Youth football, cheer group to hold fundraiser next month in Channahon

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, the Chanooka Braves have turned to 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 and cotton candy machine, and a face painter will be there to raise funds for Pink Heals Joliet Area Chapter and Ronald McDonald House. There also will be a split-the-pot raffle.

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

The Minooka Police Department will bring its Nasquad car for 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,” said Nicole Nurczyk, another board member.

“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 hardships.

Board President Rob Schiffbauer wanted to find a way to support the area where the Chanooka Braves have played for more than 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.”

In years past, the money from fundraising events went toward the organization. Funds were raised through the sale of items at games, dine-in nights at local restaurants and more.

“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, and Nicole said she loves to see grandparents who coached their own kids come back and watch their grandkids play.

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

For information, visit chanookabraves.com or find the Chanooka Braves page on Facebook.

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