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Article posted: 5/28/2013 10:00 AM

Mt. Prospect store to donate part of proceeds to brain cancer group

Curtis Thomas with his girlfriend, Christine Szukalla, taken in September 2010.

Curtis Thomas with his girlfriend, Christine Szukalla, taken in September 2010.

 
Ken Dix, owner of Capannariís Ice Cream in Mount Prospect, leading the band Ken Dix and the Soda Jerks

Ken Dix, owner of Capannari's Ice Cream in Mount Prospect, leading the band Ken Dix and the Soda Jerks

 
George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.com ¨ Eileen Daday, Daily Herald Good News Columnist on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.com ¨ Eileen Daday, Daily Herald Good News Columnist on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

 
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By Eileen O. Daday

Owners of Capannari's Ice Cream in Mount Prospect hold multiple fundraisers throughout the year, but an event coming up Sunday truly comes from the heart.

Capannari's will donate 10 percent of its proceeds from 6 to 10 p.m. to raise money for Harley Helping Hands, an organization that helps adults living with brain cancer. A donation basket also will be available for more contributions.

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The foundation was named in memory of Kit Harley, a former Arlington Heights resident and father of two young children who lost his battle with brain cancer in 2010. His friends and family started the foundation to offer financial support to families in the Chicago area battling the disease.

One such recipient was Curtis Thomas of Mount Prospect, part of the 2005 Prospect High School state championship football team, who fought brain cancer before he died on Aug. 21, 2012. His family wants to help promote the group's mission.

"He was a grant recipient before the big community fundraiser organized at Prospect High School," says his sister, Ginny Thomas, of the hugely successful event at Prospect that drew hundreds of people in support of the former lineman.

"There was so much†generosity†to my family during Curtis' illness," Ginny Thomas adds, "that we want to try to pay it forward. "

Ken and Katie Dix, co-owners of Capannari's, agree, and they not only will earmark a portion of Sunday's proceeds, but they also will donate 10 percent of their sales from 4-6 p.m. every Monday in June to Harley Helping Hands.

"It's all based on Curtis," says Ken Dix, who also works as a Mount Prospect firefighter and paramedic. "We know that he benefitted from this group and we're happy to help them aid other families."

Dix will play more than the role of store proprietor at the event. He also headlines a band, Ken Dix and the Soda Jerks, which will open the event.

The nine-person band plays an eclectic repertoire of cover songs, ranging from Frank Sinatra classics to Johnny Cash and Mumford & Sons.

Most recently, they played Irish Fest in Mount Prospect and will perform at the village's Downtown Block Party in July.

"We're hard to describe in terms of what we play," Dix says, "but basically, we like to have fun."

Capannari's is at 10 S. Pine St. in Mount Prospect, in the former general store and post office building. The vintage two-story, wood frame shop still features the original beams and white oak floors, along with its wraparound front porch.

Scenic Moehling Park, next door to the ice cream parlor, is the site for a series of concerts in the park hosted by Capannari's. Sunday's bash, featuring the shop's namesake band, and in honor of Harley Helping Hand's efforts, is the first this year.

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