November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month
Max’s Restaurant & Deli in Highland Park is working with the community to help homeless kids stay warm. On Nov. 23 the eatery will be hosting the 3rd Annual Cheesy Noodles Mac N’ Cheese Contest from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The event will benefit Stand Up for Kids Chicago, a non-profit organization dedicated to end youth homelessness through national and local outreach.
The fundraising effort is open to the public with a ticket price of $100 per family that includes food, drinks, dessert and entertainment. Attendees are encouraged to bring new or gently used winter coats, boots and other warm weather gear for a collection for Chicago homeless teens.
Serving up one of America’s favorite comfort foods, the Cheesy Noodles Mac N’ Cheese Contest will help shed light on Chicago’s homeless youth during Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Over 300 people attended last year’s event, which raised over $3000 for Stand Up for Kids Chicago. An even bigger turnout is expected this year as it’s the perfect family friendly event to kick off the holiday season.
“I plan on making this year’s Mac and Cheese event the best yet,” said Abbey Cross, new executive director of Stand Up For Kids Chicago, an organization that has been near and dear to her for many years. “If we can meet our goal of five thousand dollars we can help fifty of Chicago’s homeless youth stay in school for a month, or five stay in school for the entire year. How amazing would that be?”
The Mac N’ Cheese competition will kick off at 5:30 p.m., as esteemed chefs come together from all over Chicagoland to showcase their very own specialty macaroni and cheese dishes, which will be tasted and judged by “the People” and a panel of local celebrity guest judges including Julie Chernoff
Dining Editor, Make It Better Media, Melissa Forman, Host, WCIU-TV’s You & Me This Morning, Simon Murray, Associate Editor, JWC Media’s The North Shore Weekend and Sheridan Road Magazine, and Christa Rooks, Editor, The Highland Park Landmark. Winners of the People’s Choice and Judges Choice awards will be announced at 6:45 p.m.
The Mac N’ Cheese competitors include: Highwood’s new Barrel Crossing Tap & Grill, Nick’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill of Wilmette, Pinstripes in Northbrook, Remington’s Chicago, and Valley Lodge Tavern of Glenview, all hoping to beat out defending champion, Chicago’s Smoke Daddy, who won both People’s Choice and Judges Choice last year.
Guests will enjoy all the Mac N’ Cheese that can eat, passed appetizers, Max’s make-your-own S’Mores Bar, beer, wine, soft drinks and music by Bizar Entertainment. Max’s Deli will be raffling off a private dinner party by Joey for up to 10 people in the recipients’ home that includes a four-course meal. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each, or 5 for $20.
Over the course of a year approximately 26,000 youth in Illinois, and 15,000 youth in Chicago experience homelessness. With the approaching colder weather, Stand Up for Kids is working tirelessly to promote the local outreach center as a safe haven for kids. Volunteers are already hitting the streets hard to distribute hot meals and to provide socks, hats, mittens, coats, and more so that these homeless children can survive the winter season. Every dollar earned through the Mac N’ Cheese Competition will go toward support and supplies for homeless youth.
“There are so many forgotten children on the street that are more than homeless; they have often lost their family connections for various reasons,” says Brian Russell, Chairman of the Board, Stand Up For Kids Chicago Chapter. “When the community comes together through events like this, they help us fund programs for the kids to help break the homeless cycle. We welcome the chance to raise money, but also to raise awareness of this homeless problem in our backyard.” Russell welcomes inquiries from youth groups and volunteers to distribute food and clothing while walking the streets with Stand Up For Kids volunteers.
Stand Up For Kids is a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is to provide crisis intervention and basic survival necessities for at-risk and homeless youth through national and local outreach. Violence and abuse are unfortunately increasingly common within families and communities, and there are now 1.3 million homeless and street kids. Stand Up For Kids offers an abundance of services, complete anonymity, and ensures that youth do not have to feel alone in dealing with their problems. The mission is to end the cycle of youth homelessness throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.standupforkidschicago.org email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (773) 817-1684.