James “Big Cat” Williams, a former Chicago Bear is no stranger to helping less fortunate. Quite often seen at many different charitable functions, he believes in helping various causes around town and lending a hand in creating awareness. In 2011, he along with his business partner Delana Price-Johnson, founded Big Cat Charities based on the growing need. His charity aims to eradicate hunger and homelessness among women, single parents, and families.
For the second year, on June 8, 2013 the charity hosted “Celebrity Bash for Cash” to benefit Big Cat Charities at Cinespace Chicago Film Studio on Sound Stage #6. The venue was given a touch of class by Event Creative with a low-light ambiance and classy cars, on loan from Midwest Picture Cars at the entrance.
The event attracted about 200 guests comprised from former and current Bears and other athletes, as well as supporters of this cause. Some of the town’s notables in attendance were: Roberto Garza, Richard Dent, Lin Kreutz, Jeremy Lincoln, Marc May, Marques Sullivan along with Ashley Hooks, Miss Illinois USA 2012 and Reality TV contestant Russ Swan from Survivor (Samoa and Survivor: Philippines).
Guests mingled in style, enjoyed a bountiful buffet by Gala Catering, a dessert table, and a variety of libations from signature cocktails by St. Claire Vodka, beer from Corona Extra, and others.
Evening’s Emcee, Summer Jackson from WCIU spoke about «Big Cat’s» support for 3 nonprofits: Debroha’s Place, Maryville Crisis Center and PADS. The “Big Cat” himself was then introduced, and spoke about the importance of these charities’ causes. Also spoke Honorary Chair Rev. Tom Behrens, founder of The Night Ministry, a non-profit that’s been around since 1976. Nightly, they hit the streets to help Chicagoans struggling with poverty, substance abuse, homelessness, and despair, to name a few.
Right before Summer Jackson took the microphone, guests sang Delana Price-Johnson a birthday song to celebrate her birthday and everything that she has done to further the charities cause. “Big Cat” then presented Rev. Tom Behrens with a certificate of appreciation for his contribution.
I had an honor to speak with Rev. Tom Behrens, who told me that The Night Ministries exists to “support homeless teens” and homeless in general. He went on to say that their bus is well equipped with all the necessities to give first aid to the homeless. We ended our conversation by him noting that they run as many as “four shelters with 52 beds” and that they are prepared to help those in need.
As the event was drawing to a close, guests had one last chance to bid on some wonderful silent auction items, and collect parting gifts on their way out.
For more information on Big Cat Charities, please visit http://bigcatcharities.org.
For information on future events, or event promotion, please call 847.274.1648.
Kontinent Media Group
Photos by Larisa Pevtsova
Event Sponsors: Brad Adolph, Cinespace Film Studio Chicago, Chocolatier Wine, Corona Extra, Event Creative, Gala Catering, Images on Confections, Michael O’Meara DDS, Midwest Picture Cars LLC, PepsiCo, St Claire Vodka. Media Sponsor: Men’s Book