There are many reasons to attend the 3rd Annual John Gaedert Generosity Celebration, Friday, Feb. 7. First and foremost, proceeds from the event benefit the Charlotte Generosity Fund, which was established as a result of the generosity shown at last year’s event. This fund was established to generate grant money that is available annually to non-profit organizations regardless of their size.

The Charlotte Generosity Fund fulfills one of the visions Gaedert had for the event.

“John was so committed to the concept of the Foundation and encouraged us all to pool our resources,” said Christi Dutcher, one of the event coordinators. “John’s hope was that everyone in our community would come to learn that a small gift, when combined with other small gifts, has the power to create enormous opportunity.”

This year’s event, which gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Eaton Area Senior Center will continue to build upon the momentum created by the Charlotte Generosity Fund.

This past summer, the fund provided two $1,000 grants to local non-profits — Helping Hands and a consortium of Olivet College students, Housing Services of Eaton County and the Eaton County Treasurer’s office.

The grant to Helping Hands was the perfect example of how pooling resources can do incredible things. Helping Hands director, Phil Grimwood said the grant was used to establish a personal care items project within the non-profit. The money was used to provide hygienic products such as toilet paper, soaps, shampoo, razors, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. to clients of Helping Hands along with their household food assistance requests, free of charge.

“Helping Hands receives an average of 340 such requests each month,” Grimwood said. “The grant was sufficient to cover the cost of the Personal Care Items project for approximately one month.”

However, Helping Hands was able to combine the Charlotte Generosity Fund grant with additional grant funding from the Granger Foundation, Capital Region Community Foundation and Tri-County Electric People Fund and is now able to extend the project through July of 2014.

The second grant was a collaborative effort among the Eaton County Treasurer’s Office, Housing Services for Eaton County (HSEC) and Olivet College to reach residents in Eaton County who are at risk of tax foreclosure. The collaborative received a $1,000 grant from the Charlotte Generosity Fund this past year, which helped pay for postage to send out mailings to at risk citizens. The mailings provided information on how people could get help to avoid tax foreclosure.

“The collaboration with the Generosity Fund has been a big part of our efforts,” said Eaton County Treasurer Bob Robinson. “These funds were used to inform people about the free services that are available in Eaton County.”

The 3rd Annual John Gaedert Generosity Celebration will take place Friday, Feb. 7 at the Eaton Area Senior Center from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The evening includes a cash bar, hot hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment provided by the Don Sovey Quintet. Advance tickets are $20 and will be available after Jan. 15 at the Eaton Area Senior Center, Fay’s Evelyn Bay, Fulton Lumber and The County Journal. Tickets will be $25 at the door.