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The American Red Cross "Evening of Stars".

The American Red Cross Evening of Stars Event took place last Thursday, April 18th, at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bloomington- Normal, and it was a wonderful evening for all of us! This was the 26th annual Evening of the Stars, and we at Menold's are passionate for the cause. This event is the American Red Cross's largest local fundraiser that supports all their services - disaster assistance, blood donation, & military family support, and more. Last year the event raised $342,000, and that was their goal for this year as well.

The evening started at 5:45 pm with a Sponsor Reception at Uptown Station, and continued with a 7:00 dinner at the Marriott Hotel. The Head Coach of the Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy spoke to us at 8:00 through a question and answer session with the ISU game announcer. His message was about his upbringing and those that influenced his life and career, as well as his days as a player in high school and college and then to the Arena league. Following his playing days he went into real estate and home sales. While he also coached at the high school level, he was given an opportunity to join the professional ranks as an intern with the Eagles and the new journey began. This position with the Bears is the FIRST head coaching position he has ever had, and he did quite well his first year - he was named the NFL Coach of the Year! Not bad for a first-timer. Yet, he spoke about the value of believing in each other and trusting each other. The most important message he shared was that nothing would come between his relationship with his family as a dad and husband. When going to the job interview with the Bears one of his boys told him to "just be you". That is their theme as a team, to be yourself and not try to be someone else. To use your talents and do the best you can with what you have been given.

Everyone left with renewed vigor for helping our community. Really, the community is only as strong as the people who make it up. This being said, the American Red Cross is a vital part of our community - they really contribute to making all of us feel safe and secure. We have always tried to do whatever we can to support the efforts of the Red Cross, because we feel responsible to give back to our local community, being a local business ourselves.

We see firsthand, through our daily work, the devastation of our local community that we assist - whether it be the Washington tornado, fires, or the other severe flooding and storms that rock our part of the world. We know the impact this devastation can have, and the heartbreak felt by each home and family impacted. Life is all about giving back, and we try to do our part in helping. Our local communities are important to us and we'll do whatever we can to protect them. The Red Cross is based off the principle of preventing and alleviating human suffering and that's a beautiful thing. 

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