Three Wauconda High School students, juniors Sierra Hovey, Nick Kaimakis, and Matt Bulgarelli, have made a difference in Wauconda by continuing the Meals For All program through the Wauconda Future Business Leaders of America Chapter.
It has earned them multiple community recognitions and has heightened their chances to reach their goal of FBLA Nationals located in Nashville in the Partnership with Business event.
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In September, 2012, three now-graduated seniors started Meals For All with the intentions of bettering the community and assisting the elderly and less fortunate with a monthly $1 dinner at the local Moose Lodge. All the money collected at the event goes right back into the project for the purpose of decorations and additional food costs.
There are many lower income families in Wauconda who benefit from these dinners. Additionally, as of this year, between 280 and 500 families rely on the Wauconda food pantry monthly, which had increased by 40 families in just one year.
Realizing that Meals For All had become a staple in the Wauconda community, Mayor Frank A. Bart could not let the program end. Wendy Mills, the Wauconda FBLA Chapter adviser, chose Hovey, Kaimakis and Bulgarelli to take on this major project.
Through hard work and determination, these three students made the program even more successful than the year prior. In October, 2013, the group hosted a Halloween-themed dinner that served a record number of 120 people.
These Meals For All dinners could not be possible without the community support. Wauconda Township President Glenn Swanson donates his time and bus to offer transportation for Harmony and Woodland villages, Liberty Arms and John Kuester Manor.
Also, the community support for sponsoring the dinners has been overwhelming this year from Lindy's Landing, Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Company, Honey Hill Coffee, Bulldog Grill, Wine Bliss, Sharp Auto, Dock's Bar & Grill, JJ Twigs, Side Outs, Re/Max Plaza, Eduardo's Catering, Three Amiga's Restaurant and Joe Modica & Associates, CPA.
Besides the number of people attending Meals For All, the group also attained a record number of FBLA members to volunteer at these events: 82 high school students throughout the year, to date. As the Wauconda chapter members keep increasing, so does community service involvement.
Spending hours making posters, spreading the word, and making announcements at school, Hovey, Kaimakis and Bulgarelli have shown an extreme amount of dedication and compassion for bettering their own community.