John and Deborah Anthony have a dream. And on Saturday, they hope to move that dream one giant step closer to reality.
That dream is called the YARN Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by the Anthonys, who live in Plainfield. YARN stands for Youth and Restoring Nations, and the foundation’s goal will be to offer a positive influence to as many kids as possible.
The YARN Foundation has secured a building at 71 Boulder Hill Pass, next to in Montgomery, and plans to offer GED classes for those looking to complete their education, and a community center called the Cave, where they will offer a free after-school program, counseling, a pregnancy crisis center and other services. They hope to open their doors in June.
But to do this, they need about $113,000. And that’s where Saturday comes in—the YARN Foundation will kick off for real with a fundraising event called Jump Start, held at the on Washington Street in Oswego.
This will be the YARN Foundation’s first big step into the sunlight, and John Anthony said he is nervous and excited. Anthony said they’re expecting about 350 people, and will have a silent auction featuring about 70 items, donated by 42 different sponsors from around the area. (A full list is here.) Dessert will be provided by , and beverages by .
John and Deborah Anthony said they are thrilled that so many donors have come together to support their efforts. And about 50 volunteers have given of their time to help out, they said.
“It’s encouraging to know that the community cares about what’s happening,” Deborah Anthony said. “It’s been a motivating factor to keep going. We know we’re doing the right thing.”
The Anthonys said ServPro of Kendall County has volunteered to help build out the YARN Foundation facility on Boulder Hill Pass, but they still need materials—drywall, studs, computers for the technology lab. That’s what the money raised at Jump Start will largely go to, John Anthony said.
This is not the first time the Anthonys have worked in the non-profit field. Six years ago, they started Chosen Daughters of Destiny in Chicago, an organization that works with public schools to enrich the lives of young girls. The couple has spent much of their life savings setting up the YARN Foundation, John Anthony, a Kendall County police officer, said, but they believe in the dream.
And if they don’t reach their fundraising goal on Saturday, they promise they’ll keep at it.
Deborah Anthony describes the YARN Foundation as “an opportunity to be a part of something greater than yourself.”
“We want to let people know that they can make it, they matter,” she said. “If we change one life, we’ve been effective. Of course, we want to change more than that.
Jump Start begins at 6 p.m. Tickets for Jump Start are $10 per person, and $100 per table, and can be bought online here. If you don’t buy a ticket in advance, Deborah Anthony said they won’t turn you away—you’ll be able to pick up a ticket at the door.