring some of its signature pink vehicles and also sell merchandise.

“This is a great day for the family and it's open to the public. Come out and watch football and enjoy the day. All prices for games are $5 and below,” Chanooka Braves Board Member Nicole Nurczyk said.

“Pink Heals does a lot locally, it's run locally and October is breast cancer awareness month," Michelle said. "Our boys and girls wear pink — it was an easy choice. With the Ronald McDonald House, we want to give back to kids since we are a youth organization.”

This year, the organization launched its “Be Brave” initiative, designed to help those in the area battling childhood illness and other hardship.

Board President Rob Schiffbauer wanted to find a way to support the area where the Chanooka Braves have played for over 40 years. Board Member Steve Terrill came up with the idea to sponsor and pick someone to help financially, whether a part of the Chanooka Braves organization or not. Recipients go through an application process and are chosen by the board.

“We were trying to come up with a good idea on how to put it all together,” Nicole said. “It started with the kids being rewarded for hard work, then we started talking about ways to contribute to our community.”

Michelle shared a message the board received from Terrill.

“We believe by extending the program to include a more active role in helping those in our community, the boys and girls in the program can better appreciate those efforts," the message said. "The Braves organization looks to make their experiences more well rounded by helping them to understand, empathize, act and internalize the interactions.”

“The recipients may be kids who play for the Chanooka Braves, or someone our kids go to school or church with. Or, I like that I could go to Jewel and maybe run into the mom who we helped. We aren’t just writing a check not knowing where the money goes,” Michelle said.

In his memo, Terrill told the board, “The people who are chosen as beneficiaries of this program exemplify character whether that be in the face of hardship, health or heroism. These individuals are demonstrating what each of the boys and girls in our program should aspire to be in some way.”

Michelle and Nicole said they both love the sense of community the Chanooka Braves organization offers.

“I love that we have been in the community for so long," Michelle said. "I am proud to be a part of the Chanooka Braves."

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