Community ‘bands together’ to raise money for Christmas gifts

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

The eighth annual Band Together for Kids will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars at 1821 20th St.

Citizens Against Child Abuse, Housing Outreach Prevention and Education of East Central Illinois, sponsors the event.

Band Together is a fundraiser that helps raise money to give Christmas gifts to children in need.

Althea Pendergast, a member of the board of directors for Citizens Against Child Abuse and Band Together chair, said there are different situations families and children end up, which requires them to need assistance.

“It came to our attention that there were a lot of kids who did not get anything because they did not qualify for alternative programs or missed the deadlines,” Pendergast said.

Pendergast said there are families that do the best they can who can not always provide Christmas gifts for their children who also do not qualify for certain programs.

The aid in Christmas gifts goes to teenagers who may be homeless, along with children who have gone into emergency housing, Pendergast said.

There are also situations where the family lost their home to a fire, families who have lost jobs, or other situations they do not expect themselves to be in.

“There are a lot of families out there who are doing the best they can who do not qualify for programs,” Pendergast said.

The people who receive the Christmas gift aid are kept confidential, so only the people involved in giving the presents are those who are the members of Citizens Against Child Abuse.

Pendergast said the VFW has been nice, helpful and supportive of what the fundraiser does.

The Band Together event will include a dinner, silent auction, live music and a 50/50 raffle.

The raffle is a part of the evening where those in attendance will buy a $5 ticket, and at the end of the night, the money won will be split between the raffle winner and Band Together.

Three bands will also be performing live music at different times during the event; Big Blue Mountain will play at 5 p.m., Breakaway will be playing at 6 p.m., and Tequila Mockinbyrd will be playing at 7 p.m., according HOPE’s Facebook page.

Pendergast said one of the differences about this year’s event, is one of the performing acts is a high school band, and she thinks it is cool that the high school students are supporting the event.

Tickets for the dinner are $5 for children three to 10 years of age, and $10 for adults. Children 2 years old and younger are free.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]