Silent auction to aid non-profits

By Erin Kolb

Kishwaukee United Way’s Taste of the Vine will have 10,000 more sponsors today than it did last year.

Kishwaukee United Way will host its 12th annual Taste of the Vine event today to raise money for more than 20 local non-profit organizations. The event is a wine tasting and silent auction. Dawn Littlefield, Kishwaukee United Way executive director, said funds will benefit 23 local partners, including Red Cross, the Ben Gordon Center and the local YMCA. Littlefield said last year the event raised more than $19,000 and is expected to raise even more money this year due to higher-value auction items. She also said the number of sponsors went from 7,000 to 17,000 this year.

“Year-round, United Way helps and sustains families living at the poverty level or struggling,” Littlefield said. “Contributing to United Way is a good way to contribute to a lot of organizations.”

Jim Lehan, business manager at Lehan Drugs, a pharmacy that sponsors the event, said the possibility of helping many organizations is what drew the store to sponsor United Way.

“I think it’s a good organization,” Lehan said. “Instead of having to pick and choose from non-profits, United Way does it on your behalf and distributes the funds throughout the community.”

Jackie DiNatale, Kishwaukee United Way coordinator of outreach, is glad to see the community get involved.

“We all live in the community together,” DiNatale said. “Every citizen contributes. Giving back makes you feel good, and it makes the community a better place for everyone to live.”

Tickets to the event are $40. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at St. Mary’s Memorial Hall, 322 Waterman St. in Sycamore.